6 familiar symbols with unfamiliar origins
Where have all these familiar symbols come from? What are their true meanings? QuizzClub team has found the answers...
Everyday people see thousands of signs and don't even think over why they mean this or that. They are just taken for granted. QuizzClub team has found the origins of the most popular signs we use in our everyday life. We bet you didn't know where they came from.
#1 Ampersand or sign &
This sign originated from the Latin conjunction "et" ("and" in English). The sign was invented in ancient Rome by Tiron, who was Cicero's secretary to make the process of writing easier and faster. Some time later the Latin combination "et" became a single sign &.
This letter or better say sign was widely used in America and Britain till the beginning of the 20th century. It occupied the last place in the alphabet.
Actually, the word Ampersand is an acronym of the phrase "And per se and", that means and "and" itself. The thing is when a teacher pronounced the letters of the alphabet, after "z" he said "and per se and" (and the letter "and" itself) not to mix the conjunction "and" and the actual letter "and".
There are several hypothesis about the origin of this sign:
1) When a couple of swans come closer to each other, they create a heart out of their necks. In different cultures a swan is a symbol of love, faith and devotion, because these birds stay faithful to their partners during their whole lives.
2) Also this sign could be a symbol of feminine, because the shape of a heart resembles the shape of a woman's pelvis.
3)The sign can also represent a leaf of ivy. The god of wine Dionysus was frequently depicted with a crown of leaves the shape of which resembled hearts.
This sign has a very interesting history of origin. In 10th century Harald "Blåtand" Gormsson (or Harold Bluetooth) was the king of Denmark and Norway, who united these Scandinavian people. He got this nickname "Bluetooth" thanks to his obsessive love to blueberry. He ate this berry almost all the time and his teeth were always blue.
Bluetooth is a special technology that unites several devices. The sign of it is well-known nowadays - it unites rune Hagall - Latin "H" and rune Berkana - Latin "B". These letters are the first ones in the king's name (Harald "Blåtand").
#4 Sign of medicine
Only some people know that the sign of medicine on which a stick with wings and two snakes are depicted has nothing to do with medicine at all.
More than a hundred years ago American physicians mixed up Hermes's wand and
Aesculapius's one. According to the legend the first wand could stop quarrels and reconcile enemies, the second one belonged to Aesculapius, who was the God of healing and medicine. The last wand had only one snake and no wings.
Nevertheless, this sign is widely used nowadays.
#5 Sign "Power"
Even in the beginning of the 20th century, scientists used binary system to mark switches. 1 meant - switched, 0 - turned off. Later 0 and 1 were united into a single sign that we now use and know as "Power".
There are several versions about the origin of this sign:
1) Some people believe that it originated from the abbreviation of Martin Van Buren's native town (Old Kinderhook, New-York). The slogan of his campaign was «Old Kinderhook is O.K.».
2) Another version is said that President Jackson used the phrase "all correct", when he made decisions. But he wrote "oll korrect" (German version of the phrase) or simply "O.K."
3) This gesture can be Buddha's and mean education, understanding and enlightenment.
Did you know about the origins of these symbols? We are waiting for your response in the comments below.
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