Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Either of a pair of punctuation marks («) or (») used in some languages, such as French and Russian, to mark the beginning and end of a quotation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of the punctuation marks « or », used in several languages to indicate passages of speech. Similar to typical quotation marks used in the English language such as “ and ”.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A quotation mark.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A quotation-mark.

Etymologies

French, diminutive of Guillaume, William (the name of its supposed inventor).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French guillemet, diminutive form of the name Guillaume ("William"), after the French typecutter Guillaume Le Bé (1525–1598) who supposedly invented the marks. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style says the word "guillemet" honors the the sixteenth-century typecutter Guillaume le Bé. octothorpe: #

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Dire que j'me suis '' '' 'vite' '' '' levé (oui j'mets pleind e guillemet parce que j'peux pas m'lever vite etant donné que j'fais des paralysie du sommeil) Mais si j'avais pu je l'aurais fait ...

    pinku-tk Diary Entry

  • Heureusement (grosse guillemet) aurelien et son pote alex m'ont soutenu dans cette dure epreuve a renfort de foutage de gueule pendant les essayage!

    pinku-tk Diary Entry

Comments

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  • « quotation marks » (French) or »quotation« (German, Slovene and many other languages)

    December 2, 2007