In our everyday lives, we are bombarded by symbols from all corners but we just take a look and move on and do not find out its origin or meaning.
Here are 12 everyday symbols you don’t know their meaning.
1. Female And Male Symbols
This sign is used to differentiate between man and woman but very few people know its origin and what it means. These symbols can be traced back to alchemy, an old form of mystical science that was concerned with astrology and chemistry.
The male symbol was used to symbolise the astrological symbol of Mars and in earlier symbols, it had a dot in the middle that stood for the Sun.
The female symbol, on the other hand, was inspired by a mirror or a necklace used by women in ancient times. The astrological symbol was known as “Chalkos” and that’s where we get the word, “Copper” from and it signifies “Venus”, the only dearly goddess to the greeks.
2. Bluetooth Runes
When you decide to turn on your Bluetooth on your device, there is this symbol you tap and we are sure you never bothered to know it’s true meaning or where it came from. Maybe for some reason, you thought it was just a stylised “B” but far from it. Its meaning can be traced way back to ancient times and even to the name of a great man.
The designers of Bluetooth borrowed this symbol from Norse mythology in designing their logo, which is a combined rune. The Norse mythology believes Odin passed down runes which represent letters and each has its separate meaning. When you combine the rune, H (ᛡ) which stands for “Hago” and B (ᛒ) which stands for “Biagen”, you end up with the Bluetooth symbol. But why the initials “H” and “B” you may ask? It is the initials of a Danish king, Harald Bluetooth, who united a number of tribes back in the century just like what the Bluetooth invention is meant to achieve, to connect people.
3. Pause Symbol
This is the commonest symbol that even a 5-year-old can knows, but do you really know where it was derived from? The pause symbol can actually be traced back to the oldest linguistic tools in literacy. We most probably take it for granted but the pause symbol has its roots in a very influential poetic tradition. Back in the Greek age, the double lines indicated a pause or caesura in a song or poem that signifies where one should pause or take a breath and that’s how it found its way into technology.
4. The On/Off Symbol
We are sure you’ve most definitely seen this symbol on almost every electronic device that signifies where to power most machines but you never bothered to know what it means or how it came about right? Well, the symbol you see was actually derived from binary codes which are series of zeros and ones (0, 1) in computer machine language signifying On and Off.
5. The Ampersand Symbol
Whenever you’re typing or writing and you feel lazy writing the three letter word “AND”, you always replace it with this symbol known as the ampersand. The ampersand was first used in the days of the Roman Empire and it was a quick way to join things together. It was actually the union of the letters “E” and “T” which were occasionally written together in Latin to form a ligature meaning, “AND”.
6. The Heart Symbol
This symbol is the most loved symbol of all and it is all over the place, from jewellery designs to candy, love letters, advertising etc. It is all over the place but few actually know the true meaning of the symbol. If you thought it is associated with love because it represents or resembles a heart, then you’re totally wrong.
The depiction of the heart symbol can be traced back to old Roman days and it was originally imprinted on coins and letters as a way to identify a seed pod of the silphium plant that looked exactly the same. The silphium plant is a herb used for the purpose of birth control and since it was used for birth control, it was associated with sex and later became a symbol of love. One interesting fact about this symbol is that the Romans previously used it upside down to represent the testicles.
7. The Skull And Cross Bones Symbol
Upon seeing this symbol, you quickly assume there is danger, but who made it so? The initial use of this symbol was not meant to depict danger but rather, a cemetery. It was created by a buccaneer known as Calico Jack and when he died, it was used on his grave and it became a symbol for depicting cemeteries before it found its way to depict danger.
8. The Ying Yang Symbol
This is an ancient symbol that was invented about 400 B.C. and was first discussed by Zhao Yang in Tao philosophy and the school of naturalists. The symbol basically describes how two opposite forces may actually benefit from each other and ultimately become attracted to the point where one cannot exist without the other. According to history, the symbol is just a representation of sunlight moving over mountains and valleys. Ying, the black section meaning, the shady place or North slope while Yang, the white section translates into the sunny place or the South pole.
9. The “Okay” Hand Gesture Symbol
The symbol which is common in many areas including being used as an emoji to indicate that one is okay or “I’m alright” is actually a sacred emblem in Buddhism and Hinduism. The symbol in these religions signify mudra of discussion and it is a way of practitioners embracing their faith and transmitting their teachings of lord Buddha, in other words, it is equivalent to crossing your face to signify Jesus in the Christian religion.
10. The Lightning Bolt Symbol
Seeing this symbol quickly reflects power, electricity or lightning. It is one of the oldest and most recognised icons in history. Cavemen and meanderthals used to scratch them in caves hundreds of years ago. Many tribes linked it to the sky god and its punishment and so its origin and meaning are clear, fire from the sky.
11. The Swastika Symbol
This symbol can be described as the opposite of the heart symbol and no symbol has been hated more than this symbol. It actually used to be a holy symbol till it was ruined by Adolf Hitler and it has now become a symbol of cruelty, dehumanisation and absolute evil.
It was initially known as the Canadian cross and has featured in almost all the religions of the world before it was plundered by Hitler. The first existence of the symbol can be traced to the Hinduism religion in India where it represented the god Vishnu, the supreme being, he who dreams reality into being.
12. The Jesus Fish
This symbol is very common among Christians and has mainly been used to represent Jesus depicting him as being a fisher of men. You can find it in many places and it is often used as a bumper sticker but what many do not know is that it means something totally different. It is associated with the Norse god and actually represented the vagina. To have a better look, try turning it upside down.