Business Today

On Google's 22nd birthday, learn how the name came from word 'googol'

Google has a funky name. 22 years ago, when the company was named its founders decided to use a word that a mathematician introduced a long time ago.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | September 28, 2020 | Updated 14:39 IST


  • Google’s name is inspired by the word Googol.
  • Googol is a mathematical term first introduced in 1920.
  • Google on September 27 celebrated its 27th birthday.

Google has a funky name but do you know how it got it? As Google celebrates its 22nd birthday on September 27, it is a good time to know how the company got its name. The name Google came from a mathematics word called googol, which in turn was introduced in 1920.

According to the information that is available, in 1920 American mathematician Edward Kasner asked his nephew Milton Sirotta to help him choose a name for a number that had 100 zeros. The name that Sirotta supplied was "googol" and Kasner decided to use the term.

The term then formally entered the lexicon in 1940 when Kasner co-wrote a book called Mathematics and the Imagination and in that book used the word googol to describe a number with 100 zeros.

In 1998, when Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin were looking to name the company, they decided on word Googol. They were engineers and were definitely familiar with the word. However, instead of taking the word as it is, they decided to modify it a little. They decided to get rid of the "o" between "g" and "l" and added an "e" after the "l". And so we got Google.

Gradually as the use of Google increased, the word was no longer confined to being a noun. It became a verb. And sentences like "let me google that for you" became a norm.

To mark its 22nd anniversary, Google also displayed a new doodle on Sunday. This new doodle showed letter G making video call to all other letters in the word Google. This was not only a fun act to mark the birthday of the search engine but also a nod to the times we are living in where video calling has become important.

  • Print

Tags: Google
A    A   A