# Why does $\mathbb{Z}$ denote the set of integers?

The set of Natural Numbers is denoted by $\mathbb N$ (For Natural)

The set of Rationals are denoted by $\mathbb Q$ (for quotient)

The set of Complex numbers are denoted by $\mathbb C$ (for complex)

The set of Real numbers are denoted by $\mathbb R$ (for Real)

Why is the set of integers denoted by $\mathbb Z$?

• Zahl(en) = number(s) , in german. – DonAntonio Sep 26 '13 at 16:31
• Was the title inspired by this question? math.stackexchange.com/questions/493739/… EDIT: The title was changed to something more reasonable. – Oscar Cunningham Sep 26 '13 at 16:33
• I guess it is because the Germans happen to inhabit Earth (and Germany in particular for the most of them, but notational conventions often, and fortunately, do transgress national boundaries). – Marc van Leeuwen Sep 26 '13 at 16:51
• A stupid memory aid is IntegerZ. – JP McCarthy Sep 26 '13 at 17:18
• Huh, I thought $\Bbb N$ was for "numbers". – MJD Sep 26 '13 at 18:30

## 1 Answer

I typed "Integers" into Google. The first hit was Wikipedia.

In the second paragraph it says "The set of all integers is often denoted by a boldface Z... which stands for Zahlen (German for numbers)."

• And you made this an =answer= instead of a comment? – nilo de roock Sep 26 '13 at 16:38
• @ndroock1 Does it not answer the question?! – Fly by Night Sep 26 '13 at 17:03
• My point being: 9 upvotes ( sofar ) for a Wikipedia lookup, that's worse than plagiarism. – nilo de roock Sep 26 '13 at 17:37
• @ndroock1 You obviously don't understand the way this site works. It isn't a "show how clever you are by posting original research" site. It's a site where we try to answer questions. If a reliable source can be provided then so much the better. Upvotes are given for "useful" answers. Obviously nine people feel that answering the question and supplying a reference is useful. Don't you? – Fly by Night Sep 26 '13 at 17:41
• Math.StackExchange: the show where everything is made up and the points don't matter! – MJD Sep 26 '13 at 18:29