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11 symbols you encounter every day without knowing what they mean

7/ The ⌘ symbol

The symbol ⌘ featured on the Command key on Mac keyboards is in fact inspired by a road sign indicating areas of historical and touristic interest in Nordic countries.


8/ The & symbol

Also known by the poetic name ‘ampersand’, the & symbol comes from the very ancient past: invented by Tiron, Ciceron’s secretary, it is the result of a mixture between E and T (for “et”, or “and”) in their Merovingian forms.


9/ The # symbol

The hashtag, of which internet users are so fond, didn’t come down in the last shower. The symbol, which means ‘sharp’, was previously present on punch cards on which it was used to signify a number. In 1978, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie defined it in computer protocols, meaning that key words would start with a # in order to give them priority.

Credits: Pixabay

10/ The peace sign

The peace sign is based on an English signalling code, incorporating the letters N and D, for “Nuclear Disarmament”.

Credits: Pixabay

11/ The @ symbol

The @ symbol is nothing new. In fact, it is so ancient that its origins are now unclear. As far as we know, it goes back to merchant writing systems in the Renaissance: it could have been a way to abbreviate “at the rate of”, indicating the price of merchandise. For example, “6 eggs at 1 dollar”.

Credits: Pixabay