ampersand (n.) 1837, contraction of and per se and, meaning " (the character) '&' by itself is 'and' " (a hybrid phrase, partly in Latin, partly in English). The symbol is based on the Latin word et "and," and comes from an old Roman system of shorthand signs (ligatures), attested in Pompeiian graffiti, but not (as sometimes stated) from the Tironian Notes, which was a different form of shorthand, probably invented by Cicero's companion Marcus Tullius Tiro, which used a different symbol, something like a reversed capital gamma, to indicate et. This Tironian symbol was maintained by some medieval scribes, including Anglo-Saxon chroniclers, who sprinkled their works with a symbol like a numeral 7 to indicate the word and. In old schoolbooks the ampersand was printed at the end of the alphabet and thus by 1880s had acquired a slang sense of "posterior, rear end, hindquarters."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Ampersand — Am per*sand, n. [A corruption of and, per se and, i. e., & by itself makes and.] A word used to describe the character ?, ?, or &. Halliwell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ampersand — |émper sénde| s. m. Sinal gráfico (&) usado para substituir a conjunção e, notadamente em nomes comerciais. = E COMERCIAL   ‣ Etimologia: palavra inglesa …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • ampersand — is the name of the symbol & used as a short form of ‘and’. It was used extensively by H. W. Fowler, both in print and in writing, and is most common in handwritten work, although the more cursive plus sign + is tending to oust it. It also occurs… …   Modern English usage

  • ampersand — ► NOUN ▪ the sign &, standing for and or the Latin et. ORIGIN alteration of and per se and ‘& by itself is and’, chanted as an aid to learning the sign …   English terms dictionary

  • ampersand — [am′pər sand΄] n. [< and per se and, lit., (the sign) & by itself (is) and] a sign (& or ℰ) meaning and: it represents the Latin word et (and) …   English World dictionary

  • Ampersand — This article is about the symbol. For the magazine, see Ampersand (magazine). Ampersand Punctuation …   Wikipedia

  • Ampersand — Satzzeichen , –, , ―  . ,  , ,  ; ,  : ,  … ,  ·  ¿, ?, !, ¡, ‽, ؟ „…“, »…« … …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ampersand — UK [ˈæmpə(r)ˌsænd] / US [ˈæmpərˌsænd] noun [countable] Word forms ampersand : singular ampersand plural ampersands the symbol &, used in writing instead of the word and Smith & Company …   English dictionary

  • ampersand — noun /ˈæm.pə(ɹ).sænd,ˈæmp.ə(ɹ)ˌzænd/ The symbol . The ampersand character in many logics acts as an operator connecting two propositions …   Wiktionary

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