The Ampersand

The ampersand symbol (“&”) is a longtime favorite of designers and typographers. The odd, curvy symbol actually dates back to the first century.

When the Latin word “et”, meaning “and” was written in cursive by Roman scribes, the word was conjoined to create the symbol we know today. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the word “ampersand” came about. The symbol was the last letter of the alphabet and was recited as “and per se and”, meaning “and by itself, and.” Eventually, like the symbol itself, the words blurred together to create a new word: ampersand.

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By Spider (Spider) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons