I am writing a program and I like to name things well. I have to say if a value is in the thousands, millions, billions, or trillions. My question is what do we call the set of number names that are ",000" from each other?

I know I am looking for something like "order of magnitude" but that is powers of ten.

Edit: I know about the "long scale" vs. "short scale" issue. I am looking to see if there is a word that describes the set in English which as I understand it is always short scale.

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    So, um, how about powers of thousand, then. Or anything with short scale. Which is why naming variables is off-topic to begin with. Too many possibilities, and none are wrong. – RegDwigнt Jan 14 '14 at 18:21
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    How about "third order of magnitude"? Or just use SI prefixes. – Elliott Frisch Jan 14 '14 at 18:31
  • Keep in mind that depending on whether you're using the short or long scale, a million and a billion can be separated by a different distance. – Kevin Workman Jan 14 '14 at 18:35
  • I think long/short scale relates to the fact that BrE billion = million x million, and trillion = million x million. Or at least used to - we all adopt the AmE convention billion = thousand million, and trillion = thousand billion today. They didn't get anywhere with this question on cosmoquest.org back in 2008. – FumbleFingers Jan 14 '14 at 18:56
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    This is just a follow on to the Orders of Magnitude answer - there's a list here (Just for future reference) – Lindsay Morsillo Jan 15 '14 at 16:43

The general term is "orders of magnitude". These words define a certain multiple of a quantity and thus the overall size of the "scale" on which we are measuring, unlike a "unit of measure" which defines what a quantity of "one" is on the scale.

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