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Do You Want To Know Why K Stands For A 1000? This Is The Real Reason Why!!

By Andrew Alpin, 22 December 2017

Today it is standard procedure to write a thousand as a “K”. We do it without a second thought but how many really know the actual reason behind the K. Read on to find out why thousand is written by K. It’s pretty interesting actually since we are so used to using K as a thousand, yet we never stop to think why we do it.

The letter K has gone under much revision from its ancient usage in the Greek alphabet till today in the English language.

Do You Want To Know Why K Stands For A 1000 This Is The Real Reason Why!!

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To have money is to have power

Well, as they say money makes the world go round which is why it is extremely important for every person in the world today.  Without money, life can be tough especially when you’re stuck in a rut.  When you have loads of money, you can even dye your head orange and become the President of a nation, because money invariable means you have power status, education, well even if you didn’t possess these things, your money will blind that fact so it’s ok.

But mind you, while there are people overjoyed at getting extra cash, there are many who though filthy rich are still very depressed even though they have everything in life. But that’s beside the point.

To have money is to have power

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2The Origins of K draws back to ancient Greek script

Although the letter K is the eleventh letter of the modern English alphabet, The K has its origins in the Greek word for thousand which was Chilloi.

The Origins of K draws back to ancient Greek script

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3The French shortened the word

 The French soon adopted the same word to denote as a thousand. This they converted into the Kilo taking the phonetic sound of CH and replacing it with a K. Thus a kilo began to denote a measurement of 1000. However it still wasn’t intended for the K to be used as a standalone symbol of the numerical 1000. It was used as a prefix to various standards of volume and measurement such as Kilo-grams, kilotons, kiloliters etc.

The person responsible for this is Antoine Lavoisier and his research group in 17895 who played around with the word Chilloi and officially created the term KILO. This was integrated officially into the French metric system in 1799.

The French shortened the word

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4The first step to using K for thousand

This could have been the first step to the practice of using the K as a thousand but there are many more interesting references to it in history.

The first step to using K for thousand

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5It relates to a verse in the bible

There is a reference to the K in the Bible Book of revelations 20:2- “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a THOUSAND years.”… Although today’s standard text says a thousand years, the earlier ancient versions of the gospels contain either original Hebrew or Aramaic. The very first translation was in Greek. Thus the thousand years of today’s bible was actually a reference to an uncertain period of time in the ancient versions.

It relates to a verse in the bible

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6The K actually stood for the Greek word Kappa

To be more precise, the K stands for the Greek letter “kappa”. This slowly began to be used as a phonetic sound and was later replaced more with the “C” .Ultimately the sound of CH together again began to be used as a K by the French.

The K actually stood for the Greek word Kappa

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7K In Place of Thousand

Once the French had adopted the prefix, the K began to gain prominence where people would start using it verbally while referring it to a thousand. Thus instead of saying twenty thousand people began saying twenty K

The trend of using K verbally soon spilt over in official communication, labeling of prices, financial discussions etc till today the Letter K is very much regarded as a thousand. So instead of 1000, it’s easier to say 1 K. What one can safely conclude that while K has its main origins in the Greek alphabet, it is the French who advocated the change of Chilloi to Kilo. This means that the answer to the question why thousand is written as K is that it was developed by the French as a measurement of one thousand.

K In Place of Thousand

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8K stands for other things too

The letter K has been adopted by many other elements of mathematics and science. Those knowing their basic school science will know that

  • K stands for potassium
  • K stands for Kelvin (unit of thermodynamic temperature)
  • K now means 1000 times
  • K stands for a strikeout in baseball
  • K stands for “its over” in morse code
  • K stands for boltzmann’s constant in physics.
  • If you have more suggestions about the letter K feel free to comment below

K stands for other things too

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