Posted By P & L Blog

 Punctuation Marks

 

English speakers usually refer to it as the "at sign", but other languages are much more creative.  Many languages use the shape of the symbol as their inspiration: Czechs and Slovakians use zavináč (rollmop), Italians say chiocciola (snail), in Dutch it is an apenstaartje (monkey tail),  and it's a shtrudel in Hebrew.

 

Animal references are also popular. Polish speakers call it a malpa (monkey), the Greeks say παπάκ (duckling),  and the Taiwanese refer to it as a  hsiao lao shu (little mouse).  All are certainly more entertaining the official English typographic name which is "commercial at".

 

Image by Horia Varlan under Creative Commons license.

 

 
2 Comment(s):
Janine said...
Andrei, Thanks for sharing that. I hadn't heard that one before! Janine
March 2, 2010 04:51:44
 
Andrei Shmatkov said...
In Russian we call it "собака" (a dog).
February 28, 2010 05:28:20
 
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