English Idioms

Do you know where the typographic character '&' comes from?

I don't know it.


  • Waou !! What a question!!!
    I don't know either!!
    I'll investigate for sure!!!
    Peace Out,
    Willy -
  • Helen tells us that Latinists took fancy to melt both letters of the copula to build up the monogram.

    I was rather inclined to believe it had been created by Beethoven himself when looking at the score of his ninth symphony reflecting in the fating waters of the Lake Constance. Pointing at the G clef lying on the first stave, he shouted “Und zusammen Europa Volks…” You know what happened to Europe. Ludwig was right about EU and its hymn. And as the shape of the musical G clef reflecting in a mirror looks exactly like the character & , he had made a great deal. & was about to become a sign of melting in union.
    I thought so… until Helen showed me the right way.

    The ampersand is a monogram dating to the first century AD. At that time any writing was handwriting and as you probably know, many writers took pleasure at artistry writing. That’s why the ampersand has been written in several shapes through the ages, and the mirror-picture of a musical G clef is only a present common one.

    Ampersand, name of the character &, is the alteration of AND (&) PER SE AND [Webster’s dic.]. The Latin PER SE means in English “by itself”.
    Thus, (the character) & by itself (is the word) and.
    Isn’t it boosting to be oneself? Lol.

    In French it’s called “esperluette”. I presume it comes from the alteration of “ET (&) PER SE LU ET” . That’s it! (le caractère) & (est) par (lui-même) lu et.
    I’m not sure to be right about the French build up of esperluette but I’m relying on Helen Bird to show me the right way.

    What’s is pretty useful to know, is that the ampersand is much more common in English than in French. In French it’s mainly used in commercial fields. But in English it’s used at any corner of the pen. I’ve just received a mail from Wales; the couple sign their letter Bob & Sylvia. A letter in French would have been signed Robert et Sylvie.
  • I don't know it.
  • It's a fancy way of writing Latin 'Et' isn't it?

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