The asterisk is the handy little star symbol* that we use to indicate that there is more information attached to something, to denote the existence of a footnote, to add emphasis to a word or point of notice, or to blank out letters in offensive words that we don’t want to type or write in full.
The wordasterisk means ‘little star’ and has been used as a noun since the late 14th century— well before the invention of the printing press— while the verb form “to asterisk something” was first recorded in 1733.
Asteriskcomes to use from Latin via Greek, but actually goes back to Proto-Indo-European roots, which is about as far back as any language or individual words can be traced. The PIE root *ster- is the source of the words for star in numerous languages including Hittite, Sanskrit, Greek, Latin and, thus, English.
Therefore, the word…
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