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This nOde last updated February 1, 2009 and is permanently morphing...
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@ (at) noun
The separator between account names and domain name addresses in internal linkInternet e-mail addresses. When spoken, @ is read as "at." Therefore, user@host.com would be read as "user at host dot com." 

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The @ symbol has become an important part of e-mail culture. It separates the User Name from the Domain Name. All countries throughout the world use the same symbol but it obviously has a different name in other internal linktongues. In English it is simply the 'at' sign.

Here are just a few of the more endearing terms:

Italy: 'chiocciolina' - which, in Italian, means 'little snail'
France: 'petit escargot' - also 'little snail'
Germany: 'klammeraffe' - which means 'spider monkey'.
Dutch: 'api' - a shortened version of 'apestaart' or 'monkey's tail'.
internal linkFinland:  'miau' or 'cat's tail'.
Norway: 'kanel-bolle', a spiral shaped cinnamon cake
Israel: 'shtrudel' - following the pastry concept
Denmark: 'snabel', an 'A' with a trunk.
Spain: 'arroba'. the Spanish symbol for a unit of weight of about 25 pounds.
Macedonia: 'majmunsko-a'- which means "monkey's a";  or also 'majmunche' which means small monkey: the tail added to the a

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At last, France has a name for the @ sign

December 09 2002 at 04:38PM

Paris - France officially gave a name to the "at" sign used in Internet addresses on Monday, dubbing it the "arobase" from an ancient Spanish measure that used the same symbol of the letter "a" surrounded by a circle.

Though universally used by French Internet users, the word "arobase" is a neologism and needed the imprimatur of the General Committee on Terminology which published its approval in the government's official bulletin.

According to the committee, the word "arobase" comes from "arrobe" - itself a derivative of the Arabic "ar-rub" meaning a quarter - which was an ancient Spanish and Portuguese unit of capacity and weight.

The committee, which five years ago failed to have the word "mel" adopted instead of email, also approved three other terms Monday: "anneau de site" for webring, "site" for website, and "portail" for portal. - Sapa-AFP

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