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Is "Gaussian" the term preferred over "normal" when speaking of the distribution to which these names have been attached? Are they both referring to the same thing?

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These are equivalent. Both are correct. – Did Sep 21 '11 at 7:27
My impression is that probabilists and statisticians say "normal" and the word "Guassian" is used only by other people. – Michael Hardy Sep 21 '11 at 12:11
My probability theory prof in grad school only used "Gaussian." He always said, "There's nothing 'normal' about the Gaussian distribution." Physicists tend to use "Gaussian," too. – Mike Spivey Sep 21 '11 at 15:18
Edwin Jaynes proposed calling it the central distribution. – Michael Hardy Sep 21 '11 at 19:12
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The terms 'Gaussian distribution' and 'normal distribution' are equally correct and refer to the same distribution - neither is particularly preferred over the other.

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