# What is the origin of the names of the Greeks?

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask or if I should head over to HSM (where they may object, too), anyhow:

What is the origin of the names of the Greeks? Who introduced those weird names, and why did they take over instead of other more conventional symbols?

In particular, what do people do when they have to use them in a formula, in practice? Us other real Greek or Latin letters instead of their names? Are there standard replacement letters? Why did these letter not take over the original names?

• Check out quant.stackexchange.com/q/134/848 – Bob Jansen Nov 22 '20 at 16:02
• In the beginning there were only three, $\delta,\gamma,\theta$ which are all greek letters. After this there were many others studied and named according to people's imagination and not according to the greek alphabet. But the overall name "The Greeks" has continued to be used. – noob2 Nov 22 '20 at 16:09

It's a very interesting question, but it's very broad. Each risk measure has its own etymology.

There's definitely a tendency by some practitioners to make up cutesy names for concepts, which is not limited to quantitative finance.

For example, fugit comes from the popular Latin phrase tempus fugit. According to the Wikipedia article,

The term was first introduced by Mark Garman in an article "Semper tempus fugit" published in 1989. The Latin term "tempus fugit" means "time flies" and Garman suggested the name because "time flies especially when you're having fun managing your book of American options".

I was recently in a situation where some FX people were throwing about terms "rega" and "sega" and did not expect me to know what they meant.

It's somewhat similar to how biologists describe some new species and get to name them. Or at least propose a new name. You could usually write quite a bit about each name's origin and history.

• "sega" is funny because it can have a slightly naughty meaning in the Italian language :)) – noob2 Nov 22 '20 at 16:20
• Was it not named after the entertainment system? – Bob Jansen Nov 22 '20 at 16:23
• "Sega" is also a Japanese video game maker. Looking, for example, at Uwe Wystup. FX options and structured products. Table 231 on page 245, we see Aera, Rega, and Sega. I must admit, I don't remember what Aega is. I only know the other two. So I googled and found a web page mathfinance.com/newsletter-341 that mentions Revga and Bufga. – Dimitri Vulis Nov 22 '20 at 16:25