Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Theory on the Origin of the #

The Wikipedia article about the # sign has its own shaky theories about the origin of the symbol, but I'm finding that there's a striking resemblance between the shape of a German Current capital "N" and the #, a scribble that has evolved to mean "Number." Tell me with a straight face that you don't also notice the resemblance here.

And is it no mistake that N and # stand for "Number?" I think not. Too many striking similarities, in my opinion.

But what do I know. 


  1. I know, right? Even in the US, calling it a "pound sign" feels pretty dated. I only ever hear prerecorded teleprompts call it that. "Please enter the last four digits of your security code, followed by the pound sign." It's a symbol that's much more commonly seen in social media as a hashtag. I just don't think it looks very similar to the "L" British pound sign, or at least it seems to be more similar to this scribbled N. Especially because the symbol in the US seems to most often mean something "Nro." or "Num", an abbreviation for number. It's so weird. I guess we'll never really know.

  2. Or maybe the similarity I noticed isn't the "origin" per se, but it might be one reason why the # was associated as a symbol for an abbreviation for the word "Number."