mind blown as I realized/discovered today that "eleven" derives from "one left" and "twelve" derives from "two left" en.wiktionary.org/wiki/eleven en.wiktionary.org/wiki/twelve

although maybe I prefer my previous unenlightened assumption that "eleven" was just this mysterious monomorphemic numeral with no explicable etymology


I am trying to make some meaningful relationship in my head between "one left" and the value 11. And failing.


@alanz if you're counting things out in groups of ten, the eleventh thing is the one left over.

@aparrish @alanz I was having trouble with that too, but it makes perfect sense - one for each finger, and one left over.

I'd like to think that at some point in history, there was a language in which they were elve and twelve, followed by threlve.


@y6nH @alanz I imagine a conversation happening frequently at some point in the 1100s that went something like "Ælfred, it's thirteen, stop trying to make 'threlve' happen"

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