# Why do mathematicians call ~ 'twiddle'?

Every one of my lecturers have always called it this, as do I, despite the fact that I know its properly called 'tilde'. Does anyone have any clue where this convention comes from and why it might have became (somewhat) standard?

• A mathematician may call ~ twiddle if his teacher did. Personally, I call it tilde because my earliest teacher did. – Gerald Edgar Nov 28 '18 at 22:43
• Tilde is from Spanish tildar (Latin titulus), a diacritic sign above some Spanish letters, twiddle is similar sounding and means wiggle, so it is a pretty apt name for it. – Conifold Nov 29 '18 at 0:30

• I think that the question is exactly that why is it that the word "twiddle" is used for the diacritical mark "tilde" over a letter as in saying "ay twiddle" for $\tilde a$. It is possible that this usage is restricted to mathematics (as in the question). The fact that they are not the same is the underlying reason for the question. – Sándor Kovács Dec 4 '18 at 6:07