Monkey’s Tail

Try telling the following address by telephone:

The English convention of using “at” or “at sign” for describing “@” is so lame. Other languages have done better. Here are some excerpts from

Czech (Czech Republic):  Závinaˆc, 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.

Hungarian:  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.”

Let’s be creative and come up with a good name for “@” in Hindi and other Indian Languages. How about:

Hindi: Jalebi (a sweet) [picture of a jalebi]

And why stop at “@”? All the other punctuation signs are just waiting to be described graphically.


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