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ampersand

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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English

Punctuation marks

apostrophe ( ' ) ( )
brackets ( ( ) ) ( [ ] ) ( { } ) ( )
colon ( : )
comma ( , )
dashes ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
ellipsis ( )
exclamation mark ( ! )
full stop/period ( . )
hyphen ( - ) ( )
interrobang ( )
question mark ( ? )
quotation marks ( ) ( )
semicolon ( ; )
slash/solidus ( / )
space (   ) and interpunct ( · )

Other typographer’s marks

ampersand ( & )
asterisk ( * ) and asterism ( )
at-sign ( @ )
backslash ( \ )
bullet ( , more )
dagger ( )
degrees ( ° )
number sign ( # )
prime ( )
tilde ( ~ )
underscore ( _ )
vertical bar/pipe ( | )

Etymology

A contraction of "and per se and", meaning "and (the character) '&' by itself", which is how the symbol (&) was originally referred to in English. This formulation is due to the fact that in schools, when reciting the alphabet, any letter that could also be used as a word in itself ("A," "I," "&" and, at one point, "O") was preceded by the Latin expression per se ([[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] for "by itself"). Also, it was common practice to add at the end of the alphabet the "&" sign, pronounced "and". Thus the end of the recitation would be: "X, Y, Z and per se and." This last phrase was routinely slurred to "ampersand" and the term crept into common English usage by around 1837.

  • The character itself (&) is a stylized e and t, or et, the Latin word for "and". Romans used such symbols (ligature) at least since the first century AD, but the character may not have acquired its present form until the advent of calligraphy in the Middle Ages.

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
ampersand

Plural
{{{1}}}

ampersand ({{{1}}})
  1. The symbol "&" itself.
    The ampersand character in many logics acts as an operator connecting two propositions.
  2. A substitute for the word and in any context (though not generally used outside of signs and titles).
    Smith & Sons Hardware
    Style & Substance, A Writer’s Handbook

Translations

See also

The "Roman" ampersand on the left is stylised, but the "italic" one on the right is clearly similar to "et".

Elsewhere on the web

En-En

En-It

En-Fr

En-El

En-Sp

En-Mul

En-De

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