# Are there textbooks that cover most etymological aspects of mathematics?

In most of the science textbooks I read, I observed that most of them contain the terms, definitions and etymology too.

But nowadays, the mathematics textbooks are becoming more formal and contain only the relevant terms and their corresponding definitions.

Consider the following scenario:

The probability mass function is a function from the powerset of a sample space to [0,1].

The probability density function is a positive function that integrates to 1 on totality.

Both are formal definitions. Needs to be remembered.

There is some intuitive explanation regarding why we call mass function and density function. First, one tells about the value directly and hence called mass and the second one gives information about probability or area under it as probability and hence it is called a density function.

Do the textbooks covering all these aspects in historical etymology view exist for major fields of mathematics?

• "all etymological aspects" is a bit broad. For example, in "probability mass function," do you also want the etymology for "probability" and "function"? – Joel Reyes Noche May 12 '19 at 13:37
• jeff560.tripod.com/mathword.html – user5402 May 12 '19 at 18:27
• Your question remains unclear. In your title you ask for a textbook/reference "that cover most etymological aspects of mathematics". If that's your question, than you've received an excellent link in the comments, and an answer. In the body of your question you address, particularly, the probability mass function and the probability density function, and indicate in your comment to JoelReyesNoche that you "need the etymology for probability or function if there is any reason behind them like mass and density." So it seems you are asking for a probability text that includes... – amWhy May 17 '19 at 14:20
• ... references to the historical development of the field of probability, which accompanies the introduction of each major new term with an "aside" that shares the origin of the term? – amWhy May 17 '19 at 14:22
• One book I’ve found which blends actual mathematics and a relatively large amount of history/context is Remmert’s Theory of Complex Functions. As you might imagine, it’s about complex analysis, and it is focused on teaching analysis, rather than discussing etymology — but when it touches on history/etymology/motivation, it does so quite well in my opinion. – pjs36 Jun 7 '19 at 3:53