How execute we at this time use the # symbol?

On Twitter, Facebook, and also Instagram, you tag your friends v the
symbol and you sign topics v the #. If you watch something that says “#WordoftheDay,” the tweet or article has other to execute with native of the Day. And, as soon as you click on that marked topic, you’ll likely see all public posts about it. It’s a great tool for finding world who are talking about a particular subject (and because that categorizing images of your wonderful pet). But, what execute we call the # symbol? And, whereby did the come from? few of its names are common . . . Some not so much.

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What is the # prize called?

1: The pound sign. This name involved be due to the fact that the symbol originates from the abbreviation for weight, lb, or libra pondo, accurate “pound by weight,” in Latin. When writing “lb,” scribes often crossed the letters v a line across the top, like a t.


2: The number sign. This phrase occurred in Britain due to the fact that pound sign could easily be perplexed with the brothers currency. And also of course, the # price is sometimes talked as words “number,” together in “#2 pencil.”

3: The hashtag. The native hash precedes these other names (but wasn’t an extremely popular until recently). A hash has described stripes on army jackets because as early on as 1910. But, in the 1980s, civilization started using hash to refer to the # symbol. Due to the fact that the ascent of social media and also its brand-new prominence in everyday life, hashtag has become the favored name.

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4: The octothorpe. It’s the official name because that the # symbol, however what does the mean? It’s in reality a made-up word, developed in the very same laboratories where the telephone came from. The scientists at Bell Laboratories amendment the phone call keypad in the at an early stage 1960s and added the # symbol come send instructions to the telephone operation system. Because the # symbol didn’t have a name, the technicians believed one up. Castle knew it need to be dubbed octo- something due to the fact that it had actually eight ends about the edge. What happened next is not completely clear. According to one report, Bell rap employee Don MacPherson called it ~ the Olympian Jim Thorpe. An additional former employee insurance claims it was a rash word, expected as a joke. One more unverifiable report is much more etymologically satisfying: The Old Norse word thorpe meant “farm or field,” so octothorpe literally method “eight fields.”

How else has the # symbol been used?

Similar symbols show up in countless other places. Musicians identify # as the sharp symbol, denoting a note one fifty percent step higher. Copy editors watch a symbol an interpretation “space,” together in “add a space between 2 sentences.” In computer code, the # symbol method that everything that complies with is just comment, no instruction.

Such a little symbol through such a substantial amount of definition . . . What other names will the future organize for the long lasting #?