names of keys and symbols

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Nanon, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    Dear All,

    The idea is coming from here.
    Could you please list the names of keys and symbols used for telephones, computer keyboard s etc... in your language?
    It is always difficult to follow an instruction when receiving a phone call, leaving a message in an answering machine, etc... if one does not know the name of those @^\`|[{ keys...

    So I am starting with French:

    # dièse
    * astérisque / étoile ("étoile" seems to be the most used for telephones)
    - tiret (sometimes called "tiret du 6" by users of French keyboards: the key has - in lower case and 6 in upper case)
    _ souligné (sometimes called "tiret du 8" for similar reasons as above)
    () parenthèses
    [] crochets
    {} accolades
    / barre oblique, slash
    \ barre oblique inversée, anti-slash
    & et, "et commercial", esperluette (the last word is used in typography)
    @ arrobase ("at" is sometimes heard when giving an email address)
    + plus
    = égal
    § paragraphe

    Feel free to add some more if needed.
  2. dudasd

    dudasd Senior Member


    # taraba (a slang word, but I think we don't have any better)
    * zvezdica
    - crtica
    _ donja crta
    () zagrada (pl. zagrade)
    [] srednja zagrada / četvrtasta zagrada
    {} velika zagrada
    / kosa crta nadesno / desna kosa crta
    \ kosa crta nalevo / leva kosa crta
    & I think we don't have any special word for it, but sometimes English and or an' is used
    @ et, majmunče
    + plus
    = jednako
    § paragraf
  3. Angel.Aura

    Angel.Aura del Mod, solo L'aura

    Roma, Italia
    In Italian:

    # cancelletto
    * asterisco
    - trattino
    _ sottolineato (also trattino basso)
    () parentesi (tonde)
    [] parentesi (quadre)
    {} parentesi (graffe)
    / barra (or slash)
    \ barra inversa
    & "e" commerciale
    @ chiocciola
    + più
    = uguale
    § paragrafo
  4. ivanovic77

    ivanovic77 Senior Member

    Spanish, Catalan - Spain

    # almohadilla, numeral
    * asterisco
    - guión
    _ subrayado
    () paréntesis
    [] corchetes
    {} llaves
    / barra
    \ barra inversa
    & et, 'y' comercial (not used traditionally in Spanish)
    @ arroba
    + signo más
    = signo de igualdad, igual
    § signo de sección
  5. Benvindo Senior Member

    Brazil, Portuguese
  6. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
  7. spakh

    spakh Senior Member

    Anatolian Turkish

    # kare
    * yıldız
    - tire
    _ alt çizgi
    () parantez
    [] köşeli parantez
    {} yay parantez
    / taksim
    \ sola eğik çizgi
    & ve
    @ it is called the same as in English, but it may have another name
    + artı
    = eşittir
    § paragraf
    ´ kesme işareti
    " " tırnak işareti
    % yüzde
    ~ yaklaşık
    > büyüktür
    < küçüktür
  8. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    Some additions in French (what would I do without Benvindo and Outsider, eh? ;))

    ' apostrophe (normally ' is used)
    " " / « » guillemets (« » are described as "guillemets typographiques" in most software options)
    $ dollar
    % pour cent, pourcentage
    ~ tilde
    > supérieur
    < inférieur
  9. Joannes Senior Member

    Belgian Dutch

    # hekje
    * asterisk, or sterretje
    gedachtestreepje 'thought stripe', used when inserting sidethoughts in written text
    - minteken 'minus sign', used in mathematics; you read it as min, eg. 5 - 4 vijf min vier
    - liggend streepje 'lying little stripe', but also (or even rather) known as koppelteken 'linking sign', used to connect certain words, e.g. bom-melding.
    - afbreekstreepje 'break off little stripe' or afbreekteken 'break off sign', used to split words if you can't get them on one line.
    - weglatingsstreepje 'omit little stripe', used to omit the part of a compound that is identical to another one around: e.g. prei- en pompoensoep 'leak [soup] and pumpkin soup'
    _ I've only seen underscore, and the Nederlandse Taalunie doesn't seem to suggest a Dutch equivalent
    () haakjes
    [] vierkante haken
    {} accolades
    / schuine streep (but slash is definitely as commonly heard)
    \ backslash
    & ampersand
    @ apenstaart, but always read at, which is also a 'recognized' term
    + plusteken, read as plus
    = gelijkteken, or is-teken, read as is
    § paragraafteken
    ´ apostrof, when used for orthographic reasons, e.g. auto's
    ´ weglatingsteken or afkappingsteken, when used to indicate that (a) sound(s) was (were) omitted: e.g. 't < het 'it'
    ' ' (enkele) aanhalingstekens
    " " (dubbele) aanhalingstekens
    « » guillemets
    $ dollarteken, read as dollar
    % procentteken, read as procent
    ~ tilde
    > < (mathematic use) relationele operatoren, read as is groter dan and is kleiner dan resp.
    <> (non-mathematic uses) enkele guillemets or punthaken
  10. Aleco Senior Member

    Råde, Norway

    # ??
    * stjerne
    - bindestrek
    _ understrek
    () parantes / klamme
    [] hakeparantes
    {} ????
    / skråstrek
    \ skråstrek
    & ''og'' (&)
    @ krøllalfa
    + pluss
    = er lik
    § paragraf
    ´ ????
    " " anførselstegn
    % prosent
    ~ tilde
    > ????
    < ????
  11. OldAvatar Senior Member


    # diez
    * asterisc / steluţă
    - cratimă
    () paranteze
    [] paranteze drepte
    {} acolade
    / bară oblică
    \ bară oblică inversă
    & şi
    @ at, a rond
    + plus
    = egal
    § paragraf
  12. Skybleak

    Skybleak New Member

    Oulu, Finland
    Finland (Finnish)
    Great question. I get some of these mixed up myself all the time, maybe listing them for once in writing will help me remember...


    # ruutu (square or clubs in card games), risuaita (lit. twig fence)
    * tähti
    - viiva, miinus
    _ alaviiva
    () sulku, pl. (-)sulut or (-)sulkeet
    [] hakasulku, see above for plural
    {} kaarisulku, see above for plural
    / kauttaviiva
    \ kenoviiva
    , pilkku
    . piste
    (period, dot)
    ; puolipiste
    (lit. half dot)
    : kaksoispiste
    (lit. double dot)
    & et-merkki,apparently officially ampersandi but no-one knows that
    @ ät-merkki, apparently officially taksamerkki but no-one knows that (e-mail addresses are given name ät domain piste top-level domain)
    + plus, plussa
    = yhtä suuri kuin (as big as)
    § pykälä
    ' ' yläpilkku, pl. yläpilkut
    " " lainausmerkki, pl. lainausmerkit
    $ dollari
    % prosentti
    ~ tilde
    > suurempi kuin (larger than)
    < pienempi kuin (smaller than)

    I left out those that I haven't heard pronounced or referred to in Finnish.

    (French: )

    We were taught this is arobas, and Google tells me there are even more forms. Is there some significance to the variations?
  13. TarisWerewolf Senior Member

    Canada (English)
    I've heard this referred to as "à commercial" as well. Is it more common in Quebec French?
  14. Lingvisten Senior Member

    # firkant
    * stjerne
    - bindestreg
    _ understreg
    () parenteser
    [] ??
    {} ?? (colloqial: tuborg)
    / skråstreg
    \ skråstreg
    & og
    @ snabel a
    + plus
    = lig med
    § paragraf
  15. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    I might have heard it a couple of times, but it is not so common. Obviously an extension of "et commercial" that dates back from the time of typrewriters...
  16. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    Probably not - though this word does not appear in all reference dictionaries yet so its spelling is not certain yet - one or two r's?
    All sources concur about its origin (Spanish: arroba). My Spanish-speaking part goes for the double r in French... but let's wait till an "official" dictionary or the Academy decide. I may be wrong whereas the form "arobase" is more frequent.
    That word is not in the TLF. Sorry, I cannot check the 2007 editions of Larousse and Robert from where I am!
    I hear, however, a strong tendency to pronounce the last syllable with a [z] by analogy with "base". This is reflected in writing.
    More about this word here.
  17. Nizo Senior Member


    # dieso, krado
    * asterisko, steleto

    - streketo, dividstreko
    _ substreko
    () rondaj krampoj
    [] rektaj krampoj
    {} kunigaj krampoj
    / suprenstreko
    \ malsuprenstreko
    & kaj-signo (kaj), komerca kaj

    @ volvita a, “heliko”, ĉe-signo
    + pluso
    = egalsigno
    § paragrafo

    ' apostrofo
    " " / « » citiloj
    $ dolarsigno
    % elcentosigno
    ~ ondosigno, ondostreko, tildo
    > pliosigno (pli ol)
    < malpliosigno (malpli ol)
  18. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Some additions to Skybleak's otherwise very profound list:

    The @ can (at least unofficially) be called miukumauku which is actually an onomatopoietic word for cat's meow. I don't know why it's called that, maybe the @ resembles a cat to some extent.

    The tilde ~ also has a more native name aaltoviiva, literally "wave dash/line"

    Ps. Skybleak, I hardly expected to meet a fellow town dweller here :). Welcome aboard!
  19. Skybleak

    Skybleak New Member

    Oulu, Finland
    Finland (Finnish)
    Thanks, me neither. I actually only added the city after I noticed it next to your posts... :)

    The first of your additions I did think about myself, but I must've then forgotten to include it. More variations of the @ that I've heard are the simpler miumau (meowmeow) and also kissanhäntä (cat's tail). So I suppose the symbol resembles a cat's tail and not the whole cat, but is also perceived to be making sounds? :confused:

    The cat-@ (Ooh, look what I just did there! ... a revelation, well, to me at least. ;)) is probably the strangest association (or lack thereof) in any of the Finnish I know. Just realising the similarity of cat and at, I wonder if it's origin is in fact in a misheard at? Even if this were true, it looks like it would've then have to had been corrupted further - tongue firmly in cheek.
  20. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    Waow - meow! This discussion about the "cat-@" is funny...
    Did you know that in Russian @ can be read as собака / sobáka = a dog ? :D
  21. Tedehur Member

    If I might add some info :
    _ is also frequently called blanc souligné because it's basically an underlined blank character, or by the english underscore.
    / is also a barre de fraction
    \ being then a barre de fraction inversée too, as well as a backslash.
    & is also written esperluète or perluette ; it's the most ancient ligature in french typography, being originally made of an e and a t, so as to represent the word et (and).

    Then, there's a tricky one missing from your list :
    the blank space is espace in french, and it's then feminine : une espace (the masculine un espace also exists but only means space as in spatial)
  22. Lugubert Senior Member

    Lots of unofficial names are found in Swedish. I'll try to concentrate on the official ones.
    # brädgård (the lumber yard sign on official maps)
    * asterisk (but blaming the Belgians, you'll find a lot of asterix'es mentioned)
    - bindestreck (hyphen)
    _ understreck (under-stroke)
    () parenteser (plural)
    [] hakparenteser (plural)
    {} klammerparenteser (familiarly krullparenteser, ”curly parantheses”)
    / snedstreck, colloquially slash
    \ bakstreck or omvänt snedstreck (turned slash)
    & och or et (both referring to the meaning ‘and’)
    @ snabel-a (trunk-a, Rüssel-a, proboscides-a, like referring to the elephant nose). For quite some time I (and others) fought for kanelbulle, but we lost.
    + plus
    = likhetstecken; lika med
    § paragraf (causing of course any amount of confusion when the English refer to their para. sign ¶)
    ” I was taught anföringstecken, then it was citationstecken, and now it’s officially citattecken. We only use one type, either the straight ones or the 99 type. No difference between opening and closing quotes.

    The space is really tricky, thanks. Too often it's mentioned as mellanslag, which typographically is the space between lines. It should be blanksteg, but I don't think that too many are aware of this word.
  23. IDK Senior Member

    Texas, United States
    Amr English
    American English:

    # pound
    * asterisk
    - dash/hyphen (if longer)
    _ underscore
    () parenthesis
    [] brackets
    / foward slash
    \ backward slash
    & and
    @ at
    + plus
    = equals
    § section
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  24. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    Please note that "#" is "pound" in AmE only. It's "hash" in BrE. "Pound" would refer to "£" the sign for the British currency, the "pound" (sterling.)
  25. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

  26. Hermocrates Senior Member

    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    A few more in Italian:

    ~ tilde
    ! punto esclamativo
    ? punto interrogativo (or: "punto di domanda")
    " " virgolette
    ç cediglia (but technically "cediglia" is only the little hook added as a diacritical mark)
    < minore (di)
    > maggiore (di)
    . punto
    , virgola
    ; punto e virgola
    : due punti
    % percentuale

  27. Lugubert Senior Member

    I have tried in vain to locate the beautiful explanation of the £ I once saw: the "English dollar sign".
  28. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    I'm glad that I was helpful :)
  29. Czech:

    # křížek
    * hvězdička
    - spojovník
    _ pomlčka
    () kulaté závorky
    [] hranaté závorky
    {} složené závorky
    / lomítko
    \ opačné lomítko (reverse slash)
    & ampersan
    @ vzavináč
    + plus
    = rovná se
    § paragraf
    ' apostrof
    " " / « » uvozovky
    $ znak dolaru
    % znak procenta
    ~ tilda
    > větší než
    < menší než
    ! vykřičník
    ? otazník
    . tečka
    , čárka
    : dvojtečka
    ; středník
  30. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    Thanks Tremerka for answer - and welcome to forum!;)

    In Lithuanian:

    # grotelės
    * žvagždutė
    - brūkšnelis
    _ pabraukimas
    () apvalūs skliausteliai
    [] laužtiniai skliausteliai
    {} ??? (ask native Lithuanian) skliausteliai
    / pasvirasis brūkšnys
    \ pasvirasis kairinis brūkšnys
    | vertikalus brūkšnys
    & ampersandas
    @ eta
    + plusas
    = lygu
    ' apostrofas
    " " / « » kabutės
    $ znak dolaru
    % procentas
    º laipsnis
    √ šaknis
    € euras
    ~ tildė
    > didesnis
    < mažesnis
    ! šauktukas
    ? klaustukas
    . taškas
    , kablelis
    : dvitaškis
    ; kabliataškis
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  31. Polish:
    # krzyżyk
    * gwiazdka
    - dywiz (łącznik)
    _ podkreślnik
    () nawias okrągły (plural: nawiasy okrągłe)
    [] nawias kwadratowy (plural: nawiasy kwadratowe)
    {} nawias klamrowy (plural: nawiasy klamrowe; normally referred to as "klamra/klamry")
    / (prawy) ukośnik (English term "slash" is also used)
    \ lewy ukośnik (English term "backslash" is also used, but less commonly than "slash")
    & et (though, I dare say most people wouldn't know this term, and would try to refer to it descriptively)
    @ małpa ("at" is also used at times, especially in the context of giving e-mail addresses)
    + plus
    = znak równości
    § paragraf
    ' apostrof / minuta (in geographical contexts)
    " " cudzysłów
    $ znak dolara
    % procent
    ‰ promil
    º stopień
    ′ prim (mathematics)
    √ pierwiastek (kwadratowy drugiego stopnia)
    znak nieskończoności
    ~ tylda
    < > nawias ostrokątny (plural: nawiasy ostrokątne)
    ! wykrzyknik
    ? znak zapytania
    . kropka
    , przecinek
    : dwukropek
    ; średnik
  32. Δημήτρης

    Δημήτρης Senior Member

    Κύπρος - Cyprus
    Cypriot Greek

    # Δίεση (In Cypriot Greek "κάγκελο" is very common)
    * Αστερίσκος
    - Παύλα
    _ Κάτω παύλα
    () Παρενθέσεις
    [] Αγκύλες
    {} Αγκύλες
    / Κάθετος
    \ Ανάποδη Κάθετος, Αντίστροφη Κάθετος,
    @ Παπάκι
    + Συν
    - Πλην
    = Ίσον
    § Παράγραφος
    ' Απόστροφος
    . Τελεία
    , Κόμμα
    ; Ερωτηματικό (Greek equivalent of "?". Semicolon is "Άνω τελεία")
    ! Θαυμαστικό
    : (π)Άνω και κάτω τελεία / (π)Άνω-κάτω τελεία, διπλή τελεία
    ... Αποσιωπητικά
    · (π)Άνω τελεία
    - Ενωτικό (hyphen)
    «» Εισαγωγικά
    » Ομοιωματικά
    % Τοις εκατό
    ‰ Τοις χιλίοις
  33. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
  34. Rancher New Member

    The first one can also be called obla zagrada (parenthesis), but in most cases zagrada ​(bracket) is enough. The other two are better known as uglasta zagrada and vitičasta zagrada.

    These two are called kosa crta and obrnuta kosa crta.
  35. arielipi Senior Member

    # סולמית sulamit (small ledge)
    * כוכבית kokhavit (little star)
    - מקף makaf
    _ קו תחתון kav takhton underline
    () סוגריים (עגולות sograyim (agulot = circled)
    [] סוגרים מרובעות " meruba'ot (squared)
    {} סוגריים מסולסלות " mesulsalot (curved)
    / סלאש slash קו נטוי kav natuy, inclined/blented line
    \ בקסלאש backslash, or the other options from above added with הפוך afukh
    & אמפרסנד ampersand
    @ שטרודל shtrudel, although at works a well
    + פלוס plus
    = שווה shave
    § סעיף se'if
    ' אפוסטרוף apostrophe
    . נקודה bekuda
    , פסיק psik
    ; נקודה פסיק nekuda psik
    ! סימן קריאה siman kri'a
    : נקודתיים neuda/otayim
    ... נקודה נקודה נקודה nekuda X3
    % אחוז akhuz
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  36. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    Kanelbulle would have been a perfect name for that sign! Shame it lost out.

    Mmmm, kanelbullar... :thumbsup:
  37. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
  38. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon

    # stekje
    * stjerke
    - minteken, streepke, streekje, ôfbrekteken
    _ leech streepke, leech streekje
    () heakje(s) (iepen/ticht)
    [] rjocht(e) heakje(s) (iepen/ticht)
    / skeanestreek, foaroerstreek
    \ oerbekstreek
    & en, enteken
    @ aapke, et
    + plus, plusteken
    = is, isteken
    § paragraafteken
    ? fraachteken
    ! útropteken
    â (accent circonflexe) dakje, kapke, breedteken
    á skerpteken
    à klamteken
    ä trema
    : dûbele punt
    ; puntkomma
    „” oanhellingstekens (quotation marks)
    ' streekje, fuortlitteken, apostrof
  39. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    ...and a few more

    ~ Κυμματοειδής παύλα [cimato.iðis 'pavla] (fem.), Eπίπαυλα [e'pipavla] (fem.)
    > Μεγαλύτερο [meɣa'litero] (neut.)
    < Μικρότερο [mi'krotero] (neut.)
    | Kατακόρυφος [kata'korifos] (fem.)
    ¦ Διακεκομμένη κατακόρυφος [ði.aceko'meni kata'korifos] (fem.)
  40. Dymn Senior Member

    Catalan, Catalonia

    () parèntesis
    [] claudàtors
    {} claus ("keys")
    / barra (obliqua)
    \ barra (obliqua) inversa
    «» cometes ("little commas"), cometes llatines (the traditional ones in Catalan, in decline due to modern keyboards)
    "" cometes angleses
    - guionet
    ("little hash")
    _ guió baix ("low hash")
    ' apòstrof
    * asterisc
    & et
    ~ titlla

    @ arrova, rova
    # coixinet
    ("little cushion"), quadradet ("little square")
    + més
    - menys
    > major que
    < menor que
    = igual
    % per cent

    § paràgraf
    ? interrogant, signe d'interrogació
    ! exclamació, signe d'exclamació
    â (accent) circumflexe
    á accent agut, accent tancat ("closed accent"), because in Catalan <é ó> are pronounced /e o/
    à accent greu, accent obert ("open accent"), because in Catalan <è ò> are pronounced /ɛ ɔ/
    ä dièresi
    . punt
    , coma

    : dos punts
    ; punt i coma
    ... punts suspensius
  41. DaylightDelight Senior Member

    Japanese - Tokyo

    For many symbols we use phonetic transcriptions of English names.
    @ アットマーク (/atto maku/ from "at mark")
    # シャープ (/shāpu/ from musical sign "sharp")
    $ ドル (/doru/ from "dollar")
    % パーセント (/pāsento/ from "per cent")
    & アンド (/ando/ from "and")
    ; セミコロン (/semi koron/ from "semi colon")
    : コロン (/koron/ from "colon")
    " ダブルコーテーション (/daburu kōtēshon/ from "double quotation")
    ' シングルコーテーション (/shinguru kōtēshon/ from "single quotation")
    , カンマ (/kanma/ from "comma")
    / スラッシュ (/surasshu/ from "slash")
    \ バックスラッシュ (/bakku surasshu/ from "back slash")
    _ アンダーバー (/andā bā/ from "underbar") or アンダースコア (/andā sukoa/ from "underscore")

    Some have Japanese names along with English names:
    ! エクスクラメーションマーク (/ekusukuramēshon māku/ from "exclamation mark") or びっくりマーク (/bikkuri māku/ surprise mark)
    ? クエスチョンマーク (/kuesuchon māku/ from "question mark") or はてなマーク (/hatena māku/ question mark)
    * アスタリスク (/asutarisuku/ from "asterisk"), スター (/sutā/ from "star"), アスター (/asutā/ shorthand of "asterisk"?) or こめ (/kome/ which means "rice", from a similarly shaped kanji 米)
    - マイナス (/mainasu/ from "minus"), ダッシュ (/dasshu/ from "dash") or ひく (/hiku/ Japanese for "subtract")
    + プラス (/purasu/ from "plus") or たす (/tasu/ Japanese for "add")
    = イコール (/ikōru/ from "equal") or は (/wa/ Japanese for "is"/"makes")
    . ピリオド (/piriodo/ form "period"), ドット (/dotto/ from "dot") or てん (/ten/ Japanese for "point"/"dot")
    ~ チルダ (/chiruda/ from "tilde") or にょろ (/nyoro/ Japanese onomatopeia meaning "squiggly")

    Only Japanese names are used for some:
    () かっこ /kakko/ (小かっこ (small paren) or 丸かっこ (round paren) to distinguish from braces or curly braces)
    {} 中かっこ /chū kakko/ (middle paren)
    [] 大かっこ /dai kakko/ (large paren)
    < 小なり /shō nari/ (is smaller than)
    > 大なり /dai nari/ (is larger than)
  42. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Russian-specific names:
    ^ - крыша = "roof".
    # - решётка ~= "grill". This word "решётка" is also used in Russian expressions for "grid", "jail bars", "crystal lattice", "radiator grille".
    @ - собака = "dog"
    | - труба = "tube", most likely it's a calque from "pipe".

    () - круглые скобки = lit. "round parens".
    [] - квадратные скобки = lit. "square parens".
    {} - фигурные скобки ~= "ornamental parens".
    <> - угловые скобки = lit. "angular parens".

    * - звёздочка = "little star"
    - - тире, дефис = "dash", "hypen"
    _ - подчерк = "underscore"
    ~ - тильда = "tilda"
    & - амперсанд = "ampersand"

    Traditional punctuation symbols !?,.:;'" and traditional math symbols +-*/=><% on the keyboard are called exactly as in real world, so they do not present any problem for voice communication.

Share This Page