What Do These Common Symbols Mean?
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Most of us will instantly recognise these symbols immediately, but we know little of how they came about and who thought of them. Thankfully, a collaboration between 500 Startups and Visual.ly breaks down these enigmatic user interface symbols that we see almost every day. Perhaps it’ll help you appreciate them more.

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What Do These Common Symbols Mean? origin symbols

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  1. Anonymous
    December 4, 2013 at 2:15 am


  2. Tom S
    November 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Wow, so interesting....great morsels of information!

  3. Paul G
    November 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I've heard the pause symbol came from music's Caesura symbol, which means a short break or pause in the music notation.

  4. Mike T
    November 25, 2013 at 1:14 am

    At Apple, a few colleagues and I just call it the colour wheel...

  5. Arie W
    November 25, 2013 at 12:41 am

    the bluetooth story is quite interesting :)

  6. Benjamin O
    November 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Actually, the german name for @ is "Klammeraffe", which means not "monkey's tail" but something like "clingy monkey", or "monkey that clings (to something)". Also, the german verb "to cling" is homonymous to the noun for (bracket), so it could also mean "bracket monkey". However, it definitely refers to some sort of a complete monkey, not a part of it ;-)
    Btw @Jackson Chung: the original source of this Infographic is indicated in the bottom right corner: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/08/computer-symbols-history/all
    There is some more interesting stuff to be found in the comment section of that page.
    In science, it's considered best practice to cite the original source, not the source that cited it also.

  7. Mark
    November 24, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Way cool. I had no idea. I've got to reacquaint myself with the origin of "blue tooth." I know I've heard it but I always considered it apocrypha.

  8. Jon
    November 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Actually, the spinning beach ball predates OSX too. It was in use in earlier versions, only in black and white, and it was two black and two white quarters in alternating pattern. It got colorized in OSX, with the colors of a beach ball. Oddly, it seems that after it got colorized, and looked more like a beach ball, it became popular to call it the spinning pizza... ;-)