An unpredictable person or thing, as in We don't know how the new pitcher will do—he's an unknown quantity. This expression comes from algebra, where it signifies an unknown numerical value. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1800s.
An unknown language was recently discovered―what’s its name and where was it found?Arunachal Pradesh is a state in the far northeast corner of India. It shares a border with Burma, Bhutan, and China. In the state there’s a district called East Kameng, a community of villages that have had few interactions with the outside world. And in that community, there are several thousand people who speak a language called Aka. Within the community of Aka speakers, however, …
What The “X” In “Xbox” Stands For?No letter in the English language gets around like X. The 24th letter of the alphabet shows up everywhere, from the popular Xbox to standing in for a signature on legal documents. It represents a chromosome, signifies the multiplication process, and marks “the spot” on treasure maps. Let’s explore just a few of the uses of this versatile letter. The story behind the X in Xbox …
- unknown soldier,
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.