Ampersand [Noun.]


The sign & (standing for and)

The word ampersand is the name for the symbol &, which is in fact a stylized form of the Latin et, meaning ‘and’. It had been used by the Romans since the first century B.C., but the symbol got its strange name in the 1800s, when schoolchildren were taught that & was the 27th letter of the alphabet. They ended their ABCs with ‘&, per se, and’ (per se being Latin for ‘by itself is’). The phrase eventually evolved into one word that is used now: ampersand.

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