Random Fact of the Day: Iota

Throughout my life I have used the word iota (meaning “an extremely small amount”) liberally and without thinking about its origins. Until the other day when I came across in my reading the explanation of what an iota actually is.

Iota is the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet and the smallest letter of said alphabet.

It came into common use in English because of the Biblical phrase “until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

I was well aware that the words “alpha” and “omega” were Greek (again brought into common usage in English because of Biblical phrasing, as have a surprising number of other words and phrases) but until this week I had no idea “iota” was also Greek.

While we’re on the subject of things I didn’t know (but most of you probably did) Ππ pi is also a Greek letter. Which I probably could have worked out if I’d thought about it, but it had never occurred to me to put the brain power in.

So anyway, that’s what’s going on in my brain at the moment. How about yours? Any random facts hit you this week?

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