In 19201, the American mathematician Edward Kasner asked his nine-year-old nephew Milton Sirotta to help him come up with a name for a very large number, ten to the power of one hundred. The boy said to call it a googol. So he did. Kasner intended this to be a number that would overflow people's minds, being bigger than anything that can ever be put into words. Another mathematician then shot back with googolplex, and defined it to be 10 to the power of googol. But really, that's just plain silly.
Googol and some of its friends:
Google.com is said to be named after this number.
1. The exact date is not certain, but the other date you often see, 1938, is the date of a Time magazine article that helped bring the googol into common usage.