In 1938 American mathematician Edward Kasner asked his two young nephews for the name of a huge arbitrary number, which Kasner set at one followed by one hundred zeros. Edward Sirotta, then nine years old, suggested googol which Kasner subsequently described in his book Mathematics and the Imagination two years later. Not satisfied with his feat, Edward Sirotta also suggested the name googolplex which he defined as a one followed writing zeros until you get tired. The word has no etymology or history-from the imaginative brain of a 9 year old boy into history!
Other names for the number googol include ten duotrigintillion (short scale), ten thousand sexdecillion (long scale) or ten sexdecilliard (Peletier scale).
It has notably been used in the last fourteen years in a slightly different spelling as the name of the world’s largest search engine.
Happy Birthday, Google!