The term hexadecimal was not the first name used for base 16 numbers in computing. Originally, these were called sexadecimal numbers. This is actually the correct term, since Latin prefixes (sexa-) are normally used for numbers, not Greek ones (hexa-). However, in the early 1950s, IBM decided that the word sexadecimal was just a little too provocative for their tastes, so they changed it to hexadecimal. IBM being IBM—especially back then—meant everyone else followed suit.