This is bizarre but true: in older (and by that I mean largely pre-1900) English printed alphabets, the character & was printed at the end, and was memorized as a 27th character.
It was recited in the alphabet as "per se and", meaning "'and' by itself". So the end of the alphabet went "X, Y, Z, and per se and."
The phrase "and per se and" eventually got contracted - and is how we got today's name for the symbol: ampersand.
@noelle fun fact:
& is a stylized version of et, the latin word for and
@noelle that's a nice name. In Danish it's called the "And Sign". Very accurate but not that creative 😂
@noelle jaja, damals(tm) das "kaufmännische Und" hat natürlich lateinische Wurzeln. Und ohne Latein kein Englisch. So war das damals.
@noelle why does this kind of story make me so happy??
@noelle The bit that helped me from your reference is that the end of the alphabet as indicated was "[...], y, z, & per se and", or "&, which is 'and'".
Also, as @ben points out, & also means "et", which is the same et as in "etc." (for "et cetera", that is, "and so on"), giving rise to some people abbreviating "etc." as "&c.".
@noelle Wow, this is almost as stupid as german musical notes going a h c d e f g because some idiot in the 16th century or whatever was too stupid to copy a 'b'. (Yes, that's also a true story)
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