monogram

monogram

[mon-uh-gram]
monogram [Gr.,=single letter], symbol of a name or names, consisting typically of a letter or several letters worked together. A famous monogram is that of Christ, consisting of X (chi) and P (rho), the first two letters of Christ in Greek. The monogram has been commonly used by artists (e.g., Dürer), monarchs (e.g., E.R. for Elizabeth II), companies, societies, and others. Bridal monograms and monograms on clothing, silverware, jewelry, seals, and letterheads are common.

A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a cypher and is not a monogram, although ciphers are frequently referred to as monograms.

A monogram may be a craftsman's signature on pieces of art such as sculptures and pieces of furniture, especially when the guilds enforced measures against unauthorized participation in the trade.

An individual's monogram is often a very fancy piece of art for adorning luggage, clothing, and so forth.

Monograms of the names of monarchs are used as part of the insignia of public organizations in kingdoms, such as on police badges. This indicates a connection to the ruler.

Monograms like the interrobang are used as letters, punctuation, and the like, and are not used for companies.

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