途方もなく大きい zillion

先日書いた skosh は日本語の「少し」に由来していたが、そのつながりで「数にちなんだ単語」を取り上げてみよう。「少し」とは逆の「とても大きな数」という意味の zillion は、一見 million や billion のような具体的な数を表すようにみえるが、そうではない。「未知の数」を表す z を使って million の流儀で作られた造語だという。

- an extremely large, but not a stated, number:
I've told you a zillion times/zillions of times not to do that.

- huge number of people or things: a number of people or a quantity of things so huge it cannot be counted or determined ( informal )
The new stadium must seat zillions!

- ORIGIN from Z (perhaps as a symbol of an unknown quantity) + MILLION.

zillionth という言い方もあるし、millionaire をもじった形の zillionaire という造語もある。

- an immeasurably wealthy person
- (Informal) one having an immense, incalculable amount of wealth.

zillion と意味も形も似ている単語は他にもある。ネットを見ると、次のようなものが列挙されている。

bajillion, bazillion, gazillion, hojillion, infillion, jillion, kabillion, kajillion, squillion, kabillion, googillion, umptillion, zillion

次のような解説も見つかった。

- A number of other tongue-in-cheek slang terms connote even larger, but equally uncertain, numbers. Most are constructed by placing a letter or nonsense syllable before the suffix -illion e.g., 'zillion'.
(http://www.answers.com/topic/umpteen)

- These terms are often used as hyperbole or for comic effect, or in loose, unconfined conversation to present an un-guessably large number. Since these are undefined, they have no mathematical validity and no accepted order, since none is necessarily larger or smaller than any of the others.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umpteen#Umpteen)


・数にちなむ表現(一覧)