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9 Well-Known Symbols And Their Origins


Symbols have been around since the dawn of man. For as long as we’ve communicated, we’ve thought of ways to somehow obscure that communication because that’s what higher intelligence does to you.
The amount of symbols we use on a daily basis is quite staggering, and most of these have quite a logical explanation of why they exist. I mean, most of them. I still don’t know what “dabbing” is all about or what it’s supposed to mean.
If you’re looking for a new party trick for your next social event of choice, try telling the story of the meaning behind one of these symbols. You might not make a lot of friends, but at least you’ll stop getting invited. That’s a win in my book.



The Heart Symbol
There’s multiple meanings behind this one. It’s either the shape of ivy leaves, often associated with fertility, the shape of silphium, an ancient Greek/Roman form of birth control, or – and this would be awesome – the shape of two hearts fused together. Fused or sewn with a needle. Whatever your dark mind desires.



The Ampersand
Used on a daily basis on Twitter and other intelligent forms of communication, this symbol started out as the letters “et”, which is Latin for “and”. Also French. But it’s a Latin thing, trust me. I would never lie to you.

The Power On Symbol
This is simply a combination of a one and a zero, the only two numbers existing in the binary system.

The Apple Logo
This is either a reference to the story of the Garden of Eden, or something that happened because Steve Jobs like apples. It’s a sad world where both of these theories are equally plausible.



The Bluetooth Symbol
This is an easy one for people with knowledge of 10th century Danish runes. That’s pretty much everyone, right? It’s a combination of the runes for “H” and “B”, in reference to Harald Blåtand, a Danish king from back in the day. His name pretty much translated to “Bluetooth” and it was his nickname for eating a lot of blueberries. Why they decided to name a form of wireless communication after a Danish king that loved blueberries, you ask? Who the f*ck knows. Because they could, I guess.

The Mitsubishi Logo
This is a combination of two family crests, specifically Isawaki and Tosa. The combination was named “Mitsubishi”, which translates to “three diamonds” or something like that. It also translates to “not a German car” in certain dialects.

The At-Symbol
This symbol was primarily used by merchants to represent “at the price of”. But you know how people are; they got lazy and removed three quarters of the symbol’s meaning. And then it was used in the 70s as the symbol for an electronic mailing system for no other reason than the fact that it was on the keyboard. Ayup.



The Peace Sign
A pretty far-fetched (not the Pokémon) one, the peace sign is a combination of the semaphore symbols for “N” and “D”, standing for – of course – “Nuclear Disarmament”. As one would naturally assume.

The Question Mark
Back in the Middle Ages, when punctuation was nothing more than varying amounts of dots at different levels, one genius realized the system was severely limited and invented a dot with a lightning bolt on top of it. This was how the question mark was born.