14. August 2014

A useful word

I was reading a paper the other day and came across the word aleatory. This turns out to be an excellent word. It comes from the Latin alea for “dice”, as in alea jacta est, which is what you say when you’re Julius Caesar and you cross the Rubicon. It means random, or subject to chance. It seems to come up mainly in legal contexts: an aleatory contract is one whose terms depend on future events, like an insurance policy. This got me thinking about other words for the property of randomness.