History of the @ symbol

16:13 - 17 Jule 2018

July 17, Fineko/abc.az. Did you know that the @ symbol used in e-mail addresses had existed some centuries before the Internet appeared?

Thus, this symbol denoted arroba - a unit of weight used in Portuguese and French during the Renaissance - in the XV - XVI centuries, equal to 12-13 kg. 

Subsequently, this symbol began to denote the abbreviated word "at" in English language.

The @ symbol was constantly used in commercial documents, so for the first time in 1885 it was marked on the underwood keyboard - the first example of typewriters.

Computer engineer Ray Tomlinson, who worked in American company BBN Technology, first turned to this symbol when creating a method of sending emails.  As Tomlison himself noted, his choice of this symbol is accidental. He said that he was looking for a symbol not used in anyone's names and having no analogues, and therefore chose the @ symbol.

Since 1980 the @ symbol has been approved as an international standard.

@ is a symbol widely used all over the world. In different languages, it is denoted in its own way, for example, Koreans call the sign @ a "snail", Russians and Ukrainians – a "dog", Turks – a "rose", Finns – a "sleeping cat", Hungarians – a "worm", Chinese – a "mouse", etc.

In China, the @ hieroglyph reads as " Ah TA" and means "love him".