Contemporary usage in Ireland
A stylized form of Latin et (“and”); part of the system of Tironian notes, shorthand credited to Cicero’s scribe Marcus Tullius Tiro, in first century BCE. Compare to &, of same meaning and similar derivation.
- Tironian sign representing et (“and”);
Found especially in Old English, Old Irish, and Middle Irish manuscripts. Still used in Ireland, as of 2010; was used in blackletter texts as late as 1821, otherwise unused.
In Old English manuscripts, it stood not only for the conjunction and, ond (“and”), but also for the unrelated prefix and-, ond-; thus andswaru (“answer”) could be written ⁊swaru.