One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
One thousand million (a term now largely superseded by billion).
- ‘The exports and imports of the world had, in 1840, a value of 28, in 1889 of 74, milliards of marks.’
- ‘Of course, we used to use the word milliard for ‘one thousand million’.’
- ‘The only one of these which has gained any currency in English is milliard (for a thousand million) but it must be quite unfamiliar to most people today.’
Late 18th century: French, from mille ‘thousand’.
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