Ampersand



a character or symbol (& or ) for and :
Smith & Jones, Inc.
Contemporary Examples

And he devotes an entire chapter to the beauties of the ampersand.
Mad About Fonts Malcolm Jones October 3, 2011

Historical Examples

In 1878, when I spent three weeks at ampersand, the cabin was in ruins, and surrounded by an almost impenetrable growth of bushes.
Little Rivers Henry van Dyke

Never before, so far as I knew, had a camera been set up on ampersand.
Little Rivers Henry van Dyke

We landed on a sand beach at the mouth of a little stream, where a blazed tree marked the beginning of the ampersand trail.
Little Rivers Henry van Dyke

I set my instrument for ampersand Pond, sighted the picture through the ground glass, and measured the focus.
Little Rivers Henry van Dyke

ampersand, falling short by a thousand feet of the needful height, cannot claim this distinction.
Little Rivers Henry van Dyke

And as I was resting for a month one summer at Bartlett’s, ampersand challenged me daily.
Little Rivers Henry van Dyke

noun
the character (&), meaning and: John Brown & Co
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.”
ampersand [(am-puhr-sand)]

A symbol for and (&), as in Dun & Bradstreet.
character
“&” ASCII character 38.
Common names: ITU-T, INTERCAL: ampersand; amper; and. Rare: address (from C); reference (from C++); bitand; background (from sh); pretzel; amp.
A common symbol for “and”, used as the “address of” operator in C, the “reference” operator in C++ and a bitwise AND operator in several programming languages.
UNIX shells use the character to indicate that a task should be run in the background.
The ampersand is a ligature (combination) of the cursive letters “e” and “t”, invented in 63 BC by Marcus Tirus [Tiro?] as shorthand for the Latin word for “and”, “et”.
The word ampersand is a conflation (combination) of “and, per se and”. Per se means “by itself”, and so the phrase translates to “&, standing by itself, means ‘and'”. This was at the end of the alphabet as it was recited by children in old English schools. The words ran together and were associated with “&”. The “ampersand” spelling dates from 1837.
Take our word for it (http://takeourword.com/Issue010.html).
(2000-10-28)

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