When I make a phone call, I'm not sure how to say the snow-like symbol and "#" correctly on the keyboard of phone in English, or I have no idea what people are talking about when they say a word which may seem to referring to "#" or the snow-like symbol. Could you please tell me how to say them? Thank you.

  • "Asterisk" and "octothorpe". Or, if you prefer, "star" and "pound sign". – Hot Licks Mar 3 '17 at 2:58
  • @Hot Licks: in Britain we call it hash not pound sign because of our currency sign. – Chris M Mar 3 '17 at 7:08
  • @ChrisM - Telephone prompts in the US will tell you "Please enter your number, followed by the pound sign." – Hot Licks Mar 3 '17 at 12:32
  • @Hot Licks That's fascinating! Thank you for sharing that. Over here £ is the pound sign, of course. I wonder why # would be called a pound sign. – Chris M Mar 3 '17 at 18:05
  • @Hot Licks we call this # hashtag. – Chris M Mar 3 '17 at 18:09

Usually they are called the "star" key for "*" and the "pound" key for "#", although "hashtag" seems to be growing in use as the name for the "#" key lately.


The key labeled ✻ was officially named the star key. The original design used a symbol with six points, but an asterisk (*) with five points commonly appears in printing.[citation needed] "#" is officially called the number sign key, but other names such as pound key, hash key, hex key, octothorpe, gate, and square, are common, depending national or personal preference.

  • "Officially" by whom? – Hot Licks Mar 3 '17 at 18:52

"Star" and "hash", respectively.

For example: *10# would be pronounced "Star - Ten - Hash", or "Star - One - Zero - Hash"


asterisk for '*' and sharp or pound for '#'

  • That is not what the symbols are customarily called in reference to the telephone keypad. – choster Mar 3 '17 at 14:03
  • But we do used it. I guess in your country don't use it as we used it. – Red John Mar 8 '17 at 1:20

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