An International Take on @

elephant-trunk2

While English speakers call “@” the “at” symbol, other nations are far more clever.

“Send : The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home” by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe provides this entertaining list of what the “at symbol” is called in other nations.

  • Czech (Czech Republic): Závinaĉ, which means a herring wrapped around a pickle.
  • Danish: Snabel-a, “elephant’s trunk,”
  • Dutch: Apestaartje, “little monkey’s tail,” though sometimes apeklootje, a rude word for another part of the monkey’s anatomy.
  • Hebrew: Shablul or Shablool, “snail” or Shtrudl, “strudel.”
  • Hugarian: Kukac, “worm or maggot.”
  • Italian: Chiocciola, “Snail.”
  • Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan): Xiao Lao Shu, “little mouse,” or Lao Shu Hao, “mouse sign.”
  • Russian: Sobachka, “doggie.”
  • Thai: Ai tua yiukyiu, “wiggling worm.”

7 Responses to “An International Take on @”


  1. 1 Sandeep September 22, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    In India, it’s called “at the rate,” although I’m not sure where that came from.

  2. 2 Olf September 23, 2009 at 1:19 am

    In Germany it’s “Klammeraffe” (spider monkey).

  3. 3 Band B September 23, 2009 at 8:07 am

    In dutch the symbol is called ‘apenstaartje’, but most people say ‘at’. It’s comparable with the ampersand. In a normal text you say ‘and’, but that’s not the name of the symbol.

  4. 4 Wolfram Bartussek September 23, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    In German: Klammeraffe. Which means something like ‘the clutching monkey’

  5. 5 Orajo September 26, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    In Poland we call it “małpa”, which just means “monkey”.

  6. 6 Arley October 9, 2009 at 10:08 am

    In Portuguese : “Arroba”

  7. 7 Jussi October 27, 2009 at 9:03 am

    In Finnish it’s called “Miukumauku” which more or less means the sound that cat makes. Nothing to do any body parts of a cat but the sound, for some reason.


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