What are the earliest sources for the use of the " symbol before the final letter, to denote an acronym?

This symbol (geresh) can be found in all Jewish languages, including Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino...and English.

  • 1
    I think the symbol's placement was a necessity of in-line typesetting. (Compare caret ^ replacing non-linear power notation.) Earlier notations were dots or strokes over the letters, e.g. in Ramban's seal.
    – Adám
    Jan 1, 2014 at 19:14
  • However, I can't find it now, but @avi once posted a picture of an early manuscript of Rashi where the quotation mark was used to indicate the Divrei Hamatchil.
    – Menachem
    Jan 1, 2014 at 19:51
  • 1
    It's not actually a " (quotation mark); it's a gershayim ״. Similarly, a single one is a geresh ׳, not an apostrophe.
    – Ypnypn
    Jan 1, 2014 at 20:52
  • 1
    This isn't just a question about the Hebrew language. We use the apostrophes in transliteration (English contexts) too.
    – SAH
    Sep 5, 2014 at 16:18


Browse other questions tagged .