What can I call the following symbols?




  • 2
    Please only ask one question at a time - you are asking three separate questions here. Sep 24, 2011 at 20:59
  • 1
    Also, can you add some context to this request? These characters are not used in normal English writing. Sep 24, 2011 at 21:06
  • 2
    @Hugo: It's actually three single word requests. I see nothing wrong with it other than that it is three questions in one.
    – Daniel
    Sep 24, 2011 at 21:13
  • 1
    Although it is difficult to enter symbols like these in Google or other search engines, you can often search for them in references like Wikipedia; they return the pages @drɱ65 δ has mentioned in the answer below.
    – aedia λ
    Sep 24, 2011 at 21:21
  • 3
    I don't understand the votes to close. We're always getting questions like "What's the word for [ddescription of something]?". This one is as good as it gets! @Gimp has actually given us the exact somethings he wants the names of. No need to keep asking for clarification about exactly what his "something" is! Sep 25, 2011 at 1:24

2 Answers 2


~ is a tilde.

^ is a caret.

` is a grave accent when used as an accent or a backtick, when used alone.

  • 3
    I've heard ~ (tilde) referred to as wiggle and twiddle in numerous math lectures. Ordinarily, a given lecturer only uses one term or the other and is consistent. The common word for ^ (caret) in math lectures is hat and in LaTex it's obtained by \hat. Sep 24, 2011 at 21:25
  • @jwpat7: Good grief! - wiggle, twiddle, hat?. I suppose those maths teachers were too busy learning numbers to learn letters. Sep 25, 2011 at 1:30
  • @fum, none of those are 'letters' Oct 6, 2011 at 16:05
  • @whoabackoff: True, but I'd still classify such teachers as "unlettered", even though I've no doubt they'd all at least know the alphabet. I find it particularly depressing that jwpat7's reference to "math lectures" implies we're talking about reasonably advanced maths teaching here, where tildes and carets are common symbols. Oct 7, 2011 at 16:25
  • @fum, it's not uncommon for symbols to go by different names in mathematics: exclamation mark for factorials, slash for division, colon for ratios, full stops for decimal points... even symbols like the asterisk and number signs go by different names in math. I find this in no way depressing, and would never classify these professors as "unlettered". Oct 7, 2011 at 18:02
  • ~ - this is a tilde
  • ^ - this is a caret
  • ` - and this is a backtick

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