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Mysteries of vernacular: Odd - Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel

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Whether we’re talking all things unusual or mathematical, the origins of the word odd point to the Indo-European root uzdho, which means pointing upwards. Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel explain the evolution from the term for a triangle to a number indivisible by two and, eventually, to the peculiar.

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TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Director Jessica Oreck
  • Producer Rachael Teel
  • Educator Jessica Oreck, Rachael Teel
Additional Resources for you to Explore
More on the etymology of the word odd.
An odd number is an integer which is not a multiple of two.
It's good to be odd, or unusual, or weird.
I usually try to discuss words whose origin is so uncertain that, when it comes to etymology, dictionaries refuse to commit themselves. But every now and then words occur whose history has been investigated most convincingly, and their history is worth recounting. Such is the word odd. Everything is odd about it, including the fact that its original form has not survived in English.
The full Mysteries of Vernacular series.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Director Jessica Oreck
  • Producer Rachael Teel
  • Educator Jessica Oreck, Rachael Teel