Sign in your Language" /> Sign in your Language" />

LINGUIST List 32.2277

Mon Jul 05 2021

Sum: Update on Names for the Sign in your Language

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 03-Jul-2021
From: Karen Chung <>
Subject: Update on Names for the Sign in your Language
E-mail this message to a friend

Thank you to everybody who responded to the survey questionnaire on names for the sign in your language! (In fact the survey is still open if you'd still like to respond:

87 people responded to the survey, providing data from over 25 languages.

In summary, it seems that names for the sign have largely remained quite stable since the original 1996 survey. The one change is that in several countries, especially Germanic ones, people in general and younger people in particular now tend to use English "at" more often than the original "cute" native name, like German "Klammeraffe" ('spider monkey') and Dutch "apenstaartje" ('little monkey tail').

Original post:

Results of the original survey:

The main purpose of the current survey was to update existing data on names for the sign for an article in Chinese I wrote for the magazine English Island, accessible here:

A snail? A bread roll? An elephant's trunk? The little mouse scurries around the globe

You may be asked to register to access the article, but it's free and there's no obligation.
Feedback welcome.

Karen Steffen Chung
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
National Taiwan University

Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography

Page Updated: 05-Jul-2021