A Dozen Nonnumerical Words for Quantities
The English language has, well, a number of words that denote specific or approximate quantities that are themselves not numbers. This post lists and defines a dozen of those words.
1. brace: two, in reference to identical objects
2. century: primarily denotes 100 years, but occasionally used, especially in the context of competitive racing, to refer to something consisting of 100, as in a 100-mile race
3. couple: two, though loosely refers to a few of something
4. decade: primarily denotes 10 years, but occasionally refers to ten of something
5. dozen: twelve (a half dozen, or half a dozen, is six, and a baker’s dozen is thirteen, from the notion that a baker would include an extra item in a batch of twelve so as not to be accused of short-changing a customer)
6. duo: two, in reference to people engaged in an endeavor together, as in musical performance (other words denote three or more people in the same context: trio, quartet, etc.)
7. grand: slang for “1,000”
8. gross: 144, or twelve dozen
9. large: slang for “1,000”
10. myriad: originally, ten thousand, but now loosely refers to a very large quantity
11. pair: two, often in reference to identical objects
12. score: twenty
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