symbols, acronyms & abbreviations
arroba ? – present.
anifora The earliest known record of its use is that found by Giorgio Stabile in a letter written by a Florentine merchant on 4 May 1536.
In 1885, the @ symbol appeared on the Underwood typewriter keyboard.
In 1971, during the development of the mail system in ARPAnet, Ray Tomlinson decided to distinguish between local addressees and those at some other host. The external addresses were named by inserting @ before the name of the "foreign" host. He chose the @ symbol because it was available on the keyboard, would not be expected to occur in the names of persons or domains and from the appropriateness of the commercial sense of "at".
Spanish speaking teenagers began to use the character in text messaging to create gender-free words: “Holla amig@s!”
Most of these are taken from a survey conducted on The Linguist List by Karen Steffen Chung; see linguistlist.org/issues/11/11-1740.html#1
|Catalan||arrova||from the unit of measure|
|Slovak||zavinàc||rollmops (rolled pickled fish)|
|apestaartje or apestaart||monkey's tail|
|round at||proofreader use|
|Finnish||miau merkki||meow mark|
|Japanese||atto maaku||at mark|
|ucho s'wini||pig's ear|
|Portuguese||arroba||from the unit|
|snabel-A||(elephant's) trunk a|
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Last revised: 17 January 2005.