Arroba is the symbol that was used to represent the called mass unit entrances : @ (plural @@). An arroba is equivalent to the quarter of Quintal and comes from Arab الربع (ar-rubʿ, quarter, a quarter of quintal, that is to say 25 pounds, weight equivalent to 11.

At present very is known by the users Computer science because it is used to indicate In line “in” ( AT in English ) in directions of Electronic mail and other services that uses the usuario@servidor format .

The fact that it appeared in the keyboards it is that the present keyboards are, partly, copy of the old typewriters, and the typewriters had it not by their relation with the mass unit, but because mainly of text books one @ represented the area symbol, like surface measurement.

In English language it is used like replacement of preposition “AT”, like in the phrase: “100 psi @ 2000 rpm” (100 pounds by square inch to 2000 RPM).


Its origin is in one tie, first calligraphic and soon typesetter, that represented in the British paleographic tradition the Latin preposition ad or, according to other sources, the conjunction AT ; in the diverse varieties of the Castilian cursive gothic writing, and especially in the call procedural writing represents digrafo an . Within the code ASCII, can be represented with Digit 64. The British newspaper The Guardian published that Italian investigators had found the first representation written of this symbol. in 1536 appeared in a letter sent by Italian Merchant, from Seville to Rome ; in the letter is described to the arrival of three boats loaded with originating treasures of America: “Therefore one @ of Vino, that is 1/13 of Barrel, is worth 70 or 80 Duchies .

In Spanish “arroba” is said, but other languages much more use descriptive expressions, that make reference to Spiral final or its supposed similarity with the tail of some animal:

  • in Afrikaans, “tail of Monkey ” (aapstert)

  • in German, “tail of monkey” ( Klammeraffe or Affenschwanz )
  • in bielorruso, “snail” (ślimak)
  • in Bulgarian, “monito” (majmunsko)
  • in Catalan, entrances . Also Ensaimada is used “”, (ensaïmada very little frequents) .
  • in Korean, “ aquatic Caracol ” ( goal-baeng-i or dalfaengi )
  • in Czech and Slovakian, “ Herring ” (zavináč)
  • in Chinese ( putonghua ), “ ratoncito ” (xiao lao shu) or “mark of mouse” (lao shu hao)
  • in Danish, “to - with-spins a top” (snabel-a)
  • in Esperanto, “monkey spider” (atelo), “snail” (heliko), “sign of exact amount” (Po-I sign) or “to surrounded” (volvita a)
  • in Estonian, “trade name” (kommerstsmärk)
  • in euskera, “to surrounded” (to bildua)
  • in Finn, sometimes “tail of Cat ” (kissanhäntä) or “marks Miau ” (miukumauku), but usually ät-merkki or AT-merkki
  • in French, “entrances” ( arrobas or arobase (common use) or to commercial )
  • in frisio, “tail of monkey” (apesturtsje)
  • in Greek, “ patito ” ( papi or to pap'aki )
  • in Hebrew, “German cake crowded around” (s (h) trudel)
  • in Dutch, “tail-of-monkey” (apenstaartje)
  • in Hungarian, “ Worm ” or “ Larva ” (kukac)
  • in Italian, “ Caracol ” (chiocciola)
  • in Japanese, “mark of AT (talking about to English AT )” (atto maaku)
  • in Lithuanian, “commercial ET” (commercial AT)
  • in Norwegian, “enroscada alpha” (alpha-krøll)
  • in Polish, “monkey”, ( małpa )
  • in Portuguese, entrances
  • in Rumanian, “tail of monkey” (coada of maimuta)
  • in Russian, “ small dog ” (sobachka)
  • in Serbian, “monkey” (majmun) or “to crazy person” (I rub a)
  • in Swedish says “ To with tube (of elephant) ” (snabel a)
  • in Turkish, “ Pink ” (gül)

Other informal names

In Spain also is one that uses the word “ Ensaimada ” that also designates to a typical spiral bun of Majorca, although lately also there is one that talks about to her like " bayonesa".

Computer science use

In 1971 Ray Tomlinson looked for a symbol to separate the name of the person of the place where it was. Some typewriters, developed from 1884, included this sign (as the Lambert made in 1902) due to their commercial use, and the keyboard of a Model-33 Teletype (a model of Teletype ) contained an arroba, that was the sign used by Tomlinson, that sent the first message with her from its computer PDP-10 to another one. This one was the first electronic direction of history we know as them now:

Old text book use

During good part of the beginning and half of Century XX, was a symbol used in text books like representation of the book area, of especially Mathematical and Engineering .

Use of the arroba to indicate both sorts

In the last years, due to the height of Politically correct, in particular of the use of a nonsexist language, is extending the custom to make the reference to both sexes explicit when animated nouns or adjectives are used:

Since this form is releases and troublesome, the use of the symbol of the arroba has begun to extend (@) as graphical resource to integrate in a single word the forms masculine and feminine of the noun, since this sign seems to include in its outline the vowels To and Or :

The use of the arroba to integrate in a single word the forms masculine and feminine of the noun is very frequent in political parties, associative movements, it presses young person, and it has even been used in some institutional campaigns. Its extension on the part of the political parties is also implied to want to take progress and modernity an air.

Real Academy does not admit these options by several reasons:

  • In the nouns that designate animated beings, masculine the grammar one is not only used to talk about to the individuals of masculine sex, but also to designate to all the individuals of the species, without sex distinction. Such use of the masculine grammar sort does not denote discriminatory intention some, but the application of the linguistic law of the expressive economy.

  • Only needs the use of both sorts when the opposition of sexes is an excellent factor in the context:

  • the expressions forced and unnatural like and the students are not admitted Either .

It is also seen

  • Arroba, in DRAE .

  • Arroba, in panhispánico Dictionary of doubts .

  • Uso of the masculine one with reference to both sexes, in panhispánico Dictionary of doubts .

  • Uso of the arroba as sort mark, in panhispánico Dictionary of doubts .

  • Photo of a Spanish manuscript that includes arrobas.

  • Text where it explains the origin of @ in the electronic mail, by Ray Tomlinson .

  • '' Arroba '' in Kimniekan


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