I ran into this word yesterday, on my phone. When I read it, I thought its specificity was rather amusing. 🙂
A quincunx is a geometric pattern of five units arranged into the shape of a cross, with four of these being at right angles to one another and the fifth at the center. Essentially, it is the exact pattern of a five on any die one may find.
Its origin comes from Latin, where quincunx was the name of a coin whose value was five twelfths (5/12; in Latin: quinque + uncia) of the standard Roman bronze coin.
Funny enough, there’s no such word as quadcunx for a geometric pattern of four units.
Fortunately, there’s also no such word as sexcunx for a geometric pattern of six units – that would just leave a hole too large for puns to fill, I dare say. 😛
Want to read more about other uncommon words? 🙂 See the Interesting Words page.