I was wondering how do people from different countries name this very symbol " @ ". In Russia we call it “dog” or as it sounds “sobaka”. My boyfriend told me that in some countries people call it “snail” or something like that. Could you just tell how do YOU call this in your country…I’m SO interested ;)))
at sign or @
The @ sign (also called “the at symbol”) is primarily used in e-mail. Located on your computer keyboard, this symbol separates the username and the domain name in an e-mail address. For example, email@example.com is read and pronounced as feedback at netlingo dot com. The @ sign was designated as the symbol for the separator in e-mail addresses back in 1972 (by Ray Tomlinson, chief contractor on ARPANet), but for many years, very few people knew about it. Once the Web became commercialized in 1994, the @ sign became an icon for the wired world and suddenly appeared everywhere (mainly due to media hype on television, in newspapers, and in magazines). It even became the name of a cyber caf? in Silicon Alley. People like the @ sign because it represents the new technology of the Net, but in actuality, its really only used in e-mail or as part of cryptic passwords. In some newsgroup, it is the symbol for anarchy. Initially, users did not know how to describe it and could not find a name for it. In fact, it was once called the letter ‘a’ with a circle around it. International languages also use the @ sign, and several have developed colloquial names for it, such as spider monkey, pigs tail, elephants trunk, cats tail, strudel, and cinnamon bun, due to its kundalini shape.
How about this interesting, international tidbit: nearly all of the languages have developed colloquial names for the @ sign which, for some reason, have food or animal references. Check it out:
- In German, it is frequently called Klammeraffe, ‘spider monkey’ (you can imagine the monkey’s tail), though this word also has a figurative sense very similar to that of the English ‘leech’ (“He grips like a leech”).
- Danish has grisehale, ‘pig’s tail’ (as does Norwegian), but more commonly calls it snabel a, ‘a (with an) elephant’s trunk’, as does Swedish, where it is the name recommended by the Swedish Language Board.
- Dutch has apestaart or apestaartje, ‘(little) monkey’s tail’ (the ‘je’ is a diminutive); this turns up in Friesian as apesturtsje and in Swedish and Finnish in the form apinanhanta.
- Finnish also has kissanh?nt?, ‘cat’s tail’ and miukumauku, ‘the miaow sign’.
- In Hungarian it is kukac, ‘worm; maggot’,
- In Russian ‘little dog’,
- In Serbian majmun, ‘monkey’, with a similar term in Bulgarian.
- Both Spanish and Portuguese have arroba, which derives from a unit of weight.
- In Thai, the name transliterates as ‘the wiggling worm-like character’.
- Czechs often call it zavinc which is a rolled-up herring or rollmop;
- The most-used Hebrew term is strudel, from the famous Viennese rolled-up apple sweet.
- Another common Swedish name is kanelbulle, ‘cinnamon bun’, which is rolled up in a similar way.
You could if you like read this taken from Wikpedia:
The symbol’s most familiar modern use is in e-mail addresses (sent by SMTP), as in www.example.com using the username jdoe.
In the programming language Perl, the symbol prefixes variables which contain arrays, as opposed to scalar values (indicated with ‘$’) and hash tables / associative arrays (’%’). If the code were to be treated as a sentence, this prefix would be the equivalent of a determiner, so “@animals” might be read as “these animals”.
In the IRC protocol, @ is the symbol for a channel operator. IRC also uses the user@host form (often preceded by nick!) for identifying and banning users. In this case the user@ part was originally an ident response and the host part was a reverse dns name from the user’s IP. However, most modern IRC networks provide some mechanism for users to hide their real reverse dns hostname and/or for admins/privileged users to pick one arbitrarily.
The @ character is also used for typing in some Romance languages as a politically correct substitute for the masculine “o” in mixed gender groups and in cases where the gender is unknown. For example, the Spanish word “amigos,” which could either mean male and female “friends” or all male “friends” would be replaced with “amig@s.” The character is intended to resemble a mix of the masculine letter “o” and the feminine “a”. The usefulness of this is debated; in Spanish the masculine grammatical gender may include both males and females, while the feminine gender is exclusive to females, and there is no neuter gender. Some advocates of gender-neutral language-modification feel that using the male grammatical gender as a generic gender is sexist against women. Many Spanish speakers feel that this use of the “@” is degrading to their language, and some allege that it is an example of cultural imperialism. This construction is generally only used in informal writing.
In Pokemon communities, it is used as a symbol to denote Latios or Latias
A commonly accepted theory is that the symbol is derived from the Latin preposition “ad” (which means “to” rather than “at”). The @ is supposed to be a ligature developed by transcribing monks. However no document showing this usage has been presented.
A more recent idea concerning the history of the @ symbol has been proposed by Giorgio Stabile, a professor of history in Rome. He claims to have traced the symbol back to the Italian Renaissance in a Venetian mercantile document signed by Francesco Lapi on May 4, 1536. The document talks about commerces with Pizarro and in particular the price of an @ of wine in Peru. The symbol is still called arroba in Spanish and Portuguese, and it represents a unit of weight with the same name (1 arroba = 25 U. S. pounds), an old (Antonio Nebrjia, Salamanca, 1492) Spanish/Latin dictionary translates arroba with amphora. Under this view, the symbol was used to represent one amphora, which was a unit of weight or volume based upon the capacity of the standard terracotta jar. The symbol came into use with the modern meaning “at the price of” in northern Europe.
“Commercial at” in other languages
In most languages other than English, the symbol was virtually unknown before E-Mail became widespread in the mid-1990s. Consequently, it is often perceived in those languages as denoting “The Internet”, computerization, or modernization in general.
In Dutch, it is called apenstaartje (“little monkey-tail”).
In Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Brazil, it denotes a weight of about 25 pounds. The weight and the symbol are called arroba. (In Brazil, cattle is still priced by the arroba — now rounded to 15 kg)
The French name is arobas or a commercial, and sometimes escargot (“snail”). Other names include queue de singe (monkey-tail) and a dans le rond (a in the circle).
In Modern Hebrew, it is colloquially known as Shtrudel (שטרודל). The normative term, invented by the Academy of the Hebrew Language, is kruhit (כרוכית), which is a Hebrew word for Shtrudel.
In Italian it is chiocciola (“snail”) or chiocciolina (“little snail”).
In Spanish it is called arroba.
In German, it is Klammeraffe, meaning “clinging monkey”, or kaufm?nnisches A, meaning “commercial A”.
In Danish, it is either grisehale (“pig’s tail”) or snabel-a ("(animal’s) trunk-a").
In Finnish, it was originally called taksamerkki (“fee sign”) or yksikk?hinnan merkki (“unit price sign”), but these names are long obsolete and now rarely understood. Nowadays, it is officially ?t-merkki, according to the national standardization institute SFS; frequently also spelled “at-merkki”. Other names include kissanh?nt?, (“cat’s tail”) and miukumauku (“the miaow sign”).
In Korean, it is golbaeng-i (골뱅이), a dialectal form of daseulgi (다슬기), a small freshwater snail with no tentacles.
In Lithuanian, it is eta (equivalent to English at but with Lithuanian ending)
In Mandarin Chinese, it is xiao laoshu (小老鼠), meaning “tiny mouse”, or laoshu hao (老鼠號, “mouse sign”).
In Persian it is at (using the English pronunciation).
In Polish, officially it is called atka, but commonly małpa (monkey) or małpka (little monkey).
In Romanian, it is Coadă de maimuţă (monkey-tail) or “a-rond”
In Russian, sobaka (собака) (dog) or sometimes sobachka (собачка) (doggy)
In Swedish, it is called snabel-a ("(elephant’s) trunk-a")
In Slovenian, it is called afna (little monkey)
In Hungarian, it is called kukac (worm or maggot).
In Czech and Slovak, it is called zavin?č (rolled pickled herring).
In Norwegian, it is officially called kr?llalfa (“curly alpha” or “alpha twirl”). (The alternate alfakr?ll is also common.)
In Catalan it is called arrova or ensa?mada, the roll brioche typical from Majorca.
In Japanese it is called “at mark” (アットマーク) a combination of English words, known as wasei-eigo.
In Turkish it is at (using the English pronunciation).
In Greek it is called παπάκι (small duck).
In Esperanto, it is called ĉe-signo (“at”), po-signo (“each” – refers only to the mathematical use) or heliko (“snail”).[/i]
Thank you very much! It’s very interesting)))
Interesting tidbits indeed! Those who invented the terms must have been hungry (or has it got anything to do with a ‘c’ eating up a whole ‘a’?)! Anyway, I can’t decide between ‘strudel’, rollmop or cinnamon bun, so I think I’ll adopt them all. The Finnish miukumauku and the Russian ‘sobaka’ also sound funny to me (‘sobaco’ in Spanish means armpit).