Sunday, 2 October 2011

The cultural differences and references of the @ sign or 'commercial at', most of which relate to animals. From wikipedia, so it must be true.
The @ symbol is known by various names in English, including "at sign", "at the rate", "at symbol", "at mark", "commercial at" or "ampersat". This is not to be confused with the ampersand. In keeping with its obvious etymology, it is usually pronounced at.
In Italian, the symbol is informally called the "snail" (chiocciola); its French name is "arobase" or sometimes "arrobe" or "arobe" (from the arroba, an old Spanish and Portuguese unit of weight); in Dutch it is called the "(little) monkey-tail" (apenstaartje); in Hebrew, it is informally called Strudel ("שטרודל"); in Japanese it is the "at mark", and similarly, in German it is called the "at symbol" or "spider monkey" (Klammeraffe); and in Chinese, it is known as the "little mouse".
In Spanish and Portuguese it is the symbol for arroba, an archaic unit of weight, and in some Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries it is still pronounced this way, even when related to an email address. In Russian, the symbol is informally called the "dog" (sobaka (собака)) or "doggie" (sobachka (собачка)).
The Finnish sometimes call the symbol "miukumauku" (meow meow) owing to the symbol's resemblance to a cat and its tail. In Bulgarian it is called "maimunka (маймунка)," "little monkey" and in Polish, it is called "małpa," meaning "monkey," for its resemblance to a monkey with its arm extended over its head. In Swedish and Danish the sign is known as the "snabel-a" (literally trunk a), owning to the resemblance between the sign and the trunk of an elephant.
In Norwegian the term most commonly used is "krøllalfa" (literally: curled alpha). In Greek the sign is known as "papaki" (παπάκι) meaning small duck. In Slovenian, the most common word for it is "afna", colloquially meaning "monkey", much like in Polish. In Hungarian, it is called "kukac" meaning "worm". In Czech and Slovak, it is called "zavináč" meaning "rollmop".

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