The Derivation of the Word “Ampersand”

The [term “ampersand”] did not appear until the 1830s when “&” was the 27th letter of the English alphabet. The mark concluded the alphabet with “X, Y, Z, and per se and” with “and per se” meaning “and by itself.”  This final phrase was slurred by English school children during recitation and reborn as “ampersand.”

This sounds like one of those stories that are too cute to be true, but for the moment I assume it to be accurate.

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