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From Octothorpe to Hashtag: The Evolution of a Symbol

The symbol “#” is commonly known as the hashtag today, but its original name is the octothorpe. The “octo-” prefix refers to its eight points, and “thorpe” was a playful addition. In the context of telephony, the octothorpe symbol was used on switchboards to represent the number “8” in the 1960s. The term “hashtag” gained prominence with the rise of social media.

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