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I would love to know the history of this thing, if someone can find it.

Obeliscus lat. ; pl obelisci is known from Septuaginta (LXX = greek version of hebrew texts ; like Old Testament of Bible) marking the words and sentences which are not known in the hebrew text.

Asteriscus lat., pl asterisci: textcritical icon, which highlights in old manuscripts important verses.

Martin Luther responded on ECKS "Obelisci" (= Annotationes) with his >Asterisci<:

Isidore of Seville, in the Etymologies, I.xxi.2: "The askerisk is placed next to omissions, so that things which appear to be missing may be clarified through this mark, for sar is called "asterikos" in Greek, and the term "asteriscus" is derived from this." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 5 February 2011 (UTC)


I question the accuracy of this: "Typographers call it a splat (This may derive from the "squashed-bug" appearance of the asterisk on many early line printers)." This slang name is an old one in the computer world but typographers use terminology which is far older. Nor would they care what line printer output looks like. What is the evidence that "splat" is used by typographers? --Zero 10:17, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

A splat is the | not the asterisk... in computers terms... e.g. the dos command |more is referred to as "splat more". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:52, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

The '|' is pronounced pipe. The '*' is indeed pronounced splat. I think whoever taught you your computer terms had their wires crossed a bit... (talk) 15:28, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

In Ruby programming, it's called a "splat" all the time! It generally refers to catching "everything else". - In method definitions: - In HTTP Request parsing: (talk) 04:19, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Asterisk, the Open Source PBX[edit]

I'm considering a write-up on the Asterisk Open Source PBX (as externally-linked at the bottom). I'm pondering the best way to name the article... I was considering Asterisk (PBX), with a link from the top of this article. A disambig page may even be justifiable. What do folks think? --Rtucker 23:40, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

How about just Asterisk PBX? I don't think a disambig page would be necessary. Gwalla | Talk 01:50, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Ooh. Obvious, clean, and not something I'd thought of. Thanks!  :-) --Rtucker 02:34, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Uhh, problem here. "Hence many systems use a five-armed symbol, referred to as the "Arabic star", and given a distinct character in Unicode, U+066D (٭)." Here in plain text, that is a five-pointed star, but in the actual article it's eight-pointed.

Punctuation box[edit]

Is the box with punctuation in it best placed to the side of the disambig line? My feelings are that the disambig line is not part of the article, and should clearly be above it and not part of it. It's not that big a deal, frankly, I just don't think the move in this (and similar pages) is beneficial. Fourohfour 00:51, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Pink Panther[edit]

Didn't the Pink Panther animated series feature asterisks as occasional guest artists?

Actually, the "asterisk" in the Pink Panther started out as a title (the dot over the lowercase "i" in the word "pink"). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


I saw a comercial this afternoon in i newspaper. I said that many broadbands comes with an asterik (but not this one...). What did they mean? - Gasten

They mean there are comercials in which a phrase is followed by an asterisk, and at the side of the page there's a foot note written in very small letters that says things that are not said in the comercial itself. For instance, the article states "This costs only ten dollars*" And then, at the foot note, it says it actually only costs ten dollars if you also buy another product that costs 100 dollars.A.Z. 21:57, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

And the plural of asterisk is...?[edit]

I've read asterisks but I would prefer it be asterisk. I did a paper last year where I must have found that the plural was asterisk, because I included it then, but I can't find that information now.

Does anybody know if asterisk can be used as the plural of asterisk?

Also, another use of the asterisk on the internet is to let someone know that a field is optional -

eg. email address*

  • Regardless of what you personally would prefer the plural form be, a quick look in any dictionary will show you that the plural is standard, i.e. "asterisks". Checking a few dictionaries online confirmed this as none of them mentioned that there was any non-standard plural. norm77 01:27, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

However, there is asterisk is sometimes spelt asterix, and if this is the case the plurar should take the form of astericies (ast-r-cees). ( (talk) 04:30, 11 March 2009 (UTC))

That's wrong. Asterix is a character. And a common misspelling. - Gargomon251 (talk) 07:06, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

five or six ends?[edit]

On the page it says: many Arabs would not buy typewriters with a six-armed symbol, which they identified with the Star of David on the Israeli flag. and hence the Arabic five-pointed star was created.

When I carefully count the points on the one depicted as 'arabic star' I see six ends? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tcmb (talkcontribs) .

I suspect someone has assumed that the symbol they used for "Arabic star" would appear as described in any typefaces likely to be used when viewing the page. This does not appear to be the case. It would be a better idea to use a PNG graphic, which is guaranteed to appear the same in all browsers. Fourohfour 18:04, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


I do believe there is only one "s" in asterick. Random the Scrambled 12:40, 11 May 2006 (UTC) I agree.

  • I am going to assume you're not making a joke here, and go ahead and point out that there isn't any standard word in English spelled "asterick". A quick look in any dictionary will confirm this. "Asterisk" is the correct spelling, and "asterick" is a fairly common misspelling caused by a fairly common mispronunciation. The second "s" is there and is pronounced. norm77 01:41, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
    • That's right, Donald Trump just said he did not want to become an asterick in history. (talk) 11:59, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Other Unicode Representations[edit]

At some point, the following information needs to be included (eg. unicode small/heavy asterisk): <b>Unicode Name</b> Code Value ASTERISK U+002A * ARABIC FIVE POINTED STAR U+066D ٭ ASTERISK OPERATOR U+2217 ∗ HEAVY ASTERISK U+2731 ✱ SMALL ASTERISK U+FE61 ﹡ FULL WIDTH ASTERISK U+FF0A * --СђrΐsτσρhΞr ScЋδlτξη 19:14, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

urban legends?[edit]

The explanation in the article sounds like nothing more than an urban legend. I've tried to find a source to support it, but I've come up empty so far. If anyone has a source, please edit it into the article. Otherwise, I'll remove it in a few days. Arabic star also contains the same explanation, so I'm posting this on the talk page there as well. f(x)=ax2+bx+c 00:56, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Complex conjugate notation reference[edit]

I've found a possible reference for the "z-bar" notation being preferred over "z-star" here [1], but I'm not sure how to add it as a citation. It's not a perfect reference, and a better one could probably be found, but it makes the point. Icthyos 14:43, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Arab-Israeli Tensions?![edit]

There is absolutely no evidence that the 6-armed asterisk has anything to do with "Arab-Israeli tensions." Further, the fact that the author of this paragraphs refers to them as "Israelis" and "Arabs" shows a great deal of ignorance, since these terms are relatively new, and are certainly far too new to have affected something like the official asterisk used by typewriters.

Is this an asterisk?[edit]

In this journal from 1791, there's an asterisk-like mark used about a quarter of the way through this page to point to a note at the top of the page. It looks rather like the Japanese symbol mentioned on this page, but that would be impossible, right? 05:05, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Pay attention[edit]

In a similar article in Russian you will find an invitation to participate in the contest for the most original example of the use of the mark. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Пасынок (talkcontribs) 10:07, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Mark Goodson Productions[edit]

The asterisk was a symbol of Mark Goodson/Goodson-Todman Productions, the prolific creators of American television game shows. Several can still be seen to this day on The Price is Right. I thought that would be a good fact to enter, but there seems to be no category for it. Suggestions? Othernash (talk) 04:57, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Action of using an asterix[edit]

I've heard astericized (not sure of spelling) before, as well as asterixed. Both to be used to describe something/things that have asterixes attached. but, how do you spell the former? ( (talk) 04:35, 11 March 2009 (UTC)) I'm not sure what an "asterix" is, unless you are referring to the comic book character Asterix, in which case I would recommend you capitalise the "a". Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 18:28, 31 October 2014 (UTC)


I've been using computers since the late 80s and I have NEVER ONCE seen anyone use asterisks as a sign of applause. Unless anyone can prove this isn't just made up by one person, I'm removing it. - Gargomon251 (talk) 07:05, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Using asterisks to show action[edit]

Often, people use asterisks to represent them actually performing an action, for example, *cries*. Worth noting? (talk) 07:39, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Misspellings and actions[edit]

There is no information here about the use of the asterisk on the Internet. It is very commonly used in IM, IRC, and chat rooms to correct spelling (since you can't go back once the message is sent). It may be used before or after the misspelled werd.


Also, it can be used as an action, as the person above me metioned. I've noticed this on IM and forums, and everywhere, really. Can anyone find any information on this?--Sje46 (talk) 15:41, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I've just looked into this and cannot find any information. *shrugs*

Disclaimers/fine prints?[edit]

Aren't asterisks sometimes used after a word or a statement with another asterisk at the bottom of the text followed by an explanation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Added, although someone may want to go over it. Not sure I did a good job of phrasing it.-- (talk) 16:02, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Barry Bonds[edit]

The section about Barry Bonds looks like a beginning trivia collection. Could that be moved to his own page, if any? -- (talk) 17:34, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

(When) does it look like a superscript?[edit]

Hi. Does anyone know when "*" looks like a superscript, as in C* algebra, and when not? Many fonts render "*" like a superscript, but not all.

Since super-ness seems to be customary, there must be reasons. If so, it's better to mention it, too. --Teika kazura (talk) 23:13, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

*(correction) vs (correction)*[edit]

Since when is there a standard for this? I've never encountered one, and common use of the asterisk to denote corrections doesn't indicate that this rule is followed, even if it exists. Does anyone have a source for this, or should it simply be removed as to avoid unnecessary confusion? Apples grow on pines (talk) 15:52, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Transliteration from the Greek[edit]

I believe the kappa has been left out of the transliteration from the Greek. The beginning of the article reads:

from Greek: ἀστερίσκος, asterisos, "little star")

but probably should be: asteriskos Would someone with a better command of the Greek language confirm the correct form? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Asterisk or Asterix[edit]

"Not to be confused with Asterix."

Except that we do that ourselves, in the first sentence: "An asterix"

We should be consistent on the spelling. If that means a disambiguation page with the character from the comic and moving this page to Asterix (glyph), so be it.

The first mention of the word should be the same as the one in the title or it looks ridiculous.

-- Philipwhiuk (talk) 16:35, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Punctuation and sports[edit]

A few things: I semi'd the page in response to an AIV report. I do not think the content about the Patriots is really relevant to an article about punctuation. I also sort of feel the same about Barry Bonds, but the connection there seems to be stronger. At any rate, it seems very odd to me to have the "Competitive sports and games" section towards the top. I don't think we should alphabetize arbitrary topics like this, as in this case it may add undue weight to this less pertinent subject matter about professional sports. Just wanted to share my thoughts. To be clear I have no strong opinions or involvement with this article, I just semi'd it to put a halt to the edit warring. Best MusikAnimal talk 20:54, 22 October 2015 (UTC)