Powered by Squarespace

Entries in history of the ampersand (1)

Friday
Jun152012

Font Love, Vol. XXXII: History of the Ampersand

Happy Friday friends! We've made it through the week. Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Before the weekend hits, I'd like to share a little history lesson. It's a fun history lesson (I promise) and it involves a favorite typographic character: the ampersand. I randomly came across the &'s history online and it was so interesting that I couldn't resist making a Font Friday post out of it. Do you know how the & came to be?

The character was not originally called an ampersand. In Roman script it was a representation of et. Et means 'and' in Latin and when the two letters were written in cursive, they linked together to form a shape similar to the & we use today.

The two ampersands on the right really hint at the et origin of the character.

The & shape was actually a part of the alphabet in the early 1800s. Upon reciting the alphabet, one would conclude with, "...X, Y, Z, and per se and." Per se means by itself so it was like saying, "...X, Y, Z, and by itself and." Clearly over time, 'and per se' morphed into the word ampersand we use today.

Super interesting right? Did anyone know this history already? I think I remember hearing about the Latin et but I had no idea the ampersand was actually included in the alphabet for awhile. Fascinating!

Ampersand history by The Hot Word from Dictionary.com.

If you want to see some font picks, check out the blogs of my other type lovin' friends:

Alexandra ♥  The Aerialist Press 

Alison ♥ Alison Owen Design

Anna ♥ And Everything Nice

Jen ♥ Blush Printables

Sofia ♥ Brancoprata

Steph ♥ Bubblerock

Vicki + Barb ♥ Curly Willow DIY

Catherine ♥ Design Editor

Chelsey ♥ Fourth & Folded

Laurel ♥ Go Against the Grain

Jenny ♥ Hank & Hunt

Allie ♥ Honey Bee Invites

Alison ♥ The Knotty Bride

Jenna + Elizabeth ♥ Little Bit Heart

Cécile ♥ My Paper Lounge

Lauren ♥ Palm Papers

Kerry ♥ Super Swoon

Wendy ♥ WesWen Design

Happy weekend!