the @This symbol has various titles in English, such as the “atmark,” the “at” sign, and the “commercial at.”

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the origin is not entirely certain: “One theory is that medieval monks, looking for shortcuts while copying manuscripts, converted the Latin word for “toward”—ad—to “a” with the back part of the “d” as a tail. Or it came from the French word for “at”—à—and scribes, striving for efficiency, swept the nib of the pen around the top and side. Or the symbol evolved from an abbreviation of “each at”—the “a” being encased by an “e.” The first documented use was in 1536, in a letter by Francesco Lapi, a Florentine merchant, who used @ to denote units of wine called amphorae, which were shipped in large clay jars.”

Apparently, it has better titles in other languages. This is what I could find so far:

In Denmark, it is called “snabel-a”, “snabel” meaning the trunk of an elephant.”

In Dutch, it is called “apestaart,” which means “monkey’s tail.”

In Hungarian, it is called “kukac,” or “”kukatsz,” which means “worm or maggot.”

In Israel, it is sometimes called “strudel,” as it resembles a cut piece of the pastry.

In Italian, it is called “chiocciola,” which means “snail” or “chiocciolina,” which means “small snail.”

In Norwegian, it is called “kroellalfa,” meaning “curled a.”In Polish it is called “małpa,” meaning “monkey.”

In Welsh, it is called “makwen,” which means “snail.”

Categories: DGG