If "Percent" is based off of the pseudo-latin "per centum", then it stands to reason that one could use numbers such as ten (decum) or thousand (mīlle) to construct similar words as "perdec" or "permill".

Are there such words and would they be decipherable to the public?

Searching "perdec" gives a lot of hits for companies and foreign surnames, and "perdecage" gives a few people essentially expressing my same thought process.

  • 1
    Would they be decipherable? Not nearly as much as "per ten" or "per thousand."
    – Juhasz
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 15:35
  • decipherable? As in a code? A 10% interest rate is high. 10 dollars for every 100. If you borrow 500 hundred dollars, you have to pay back $500 plus $50. If you were paying back $500 at a rate of $1000 for every $100, that would make it: $50,000. Percents are rates. I guess the Italians understood this.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


Yes there are

For example promile or per mille (‰) for 1/1,000th of something, which is used for describing water salinity and some other concentrations that need more precision.

I encountered in middle school geography class as part of standard school programme (the chapter/section/etc. on oceans), so I expect that yes, it should be recognisable. There are probably more obscure constructions that are less recognisable.

  • Another that shows up in finance is the basis point (one-ten-thousandth). ‱ Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 15:52
  • @David is that in order to save zeroes when they write interest rates? Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 16:40
  • @marcellothearcane In my experience it is mostly used internally to reference changes in rates (i.e. increase of 3 basis points meaning +0.03%). Financial institutions, at least in the U.S. where I work, are required to quote rates in a way that is very clear to customers who may not be familiar with terms like basis points. Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 16:47
  • @David I was being sarcastic :) That is interesting though! Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 17:10

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