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### Origin of the Percent Symbol

```
Date: 02/12/2002 at 21:09:18
From: Travis Beaton
Subject: Percent symbol

Where did the percent symbol originate? My teacher thinks it was
from the sign for the number 100 with two zeros on each side of the
1, but I am not sure.
```

```
Date: 02/12/2002 at 23:34:53
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: Percent symbol

Hi, Travis.

According to D. E. Smith, _History of Mathematics_, the sign
originated in 15th-century manuscripts as

o        o
per c  or  p c

for "per cento" or "per hundred." By the mid-17th century it was

o
per ---
o

and later the "per" was dropped. Later it was tilted into what Smith
calls the "solidus form, %", since "/" is called a solidus.

I seem to recall somewhere reading that it was originally "numero per
cento" in Italian, which was written as

o /
n / c

using the solidus for "per," as in a fraction; the c closed up to form
a second o, while the n disappeared. I can't think what book that
could be from, if not from Smith; but Smith apparently doesn't agree.
So this may just be a figment of my imagination.

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
Middle School Fractions

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