In English and related languages, several terms involving the words "great" or "gross" relate to numbers involving a multiple of exponents of twelve (dozen):

The term can be abbreviated gr. or gro., and dates from the early 15th century. It derives from the Old French grosse douzaine, meaning "large dozen”.[5] The continued use of these terms in measurement and counting represents the duodecimal number system.[6] This has led groups such as the Dozenal Society of America to advocate for wider use of "gross" and related terms instead of the decimal system.[7][8]

See also


  1. ^ a b Schwartzman, Steven (1996), The Words of Mathematics: An Etymological Dictionary of Mathematical Terms Used in English, Mathematical Association of America, pp. 100–101, ISBN 9780883855119.
  2. ^ a b Darling, David (2004), The Universal Book of Mathematics: From Abracadabra to Zeno's Paradoxes, John Wiley & Sons, p. 140, ISBN 9780471270478.
  3. ^ Wright, Carroll Davidson (1910), The New Century Book of Facts: A Handbook of Ready Reference, King-Richardson Company, p. 462.
  4. ^ Wells, David (1997), The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers (3rd ed.), Penguin, p. 66, ISBN 9780140261493.
  5. ^ Gross | Origin and meaning of gross by Online Etymology Dictionary
  6. ^ Gullberg, Jan (1997), Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers, W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN 9780393040029.
  7. ^ Dudley, Underwood (1996), Mathematical Cranks, Cambridge University Press, p. 22, ISBN 9780883855072.
  8. ^ Bellos, Alex (2012-12-12), "Dozenalists of the world unite! Rise up against the tyranny of ten!", The Guardian.