Ampersand (&) or And Sign | Definition

Ampersand is also known as the “&” symbol in 21 century, well the history of the ampersand is different the word comes from the Latin word et, which simply means “and” the word was also spelled differently in the middle ages.

The “&” word is the corruption of and per se and which means the character or by itself. The symbol of and originated as a ligature from Latin ET or et.

Ampersand History

Traditionally, any alphabet that refers to itself such as “I”, “A”, or “O” will repeat with the Latin expression “Per se” which means “itself”. It’s most common to add the “&” in the list of alphabets because it was the 27th letter in the Latin expression.

Which is spelled in Latin “ET” and later on in English it is spelled “and”. The end alphabets of the end with “X, Y, Z and per and”, the last word refers to the ampersand.

The “And” or “&” entered in the English language in 1837 as the 24 alphabets are the letters in which the ampersand does not include the speed of sound.

With the change of time, lots of words and alphabets have been removed from the old English. And people start using the Ampersand symbol “&” in common writing. The symbol has been used widely and is now available in publications in 21 century.

and sign

Ampersand Variations

Frequently Ask Questions: FAQ’s

These are some common questions asked regarding the ampersand symbol.

Why is ampersand called ampersand?

The ampersand word originated from the Latin word “ET” or “et”. Which literally means  “the character” or “By itself”. The “&” symbol is corrupted by “and per se” from the Latin words. The “ET” or “&” means itself in Latin and does it added to English alphabets as the 27th letter in 1834 and named Ampersand.

Was ampersand a letter?

In old times it wasn’t known as the “Ampersand”. The letter was just a ligature of the cursive letters “E” and “T” forming the Latin word etc. That simply means the “and” (as you know why “etc” is sometimes written as “&c”). The ampersand or “&” is added to the English literature in the 19th century as the 27th letter that comes after the alphabet “Z”.

What does the & symbol mean?

The “&” represents the ampersand symbol which comes from the Latin words. The ampersand is the formation of two Latin words “E” and “T” or etc.Which means in Latin “Itself”. The “and” is represent itself in the alphabet as 27 letters. In the 21 century, the ampersand symbol is commonly used to present two or more things in a paragraph.

When should you use an ampersand?

Ampersand is used to represent the “and” in the list such as items’ names without separating them. For instance (Sky, Earth, Water & Wind with classic sound). There are lots of companies that used the “&” symbol on their brand name such as “AT&T”,  “A&W” and more

Does an ampersand count as a word?

Well, the ampersand is an informal word. If the ampersand is officially used on the company name to represent it. Then you should use ampersand instead of writing the word “and”. For example, if you’re to the “AT&T”  company a letter then you should use an ampersand symbol.

Is Ampersand formal or informal?

The ampersand should be used in formal writing. But for some special cases like company names, it is used as part of the name of the company such as “A&W”, “AT&T”.


The ampersand or the and sign has its own history in the Latin era. But in the 21 century, the and sign is used as a formal word expect some special cases like company names. You can use the & symbol as your writing to show list items in the paragraph.

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