What is Pound Key?

Pound key

The pound key, also known as the hash key, is a symbol represented by the “#” character on a standard telephone keypad or computer keyboard.

It’s commonly used for a variety of purposes in both technology and everyday communication.

In the context of telephony, the pound key is often used to navigate automated phone systems.

For instance, when you call a customer service line and are prompted to “Press 1 for English” or “Enter your account number followed by the pound key,” you’d use the pound key to indicate the end of your input.

In the realm of computing and the internet, the pound key has several uses.

It’s frequently employed in programming and scripting to denote comments in code, making it a valuable tool for developers to add explanatory notes within their programs.

In web addresses, it’s used to create URL fragments, allowing users to link to specific sections of a webpage.


Additionally, the pound key has found its place in social media, where it’s utilized in hashtags to categorize and organize content.

All in all, the pound key is a versatile character that plays a vital role in technology, communication, and even pop culture, given its prevalence in hashtags on social media platforms like Twitter.

Pound Key Symbol

First – Appearance and characteristics:

The pound key symbol, also known as the pound sign or hash symbol, is represented by the “#” character. It consists of two horizontal lines that intersect perpendicularly, forming a grid-like shape. It is often used as a special character in computer programming and can have various meanings in different contexts, such as denoting comments in code or serving as a delimiter in URLs.

Second – Unicode representation:

The pound key symbol “#” has a Unicode code point of U+0023.

Famous Instances

A. Notable historical uses of AI include:

  1. Alan Turing’s use of early computers to crack the Enigma code during World War II.
  2. IBM’s Deep Blue defeating chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997.
  3. Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo defeating Go world champion Lee Sedol in 2016.
  4. NASA’s use of AI in space exploration, such as the Mars rovers and the Hubble Space Telescope.

B. Viral hashtag campaigns related to AI:

  1. #AIforGood: Used to promote the positive applications of AI for social and environmental issues.
  2. #DeepLearning: Popular for discussions about deep neural networks and their applications.
  3. #Robotics: Often used to share advancements in AI-driven robotics and automation.
  4. #AIethics: Focuses on the ethical considerations and responsible use of AI technology.

Pound Key Etymology

The “#” symbol on a telephone or keypad is commonly known as the “pound key” in the United States. Its name and usage have evolved over time.

A. Origins of the term “pound key”: The term “pound key” likely originates from the symbol’s resemblance to a stylized “lb” for pounds (as in weight). In some contexts, it has also been called the “number sign” or “number key.”

B. Alternative names: The “#” symbol has various names in different regions and contexts. Some alternative names include:

  • Hash
  • Octothorpe
  • Tic-tac-toe sign
  • Sharp
  • Crosshatch
  • Square
  • Grid
  • Hashmark
  • Hashtag (mainly used in social media)
  • Hachek (used in some programming and linguistic contexts)
  • And more, depending on specific applications and regions.

Cultural Significance

1. Cultural Significance and Impact on Communication and Technology:

Cultural significance can have a profound impact on communication and technology. For example, the widespread adoption of smartphones and social media platforms has transformed the way people communicate and share information. These technologies have not only changed the way we connect with one another but have also influenced our behaviors and interactions. They’ve shaped new norms for how we express ourselves, stay informed, and engage with the world.

2. Pop Culture References:

Cultural significance often manifests in pop culture references. These references can include movies, TV shows, music, and other forms of entertainment that reflect and reinforce cultural values, trends, and symbols. For instance, iconic films like “Star Wars” have left a lasting mark on pop culture, with characters like Darth Vader becoming instantly recognizable symbols. Such references not only entertain but also serve as cultural touchstones, helping to define and perpetuate shared cultural narratives.

What is Pound sign in American English?

In American English, the symbol “#” is commonly referred to as the “pound sign.”

This is a term that can cause some confusion, as the same symbol is also called the “hash sign” or “number sign” in different contexts. But when it’s called the “pound sign,” it’s used as a suffix to denote a weight in pounds.

For instance, if you see “5#,” it is read as “five pounds.” This usage is not as prevalent as simply writing “5 lb,” which is more common and widely accepted.

However, despite its somewhat limited use, most Americans will understand the “5#” notation as referring to pounds, given the traditional association of the “#” symbol with this unit of weight.

It’s worth noting that in recent years, the “#” symbol has gained prominence in social media and online culture as the “hashtag.”

This usage has become more widespread and recognizable globally, but when it comes to denoting weight in pounds, the “pound sign” or “lb” abbreviation is the more traditional and clear choice in American English.

You know, The “#” symbol has various uses in different contexts:

  1. Numerical Use: In North America, the “#” symbol is commonly used to denote “pounds” in weight, for example, “5# of sugar” indicates five pounds of sugar.
  2. Telephone Use: On a telephone keypad, the “#” symbol is used to indicate the end of a numeric entry or as a signal for various phone system functions.
  3. Social Media and Programming: In the context of social media, particularly Twitter, the “#” symbol is used to create hashtags that categorize and link posts to specific topics or trends. In programming and coding, the “#” symbol is often used to denote comments in code or as a delimiter in some programming languages.
  4. Music Notation: In music notation, the “#” symbol is used to indicate a sharp note, raising the pitch of a musical note by one semitone.
  5. Other Symbols: In mathematics and other contexts, the “#” symbol is used as a symbol for various operations or meanings, such as denoting “number” or “quantity.”

The use of the “#” symbol can vary by region and context, so it’s essential to consider the specific context in which it is being used to understand its meaning correctly.

Pound Key Uses in Telephony and Dialing Extensions

1. Telephone Keypads:

In telephone keypads, the pound key is one of the buttons and is used for various functions, such as entering numbers or characters during phone calls or when interacting with automated systems.

2. Dialing Extensions:

When making phone calls within an organization or a large system, the pound key is often used to indicate the end of a phone number and to signal that an extension number is about to be dialed. For example, you might dial a main number followed by “#” and then the extension number to reach a specific person within the organization.

So, both of the uses you mentioned are correct.

Pound Key Uses in Computing

  1. Coding and Scripting: Coding and scripting are both essential processes in computing, but they serve different purposes:
    • Coding typically refers to the process of writing and creating computer programs or software. It involves using programming languages like Python, Java, C++, etc., to design and develop applications, websites, or software systems. Coding is a more comprehensive and structured process and often involves creating complex algorithms and data structures.
    • Scripting, on the other hand, involves writing scripts using scripting languages like JavaScript, Perl, or Bash. Scripts are often used for automating tasks, such as system administration, data processing, or web interactions. Scripting languages are usually interpreted rather than compiled, making them suitable for smaller, more specific tasks.
  2. Metadata Tagging: Metadata tagging involves attaching descriptive information or labels to digital content, such as files, documents, images, videos, or web pages. These tags provide additional context and help in organizing, searching, and managing digital assets. Some common examples of metadata tagging include:
    • Adding keywords or tags to photos or documents to make them easier to find in a search.
    • Embedding metadata in audio files to display artist names and song titles.
    • Using HTML meta tags to describe the content and purpose of a web page for search engine optimization.
    Metadata tagging is crucial for effective data management, data retrieval, and ensuring that digital content is well-organized and searchable.

Pound Key Uses in Social Media?

  1. Hashtags: Hashtags are used in social media to categorize and organize content. They make it easier for users to find posts related to specific topics or keywords. Users can click on a hashtag to view all public posts that include the same hashtag, allowing for better content discovery and engagement.
  2. Trending topics: Social media platforms often display a list of trending topics or hashtags. These are popular or widely discussed subjects at a given time. Users can click on trending topics to explore what’s currently popular or to join conversations about these topics. It’s a way to stay updated on current events and engage with a broader online community.


In conclusion, the pound key, often symbolized as #, serves as a versatile and widely recognized character in various contexts, such as telecommunications, technology, and social media. Its importance in allowing users to input or access specific information or functionalities cannot be understated. As communication and technology continue to evolve, the pound key remains a fundamental element in our interconnected world, enabling efficient and effective interactions across various platforms and devices.


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