Symbology is the study of symbols and their meaning and hidden codes. It is studied in fields as diverse as art, mathematics, sociology and psychology. We often use them in speech to create understanding with people who share our culture or experience.

Symbols speak for themselves and Every day, we encounter a multitude of symbols and signs. But few people know where most of them come from.

The Dollar Sign

It's believed that as time went on, the abbreviation was often written so that the S was on top of the P, producing an approximation of the $ symbol. The $ first appeared in print after 1800, and was widely used by the time the first U.S. paper dollar was issued in 1875.

The Peace Symbol

The CND was founded in 1958 and that same year they asked the artist Gerald Holtom to design a symbol for them one that would symbolize the end of war and destruction and serve as a sign of peace and unity.

The Symbols for Male and Female

Linnaeus was also the first to use these signs in a biological context in his dissertation Plantae hybridae (1751), where he used the symbol for Venus to denote a female parent of a hybrid plant and the symbol for Mars to denote a male parent

The @ Symbol

There is no one clear inventor of the “@” sign. It has had many historical uses going back centuries. The first documented use of the full symbol was in a letter by an Italian merchant written in 1536 to represent units of wine. His name was Francesco Lapi. The sign didn’t originally stand for the word “at,” but the phrase “at the rate of.”

The Power Button

The symbol for the standby button was created by superimposing the symbols "|" and "o"; however, it is commonly interpreted as the numerals "0" and "1". Yet the IEC holds these symbols as a graphical representation of a line and a circle.

The Smiley Face

Harvey Ross Ball, The man behind the iconic smiley face logo, which is worth millions, was paid $45 for the original design. When Harvey Ross Ball was hired by an insurance company in 1963 to create a morale-boosting icon for its employees, he whipped up a yellow-and-black smiley face with a wide, dimpled grin.