9 Well-Known Symbols And Their Origins

Symbolism is something that has been around for much longer than any of us can even begin to imagine. Many of the symbols we know and love today have roots in ancient Greece and Rome, and have evolved over time into the things we now recognize and use in our daily lives.If you’ve ever wondered where the question mark originally came from, or how Apple came up with its iconic logo, keep reading to find out!

The Peace Sign

This symbol is a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters “N“ and ”D,“ standing for “Nuclear Disarmament.”

The Heart Symbol

Some believe that the heart shape derives from that of ivy leaves, which are associated with fertility. However, others think it comes from the shape of silphium, which is a giant fennel that was used by Greeks and Romans as a form of birth control. 
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The Ampersand (“&”)

Over time, the ampersand has been the result of the two letters in “et” (a Latin conjunction, which translates to “and” in English) merging together.
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The Question Mark (“?”)

In the early Middle Ages, punctuation was limited to a system of dots at different levels, but some recognized its limitations. The need for a wider range of punctuation resulted in a symbol that was used to communicate both a question and the tone someone uses when asking one: a dot with a lightning bolt-like shape above it. The popularity of this new symbol spread rather quickly, and, over time, it evolved into the question mark form we know today.
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The “Power On” Symbol

This symbol is made up of a one and a zero. In binary code, the number one represents “on” and zero represents “off.” 

The Apple Logo

I’ve found conflicting theories about the origin of Apple’s logo, so I will share two of them with you. First, some believe the bite in the apple is meant to represent the story of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. However, others say that the name and logo for the company were chosen for one simple reason: Steve Jobs liked them and thought they made sense. And the bite mark? The only reason it is there is to give the logo scale and to prevent it from looking like a cherry.
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The Bluetooth Symbol

This symbol is a combination of two Danish runes, which are the analogues of the letters “H” and “B.” These two letters are the initials of Harald Blåtand, a 10th Century King of Denmark who is remembered for not only uniting Danish tribes, but also for his nickname: Bluetooth, which was given to him because of his love of blueberries.

The At-Symbol (“@”)

This symbol was once used to represent “at the price of” for merchants, but over time its popularity diminished. Then, in the 1970s, computer engineer Ray Tomlinson needed a unique symbol for his electronic mailing system, and his eyes stumbled across “@” on the keyboard!
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The Mitsubishi Logo

This logo is a combination of two family crests: the Iwasaki family and the Tosa family. In the 1870s, the Tosas acquired the Tsukumo Shokai shipping company from the Iwasakis and later rebranded it as Mitsubishi, which roughly translates into “three diamonds.” 

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