What is that "and" character called?
November 29, 2005 5:53 PM   Subscribe

What do they call that "and" character that looks like a reversed 3 and where did it come from?

It looks like a reversed 3 with lines coming above and below it. I don't know if I'm explaining it right, but I see people drawing that "and" character more often than I see ampersands. What's the origin of that? What's it called?
posted by mkn to Writing & Language (12 answers total)
 
According to this wikipedia entry it's just the easiest way of writing an ampersand - a corruption of the "&". Not sure if that helps at all.
posted by bunglin jones at 5:58 PM on November 29, 2005


I've known them as "The Poorman's Ampersand" or "The Lazy And"
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:58 PM on November 29, 2005


Believe it or not, that is an ampersand. That's just how some people draw one. Some fonts (example) have odd-looking ampersands, too.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:01 PM on November 29, 2005


That makes sense. I though there might have been a special meaning/usage to it, but it's just another form of the ampersand. That was quick.
posted by mkn at 6:01 PM on November 29, 2005


Here's a better font example.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:02 PM on November 29, 2005


Since an ampersand is a stylized "Et" the "reversed 3" is actually a stylized "E."
posted by grouse at 6:08 PM on November 29, 2005


Both the symbol you're describing and the run-of-the-mill ampersand are both evolved ligatures for the Latin "Et".

(It's why you sometimes see "etc." written as "&c.")
posted by Robot Johnny at 6:09 PM on November 29, 2005


Ha!! That link was way off! This is better
posted by Robot Johnny at 6:11 PM on November 29, 2005


It's the 'secretary form' of the ampersand, associated with Elizabethan 'secretary hand'. You'll see variants on the 'curly e with slash' (bottom image, bottom right).
posted by holgate at 6:14 PM on November 29, 2005


cerebus19's second link is how I write "and" longhand. I've been doing it forever---I don't know where I picked it up. Elementary school, I think.
posted by bonehead at 6:44 PM on November 29, 2005


Adobe's history of the Ampersand is nice.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:58 PM on November 29, 2005



Ampersand: Symbol “&” — a scribal abbreviation for “and”. There are many forms and styles. All of them are derived from the Latin word et. The name originates from the expression “and per se and”. One of the first cases of usage was found in Roman manuscript of 75 AD.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:48 PM on November 29, 2005


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