Guillemet facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
« »
Guillemet
Punctuation
apostrophe   '
brackets [ ]  ( )  { }  ⟨ ⟩
colon :
comma ,  ،  
dash ‒  –  —  ―
ellipsis   ...  . . .      
exclamation mark  !
full stop, period .
guillemets ‹ ›  « »
hyphen
hyphen-minus -
question mark  ?
quotation marks ‘ ’  “ ”  ' '  " "
semicolon ;
slash, stroke, solidus /    
Word dividers
interpunct ·
space     
General typography
ampersand &
asterisk *
at sign @
backslash \
basis point
bullet
caret ^
dagger † ‡ ⹋
degree °
ditto mark ” 〃
equals sign =
inverted exclamation mark ¡
inverted question mark ¿
komejirushi, kome, reference mark
multiplication sign ×
number sign, pound, hash #
numero sign
obelus ÷
ordinal indicator º ª
percent, per mil  % ‰
pilcrow
plus, minus + −
plus-minus, minus-plus ± ∓
prime     
section sign §
tilde ~
underscore, understrike _
vertical bar, pipe, broken bar |    ¦
Intellectual property
copyright ©
copyleft 🄯
sound-recording copyright
registered trademark ®
service mark
trademark
Currency
currency sign ¤

؋ ​₳ ​ ฿ ​ ​ ₵ ​¢ ​₢ ​ $ ​₫ ​₯ ​֏ ​ ₠ ​ ​ ƒ ​₣ ​ ₲ ​ ₴ ​ ₭ ​ ₺ ​₾ ​ ​ ₦ ​ ₧ ​₱ ​₰ ​£ ​ 元 圆 圓 ​៛ ​₽ ​₹ ₨ ​ ₪ ​ ​₸ ​₮ ​ ₩ ​ ¥ ​

Uncommon typography
asterism
fleuron, hedera
index, fist
interrobang
irony punctuation
lozenge
tie
Related
In other scripts
  • Chinese
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Category
  • Book

Guillemets, angle quotes, angle brackets, or carets, are a pair of punctuation marks in the form of sideways double chevrons (« and »), used as quotation marks in a number of languages. Sometimes a single guillemet ( or ) is used for another purpose. They are not conventionally used in the English language.

Terminology

Guillemets may also be called angle, Latin, or French quotes / quotation marks. Unicode exists for single and double guillemets.

Guillemet is a diminutive of the French name Guillaume (equivalent to English William), apparently after the French printer and punchcutter Guillaume Le Bé (1525–98), though he did not invent the symbols: they first appear in a 1527 book printed by Josse Bade. Some languages derive their word for guillemets analogously: the Irish term is Liamóg, from Liam 'William' and a diminutive suffix.

Uses

See also: Quotation mark#Summary table

Guillemets are used pointing outwards («like this») to indicate speech in these languages and regions:

  • Albanian
  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Azerbaijani (used alongside "...")
  • Belarusian
  • Breton
  • Bulgarian (rarely used; „...“ is official, but "..." prevails)
  • Catalan
  • Chinese (《 and 》 are used to indicate a book or album title)
  • Esperanto (usage varies)
  • Estonian (marked usage; „...“ prevails)
  • Franco-Provençal
  • French (spaced out by non-breaking spaces « like this », except in Switzerland)
  • Galician
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Iowans make use of the guillemet when quoting text that also contains a quote, especially in the Des Moines metropolitan region. E.g. « The governor answered "I am thankful for those Iowans who have stepped forward to serve their fellow citizens." ». This practice – a local shibboleth – is a variation of the French usage and dates back to use by the newspaper Iowa Star (now the Des Moines Register).
  • Japanese (《 and 》 are used to indicate a book or album title)
  • North Korean (in South Korea " is used)
  • Kurdish
  • Norwegian
  • Persian
  • Polish (acceptable and defined to indicate a quote inside a quote by some language standards, but less common. See also: Polish orthography)
  • Portuguese (used mostly in European Portuguese, due to its presence in typical computer keyboards; considered obsolete in Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Romanian; only to indicate a quotation within a quotation
  • Russian, and some languages of the former Soviet Union using Cyrillic script („...“ is also used for nested quotes and in hand-written text.)
  • Spanish (uncommon in daily usage, but commonly used in publishing)
  • Swiss languages
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian

Guillemets are used pointing inwards (»like this«) to indicate speech in these languages:

  • Croatian (marked usage; „...” prevails)
  • Czech (marked usage; „...“ prevails)
  • Danish („...“ is also used)
  • Esperanto (very uncommon)
  • German (except in Switzerland; preferred for printed matters; „...“ is preferred in handwriting)
  • Hungarian (only used „inside a section »as a secondary quote« marked by the usual quotes“ like this)
  • Polish (used to indicate a quote inside a quote as defined by dictionaries; more common usage in practice. See also: Polish orthography)
  • Serbian (marked usage; „...“ prevails)
  • Slovak (marked usage; „...“ prevails)
  • Slovene („...“ and "..." also used)
  • Swedish (this and »...» are rarely used; ”...” is the common and correct form)

Guillemets are used pointing right (»like this») to indicate speech in these languages:

  • Finnish (”...” is the common and correct form)
  • Swedish (this and «...» are rarely used; ”...” is the common and correct form)

Guillemet Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.