I never heard of the word "triggeronomy." What does it mean?

“She’s bright,” Harlan said. “Mrs. McReady at school says Shan’s the brightest pupil she’s taught in her whole career, and that stretches back almost 40 years. She’s good in English, and she’s even better in the maths, which Mrs. McReady says is rare in girls. She can do triggeronomy, Wilf. Did you know that? Mrs. McReady herself can’t do triggeronomy.” No, I hadn’t known, but I knew how to say the word. I felt, however, that this might not be the time to correct my neighbor’s pronunciation. -- Full Dark, No Stars , Stephen King

  • @bof It seems very plausible. Thanks for your help.
    – Stroller
    Feb 4, 2016 at 8:00
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    The excerpt itself ends by referring to "my neighbor's pronunciation"—presumably alluding to the pronunciation "triggeronomy." It's not a real word in any case, at least as dictionaries understand the term "real word." It's hard to imagine that anything other than trigonometry was the speaker's target word.
    – Sven Yargs
    Feb 4, 2016 at 8:01
  • It's most likely to be "trigonometry" and an intentional misspelling by the author to aid the narrative.
    – BiscuitBoy
    Feb 4, 2016 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


The word triggeronomy is the father's impression of the word trigonometry. He has fused the first half of the word with an ending that's commonly heard in other scientific contexts, probably from the word astronomy. The father is showing off here about his daughter, but the speaker is mainly noticing the fact that, ironically, the father doesn't know what trigonometry is or how to say it. Triggeronomy is not a real word.

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    Thanks for your answer. For other people who read this post later, Harlan isn't the mother, but it doesn't matter to solve the question itself.
    – Stroller
    Feb 4, 2016 at 12:05
  • @stroller What's the relationship between the Harlan and the girl? (then I can edit it into the naswer :-)) Feb 4, 2016 at 13:19
  • @stroller What's the relationship between the Harlan and the girl? (then I can edit it into the answer :-)) Feb 4, 2016 at 13:28
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    Harlan is Shan's father. I don't know why I didn't simply mention it before. Maybe I was a bit overwhelmed by a suggestion edit box.
    – Stroller
    Feb 4, 2016 at 18:56
  • @Stroller Lots of things are a bit formidbale-seeming when you first get on here! Thing is to play around a bit and have fun! Welcome to ELU. Keep posting interesting questions! Feb 4, 2016 at 19:12

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