I am doing some research about pilcrows.

I am intrigued by the reversed pilcrow and have been trying to uncover its origin. Any google search however only yields results for the normal pilcrow.

I understand that pilcrows have been used since Ancient Rome before spaces were customarily placed between words. Could the reversed pilcrow have something to do with Boustrophedon writing where the direction of reading changes with every line?

The reversed pilcrow is included in Unicode and thus it must have a significant history for the Unicode committee to have accepted its inclusion. Yet, I find nowhere any information about that history. The closest I got is here: https://unicode.org/L2/L2016/16235-two-medieval-chars.pdf

This contains the line: " Note that U+204B REVERSED PILCROW SIGN was derived from the typographic U+00B6 ¶ PILCROW SIGN (itself a descendant of U+2E3F CAPITULUM), and is not a glyph variant of PARAGRAPHUS MARK. "

The reversed Pilcrow thus seems to have a history related to the normal pilcrow. Just wish I knew a little more.

In particular, would anyone know whether the reversed pilcrow was in use during the Late Middle Ages? Was it associated with any geographical area?


  • Not sure this question is about the English language.
    – user 66974
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 9:07
  • Since ELU has the typography tag, it would seem an appropriate question
    – dubious
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 9:28

1 Answer 1


According to this article, the reverse pilcrow is used for right-to-left writing and is common when writing by hand:

The reverse pilcrow (⁋) is used in the same manner as the original and is often used to indicate text that reads right to left. It is slightly more popular among handwritten editing processes as well.

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