Skip to content

Ampersand – The “And” Symbol

The symbol used for the word and (&) is called an ampersand. It is a logogram (also called a logograph), which is a written symbol that stands for an entire word or phrase. The ampersand’s origin is the Latin conjunction “et,” which means “and.” This symbol (&) is a ligature of the lowercase letters “e” and “t.” This aesthetic logogram is called “short and,” and it was designed as a mixture of an “e” and a “t.”

The Ampersand

The ampersand (&) is one of the most well-known characters in typography. It still indicates the word “and,” but the shape of the ampersand comes from before the word was even created. This character goes back to the first century AD, when it was used in Ancient Roman or Latin Cursive. However, the word “ampersand” came much later and was first added to dictionaries in the 1800s. 

There was a time when the ampersand symbol was the 27th letter of the English alphabet. When children recited the alphabet, they wouldn’t finish with “X, Y, Z, and.” Instead, the children recited, “X, Y, Z, and per se ‘and.'” (In Latin, “per se” means “by itself.”) The phrase “and per se ‘and'” quickly evolved into “ampersand.” The modern symbol for ampersand has Carolingian minuscule roots going back to the 9th century.

You’ll often see ampersands in logos, brand names, company names, graphic design, the academic world, addresses, texts, headlines, informal letters, movie titles, and shorthand expressions like “rock & roll,” “you & me,” “B&B,” “R&B,” etc. (Abbreviations don’t contain spaces.)

Fascinatingly, there is a special day to “acknowledge & applaud the ampersand.” The founder of AmperArt, typographer Chaz DeSimone, selected September 8 as National Ampersand Day. This is because all of the characters in “September 8” can actually be represented by ampersands!

Graphic illustrating the ampersand symbol, which stands for the word "and" and is a logogram.

Ampersand Entity Name

The ampersand entity name is “&”

Ampersand Entity Number

The ampersand entity number is “&”

Ampersand Entity Hex Number

The ampersand entity hex number is “&”

&c: What Does It Mean?

You may come across the ampersand character and the letter “c” together (&c). This is used as an abbreviation of the phrase “et cetera,” meaning “and so forth” or “and other similar things.” It comes from the combination of et + c(etera).

The AND Symbol in Logic

You’ll come across the AND symbol in logical operations. It’s used as a conjunction between two statements. For example:

If statement A: gender is female, statement B: age is over 18. If A & B is true for a woman aged 21. 

AND Symbol Entity Name

The AND symbol entity name is “∧”

AND Symbol Entity Number

The AND symbol entity number is “ࢳ”

AND Symbol Entity Hex Number

The AND symbol entity hex number is “∧”

Ampersand Symbols List

Ampersand Symbol Symbol Name Hex Entity
& Ampersand &
Turned Ampersand
Small Ampersand
Fullwidth Ampersand

The Ampersand in Movie and TV Show Titles

Many movies and TV series use the ampersand in their titles. Here are some popular ones:

  • Fast & Furious (2009)
  • Pride & Prejudice (2005)
  • Turner & Hooch (1989)
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • Pain & Gain (2013)
  • Thelma & Louise (1991)
  • Angels & Demons (2009)
  • Withnail & I (1987)
  • Julie & Julia (2009)
  • Marley & Me (2008)
  • Imagine Me & You (2005)
  • Tango and Cash (1989)
  • Love & Friendship (2016)
  • Love & Mercy (2014)
  • Benny & Joon (1993)
  • Drake & Josh (2004-2007)
  • Brothers & Sisters (2006-2011) 
  • Scott & Bailey (2011-2016) 
  • North & South (2004)
  • Secrets & Lies (1996)
Posted by Avatar photo
By Jessica Allen

Jessica is a full-time freelance writer and editor with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *