Below are 10 math words and phrases along with ways you can use them. And as a bonus, there are three ways to integrate corny math puns into your conversation too!
Good Math Words
Addition – combining the values of two numbers into their sum
“The tinsel is a nice addition to the tree. Hey, ‘addition’ is a math word – we’re adding tinsel to the tree!”
Absolute Value – the distance a number is from zero.
“If you think of our house as “zero” in space, the distance from our house to grandma’s is like the absolute value of grandma’s house!”
Bar Graph – a graphical representation of numbers or quantities using bars so they can be easily compared.
“Look – it’s Aunt Emmy’s lemon bars! Theoretically, we could use them to make a bar graph of how many we each want to eat!”
Cartesian Coordinate Plane – two perpendicular lines (called x-axis and y-axis) used for denoting positions on the plane
“If we used the tiles on the floor as a Cartesian Coordinate Plane, we could name the points where everyone is standing!”
Fraction – a part of a whole
“Check out the pie Aunt Ada brought. If we cut it into eight pieces and I eat one, I’ve eaten one-eighth of it. A fraction!”
Geometry – area of math that deals with shapes (of all dimensions)
“Holy Cow! Check out the geometry on Uncle Leonhard’s tie!”
Greater/Less – comparing quantities
“Of course your friend can come visit – the more the merrier. You know, we only say that phrase when there’ll be more people – or a greater number of people.”
Midpoint – the point in the middle of a line segment
“We’re going to Uncle Blaise’s house because it’s roughly the midpoint between our house and your grandma’s.”
Symmetry – a shape or object that’s made up of similar parts that are mirror image of each other (or around an axis)
“Aunt Sophie puts pecans on only half of the yams, making it non-symmetric one way and symmetric the other way!”
Vertex – the point where lines or edges meet
“Awe man! We forgot to set a place for Uncle Gottfried. Let’s put him on the corner of that table. You can tell him it’s the vertex of the table so it’s the best spot.”
Bad Math Puns
Degree – measurement of heat & a measurement of angles
“You think it’s too hot in this kitchen? Go stand in the corner – it’s 90 degrees over there!”
Irrational – crazy talk & a number that can’t be expressed as a “nice” fraction (like the number pi)
“I thought about bringing a cherry-pumpkin-pecan pie. But then I figured that pie would just be irrational.”
Root – plant part that grows underground & a number that multiplies with itself to give another number
“I made the yams in a square pan this year – I figured since sweet potatoes are roots, they’re probably square roots.”
What’s your favorite?
Do you have any favorite math things to say during “normal” conversation? How about good holiday math puns?
Share them in the comments.
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