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Wikipedia credits Bourbaki with coining it, but doesn't provide a source. Does anyone happen to know the motivation for using this term?

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Perhaps you should add the (ho.history-overview) tag? – Alex Becker Jul 25 '12 at 22:33
One theory I've seen is that the term comes from the (perceived) primordial, amorphous nature of molten rock – Yemon Choi Jul 25 '12 at 22:36
A similar thing was asked here… – user9072 Jul 25 '12 at 22:48
My answer seems to agree with the stack exchange one. – Benjamin Steinberg Jul 25 '12 at 22:52
So it isn't a typo for gamma? Gerhard "Commutative Algebra Is For Lysdexics" Paseman, 2012.07.25 – Gerhard Paseman Jul 25 '12 at 23:47
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The second definition in would seem to answer your question and agrees with the wiki page.

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Interesting that the French use the word in several ways, but English has only the one meaning, the geological. – Lubin Jul 26 '12 at 5:15
This definitely seems like the most likely explanation. Thanks a lot! – Xander Flood Aug 5 '12 at 20:33

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