Etymology Excursion:  Octagon, Octopus, October

Etymology is the study of where words come from.  In this Etymology Excursion, you’ll learn more about the word Octagon, and how the root of the word relates to the world around us.

Estimated Time:  5 – 60 minutes
Subjects:  Vocabulary, Linguistics, Geometry, Multiplication, Estimation
Ideal For: Families, Linguists, and People of All Ages

1. Get Familiar

A two dimensional shape that has 8 sides is called an Octagon.  Shown above are 10 different Ocatgons that can be made in Tile Farm Studio.

2. This Week’s Challenges


  • Can you find an Octagon in Tile Farm Studio?
  • Can you find an Octagon outside of Tile Farm, somewhere in the world around you?


  • Can you write “Octagon” in Tile Farm Studio?
  • In Tile Farm Studio, can you build or find all of the Octagons shown in the image above?


  • Can you build an Octagon that is made out of 32 triangles?
  • Can you make a tessellation with an Octagon in it?

3. Etymology Exploration

  • How are the words Octagon, Octopus, and October related?
  • What do you think Oct means?
  • What do you think ‘gon, ‘pod, and ‘ber mean?

4. Fun Facts & Calculations

Octagon–A red octagon is the universal symbol for “Stop” and used for stop signs in almost every country around the world.  Try estimating how many stop signs are in your neighborhood or town.

Octopus–There are roughly 300 species of octopi in the world.  If you had one animal from each species, how many octopus legs would there be?

October–In Ancient Rome, the calendar started in March instead of January, and thus October was the 8th month instead of the 10th month as it is now.  There are 31 days in October . . . how many October days are in a decade?

Looking for more exciting challenges and family activities in Tile Farm?  Discover more here.