An ampersand (&) is a symbolic abbreviation for and, deriving from a ligature of the letters 'et' (et is Latin for and). This is apparent in the example shown above right; the example on the left, now more common, is a later development.
Historically, & was regarded as the 27th letter of the Latin alphabet. The name derives from and per se and.
The ampersand represents a vowel in the orthography for the Marshallese language.
In computer programming, the ampersand corresponds to Unicode and ASCII character 38, or 0x0026.