Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Should the tilde symbol (~) be used to sign your name? It seems quite commonplace on Internet forums but I don't believe I've ever seen it used in books.

share|improve this question
It might be worth noting sites like Twitter that prefix user names with characters automatically in certain cases, such as with @ and #. The user isn't always in full control on the web. Do you have any examples? –  Grant Thomas Apr 30 '11 at 19:52
I've only saw that in Wikipedia... –  nico Apr 30 '11 at 19:55

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The hyphen, standing in a for a dash, is the more-common punctuation for signing and attributing quotes. - The Raven

share|improve this answer

In Wikipedia, four tildes are used to sign a post. This character sequence will be recognised by the software and turned into the user name and a date stamp. This does not mean that a tilde is a valid character to sign your name elsewhere, web or paper.

share|improve this answer

in the mathematics language the tilde means "equivalent to", so at the end of a signature it may not be proper. However it still looks nice I don't see anything wrong with it can't hurt to stand out and be creative, right? Also, what if it looks to some like it means you're equal to everybody. . . if you perceive it that way? Were all one anyway and if u put it after a smiley it looks like a funny goatee:)~

share|improve this answer
I thought it meant approximately? –  medica Nov 21 '14 at 6:02
@Medica: It appears that the tilde, like many, many symbols in mathematics, is used to represent several distinct concepts. (Even π is overloaded...) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilde#Mathematics –  sumelic 22 hours ago
@sumelic - Thanks! I would never have known that. And thanks for the link. –  medica 22 hours ago

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.