Why is @ used in email addresses?

Originally, the at sign (@) was called arroba. It is an historical Spanish volume and weight measure that was used mostly in Spain and South America for commercial transactions. In Spain we stopped using it officially in 1849, when by law it was substituted by the metric system.

But … How did this unit of measurement from the Middle Ages reached the e-mail?

The @ symbol was an abbreviation of the term arroba that was already used in the Middle Ages.

At the end of the 19th century, it was decided to incorporate the arroba symbol (@) into the typewriters keyboard to facilitate the work of those who wrote commercial documents.

When in 1971 Ray Tomlinson invented the email, he needed a symbol to separate the recipient’s name from the place where he was. Ray Tomlinson chose the symbol @ because, until then, the abbreviation of arroba was not part of the computer language.

I feel our email yourspanishrecipes@gmail.com a little bit more Spanish now.

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