Commercial At @


Symbol Meaning

Commercial At is applied when writing the email address for dividing the name of the user and the domain name. For example, It was introduced by Ray Tomlinson in 1971, when he was sending the first email like that. Unicode offers one more sign related to emails. It's named accordingly E-Mail symbol.

This symbol is used both in formal and informal communication. Initially Commercial At was applied instead of the English “at” in the meaning “at the price of”. The symbol itself represents the fusion of the letters (ligatures) C and a.

Fun facts: The symbol “@” is commonly known as the “at sign” in English. However, it is referred to by different names in various languages. Here are some examples: Spanish “arroba”, Italian: “chiocciola”, Swedish “snabel-a” or “at-tecken”, and Russian “sobaka” which is literally translated as “a dog”. Why so? Let's take a closer look at the main theories:

• It actually resembles a dog. Compare: 🐕. Or in this angle: 🐶. It seems to me that in this case @ can as well be compared... to a fish pie 🍥.

• I hear that if you pronounce “at” abruptly, it reminds of a barking sound. However, English speakers utter the word /æt/ absolutely differently, and no way it resembles dog barks.

• Once upon a time, when computer graphics didn't even exist, text symbols were used in games. In one of the games a dog was written as @. Maybe the sign was already called so, that's why it was associated with a puppy.

• The last version which I've just made up: the symbol derived from the CA abbreviation. One of the most widespread words starting from these letters is CAT, but cats are usually defeated by dogs, so make conclusions yourself.

The symbol “Commercial At” is included in the “ASCII punctuation” subblock of the “Basic Latin” block and was approved as part of Unicode version 1.1 in 1993.

Text is also available in the following languages: Español; Русский;


at sign, email, mail.

Unicode Name Commercial At
Unicode Number
CSS Code
Entity @
Plane 0: Basic Multilingual Plane
Unicode Block Basic Latin
Unicode Subblock ASCII punctuation
Unicode Version 1.1 (1993)
Alt Code
Type of paired mirror bracket (bidi) None
Composition Exclusion No
Case change 0040
Simple case change 0040
Grapheme_Base +
scripts Common
Pattern_Syntax +
Encoding hex dec (bytes) dec binary
UTF-8 40 64 64 01000000
UTF-16BE 00 40 0 64 64 00000000 01000000
UTF-16LE 40 00 64 0 16384 01000000 00000000
UTF-32BE 00 00 00 40 0 0 0 64 64 00000000 00000000 00000000 01000000
UTF-32LE 40 00 00 00 64 0 0 0 1073741824 01000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

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