at sign (@)
Definition - The phonogram for the word at.

Notes:
1. It was originally called the commercial at because it was sometimes used to represent the phrase at the rate of in accounting and commerce.

Etymology -
Ray Tomlinson, a programmer, is credited with starting its use in e-mail addresses. In 1971-72 he implemented the first email system that was able to send mail between users who were on different computers on a network. To be able to specify exact locations on the network, he needed a way to indicate which machine the user was on. To do this he used the @ sign followed by the machine name (e.g. dave@computer1).

Oxford English Dictionary -
The first citation for the symbol's email use is from 1972:
"Others currently involved with FTP include Arvola Chan (AC@MIT-DMCG),+Greg Hicks (HICKS@UTAH) [etc.].]"
(A. Bhushan Request for Comments (Electronic text) No. 414. 1 )

Quotation -
"Some names for the symbol in other languages are:
(1) Snabel, elephant's trunk (Danish)
(2) Klammeraffe, hanging monkey (German)
(3) papaki, little duck (Greek)
(4) kukac, worm (Hungarian)."
(Source: American Headway 4B [an ESL textbook])



Please comment

Email: