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Calculate

is from the Latin calculi (pebbles), used by the Romans for counters. In the abacus, the round balls were called calculi, and it was by this instrument the Roman boys were taught to count and calculate. The Greeks voted by pebbles dropped into an urn- a method adopted both in ancient Egypt and Syria; counting these pebbles was “calculating” the number of voters. (See page 2, col. 1, Abacus.)

I calculate.
A peculiarity of expression common in the western states of North America. In the southern states the phrase is “I reckon,” in the middle states “I expect,” and in New England “I guess.” All were imported from the mother country by early settlers.

“Your aunt sets two tables, I calculate; don't she?” —Susan Warner: Queechy (vol. i. chap. xix.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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