(Ed: for convenience of typing T and E are used here for ten and eleven)

Names and other ideas

by Bryan Parry

I had never seen a *good* base 12 number system. Thus, I created this one (which hopefully is).

I have adopted a variant of the symbols for nine plus one and nine plus two as supported by the dozenal society of Great Britain.

Where I have deviated from normal numbers where you might not expect me to (eg. Nine = "en") I have done so for practical reasons only.

I have tried to create reasonable and distinct sounding names, that are easy to say.
The "teens" are accommodated by the suffix -twe, and the dozens beyond that by the suffix -do.

Occasionally, you may note "blips" in the spelling such as ad + twe = addwe. This is a simple matter of assimilation, that which occurs so that adjoining consonants move to the same point of articulation etc (for ease of speech). Thus, sometimes "-do" becomes -to.
Occasionally, some vowels may also be missed (eg. One + twe = ontwe). This, too, is for pronounciation and language reasons. Sometimes, though, I have not done this when by pattern I should have - this is so as to indicate pronounciation.

2 Two
3 Three
4 Four
5 Five
6 Six
7 Sept (pronounced "set", like the French number for seven)
8 Ad
9 En
T Dene (pr. "deen"
E Elf (German for eleven)
10 Twelve
11 Ontwe
12 Tutwe (pr. Tut-wee or too-tway)
13 Thretwe (pr. Thret-wee, thret-way)
14 Fortwe
15 Fiftwe (sometimes I pronounce this "fye-wee")
16 Sixtwe (I have come to pronounce this as "sight-wee")
17 Septwe (set-wee, set-way)
18 Addwe
19 Entwe
1T Dentwe (sometimes denetwe - "den-et-way")
1E Elftwe (I usually do not pronounce the t here)
20 Tudo (pr. "too-doh")
21 Tudo one
22 Tudo two
23 Tudo three
30 Thredo (I often pronounce this as "thray-doh")
40 Fordo
50 Fifto
60 Sixto
70 Septto/Seddo (Pr. "Sept-toh" or "set-toh" or "see-doh")
80 Addo
90 Endo
T0 Denedo
E0 Elfto
100 Gross
1000 Grand
1,000,000 Milliad

The present year, (2003ad) / 11TE ad = Ontwe Denedo elf (or) One grand, One gross and denedo-elf

As far as higher powers go, it depends really on whether you are using the one thousand million = 1 billion system, or the one million million = 1 billion system. I will not impose, but will say that the higher names are:

1 grand milliad (or) 1 milliad milliad = 1 billiad
1 milliad milliad (or) 1 milliad milliad milliad = 1 trilliad
1 grand^6 (or) 1 milliad^6 = 1 hexiad
1 grand^*10 (or) 1 milliad^*10 = 1 uniad

I hope you got that. I shall rephrase, in case you did not:

One dozenal "million" = 1 milliad
One dozenal "billion" = 1 billiad
One dozenal "trillion" = 1 trilliad
One trilliad times by one trilliad = 1 hexiad
One hexiad times one hexiad = 1 uniad.

The values are different, obviously, due to the two different number systems used worldwide.

Even higher numbers are formed in the usual way. That is, the numbers + iad (illion in decimal). So, Grossiad, for instance.


I reject the often-heard "-dek", amongst others, as I view them as aesthetically displeasing. If a number has to be changed, the goal is to make it easy to say, distinct, possibly vaguely English, and aesthetically pleasing (at least not distasteful).

The symbols I use for dene and elf are borrowed from Arabic, hence their strange style. These are as close as word can come to the *actual* dozenal symbols for these. Though, these symbols are almost exactly right, just move them up onto the line, and Romanise their curves. Dene is like a cursive t, and elf is a back-to-front *rounded* three.

I believe this to be a full and useful system of dozenal numeration. Obviously it is not "final", in as much as pronounciation changes, new ways are found to distinguish things, etc. (All comments welcome!).