Where does SOHCAHTOA come from?
Examples of SOHCAHTOA
Who uses SOHCAHTOA?
Many English speakers have remarked on the sound of SOHCAHTOA, comparing it to the names of Native Americans like Sacajawea. One illustration of SOHCAHTOA has featured the right triangle as a mountain and imagines SOHCAHTOA as an American Indian chief. While SOHCAHTOA can be fun to say, as is often noted of the mnemonic, these comparisons can be very insensitive and offensive.
While mostly used by teachers and students in educational contexts often in the 9th grade (ages 14–15) and paired with visual aids, SOHCAHTOA is sometimes used in internet memes, mocking the perceived uselessness of trigonometry in adult life. Other memes use the phrase as the subject of an academic or “nerd” joke, often making trigonometry puns using the images of real and fictional characters in popular culture.
Some alternative or embellished SOHCAHTOA mnemonics include Tommy On A Ship Of His Caught A Herring (perhaps better known in the UK), Studying Our Homework Can Always Help To Obtain Achievement, and Some Old Hippy Caught Another Hippy Tripping On Acid.
This is not meant to be a formal definition of SOHCAHTOA like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of SOHCAHTOA that will help our users expand their word mastery.