There are many studies for all interests, but what caught our attention is one which concludes that the first “at” sign in history was from Seville, Spain. In 1536 AD, when one merchant decided to send a letter to another from Seville to Rome, it included the “@” as a symbol of measurement (equivalent to a quarter of a hundredweight)
That was the first time it was used, however, the credit does not belong entirely to the merchant. Ray Tomlinson, a programmer and inventor was the one who decided to user the “@” as the symbol between the username and the server so that messages could be sent between users connected to the same network. This was the beginning of the famous e-mail system and the first e-mail address was tomlinson@bbn-tenexa.
It´s called “arroba” in Seville, but what about in the rest of the world?
Although it may seem strange, it is not called an “arroba” in all countries despite being an international symbol and it does not always refer to an average either.
It must be because there aren´t many elephants running around the street in Denmark that the Danes call the “at” sign, snabel-a, meaning ´trunk´. Perhaps the Hungarians are a little more realistic as they connect the symbol to a worm by calling it kukac. Both in French (arrobase/escargot) and Italian (chiocciola) the “@” is identified with a snail.
The Dutch and Germans call the “@”, apestaartje y klammaraffe, respectively, which means monkey tail. The Greek word is perhaps the most affectionate but still belongs to the animal word; Greeks call the sign pap’aki, which means duckling.
In any case, if one thing is certain it´s that little did that merchant imagine that 480 years later, in 2016, that measurement symbol would be typed around two hundred million times a day so that people around the world could stay interconnected.