Dollar sign
The dollar or peso sign ($) is a symbol primarily used to indicate the various peso
The word peso was the name of a coin that originated in Spain and became of immense importance internationally...

 and dollar
The dollar is the name of the official currency of many countries, including Australia, Belize, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States.-Etymology:...

 units of currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 around the world.


The sign is first attested in British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canadian, Mexican
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 and other Spanish American business correspondence in the 1770s, referring to the Spanish American
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

The word peso was the name of a coin that originated in Spain and became of immense importance internationally...

, also known as "Spanish dollar
Spanish dollar
The Spanish dollar is a silver coin, of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497. Its purpose was to correspond to the German thaler...

" or "piece of eight" in British North America, which provided the model for the currency
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 that the United States later adopted in 1785 and the larger coins of the new Spanish American republics, such as the Mexican peso
Mexican peso
The peso is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, "$". The Mexican peso is the 12th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded in the Americas, and by far the most...

 and the Peruvian eight-real
Peruvian real
The real was the currency of Peru until 1863. Sixteen silver reales equalled one gold escudo. The silver coin of 8 reales was also known as the peso.-History:...

 and Bolivian eight-sol
Bolivian sol
The sol was the currency of Bolivia between 1827 and 1864. There were no subdivisions of the sol but 16 soles were equal to 1 scudo. The sol replaced the Spanish colonial real at par and was replaced by the boliviano at a rate of 8 soles = 1 boliviano. Only coins were issued.-Coins:In 1827, silver...


The best documented explanation reveals that the sign evolved out of the Spanish and Spanish American scribal abbreviation
Scribal abbreviation
Scribal abbreviations are the abbreviations used by ancient and mediæval scribes writing in Latin and, later, in Greek and Old Norse...

 "ps" for pesos. A study of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century manuscripts shows that the s gradually came to be written over the p developing a close equivalent to the "$" mark."

Alternative hypotheses

There are a number of other theories about the origin of the symbol, some with a measure of academic acceptance, others the symbolic equivalent of folk etymologies.

Slash 8

One theory is that the dollar sign is derived from a slash through the numeral eight, denoting pieces of eight. The Oxford English Dictionary before 1963 held that this was the most probable explanation, though later editions have placed it in doubt.

Spanish pieces of eight

Another theory is that the dollar sign was derived from or inspired by the mint mark
Mint mark
A mint mark is an inscription on a coin indicating the mint where the coin was produced.-History:Mint marks were first developed to locate a problem. If a coin was underweight, or overweight, the mint mark would immediately tell where the coin was minted, and the problem could be located and fixed...

 on the Spanish pieces of eight that were minted in Potosí
Potosí is a city and the capital of the department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the highest cities in the world by elevation at a nominal . and it was the location of the Spanish colonial mint, now the National Mint of Bolivia...

 (in present day Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

). The mint mark, composed of the letters "PTSI" superimposed, bears a strong resemblance to the single-stroke dollar sign (see photo). The mark, which appeared on silver coins minted from 1573 to 1825 in Potosí, the largest mint
Mint (coin)
A mint is an industrial facility which manufactures coins for currency.The history of mints correlates closely with the history of coins. One difference is that the history of the mint is usually closely tied to the political situation of an era...

 during the colonial period, would have been widely recognized throughout the North American colonies.

Greek mythology

Another theory is that the dollar sign may have also originated from Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

, the Greek god
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 of bankers, thieves, messengers, and tricksters: Besides the crane
Crane (bird)
Cranes are a family, Gruidae, of large, long-legged and long-necked birds in the order Gruiformes. There are fifteen species of crane in four genera. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back...

, one of his symbols was the caduceus
The caduceus is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings...

, a staff from which ribbons or snakes dangled in a sinuous curve.

Alchemic sigil for cinnabar

A symbol virtually identical to dollar sign has been used as an alchemic
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

Sigil (magic)
A sigil is a symbol created for a specific magical purpose. A sigil is usually made up of a complex combination of several specific symbols or geometric figures, each with a specific meaning or intent.- Name and origin :...

 for cinnabar
Cinnabar or cinnabarite , is the common ore of mercury.-Word origin:The name comes from κινναβαρι , a Greek word most likely applied by Theophrastus to several distinct substances...

 dating at least as far back as the early eighteenth century, although this has not been proposed as an origin of the dollar sign.

Spanish coat of arms

A common theory holds that it derives from the Spanish coat of arms engraved on the colonial silver coins, the reals
Spanish colonial real
The silver real was the currency of the Spanish colonies in the Americas and the Philippines. In the seventeenth century the silver real was established at two billon reals or sixty-eight Spanish maravedís. Gold escudos were also issued...

, (among them the Spanish dollar) that were in circulation in Spain's colonies in America and Asia. Reals and Spanish dollars were also legal tender in the English colonies in North America, which later became part of the United States and Canada.

In 1492, Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 adopted the symbol of the Pillars of Hercules
Pillars of Hercules
The Pillars of Hercules was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar is the Rock of Gibraltar in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar...

 and added the Latin phrase Non plus ultra meaning "nothing further beyond", indicating "this is the end of the (known) world." But when Christopher Columbus came to America, the legend was changed to Plus ultra
Plus Ultra (motto)
Plus ultra is the national motto of Spain adopted from the personal motto of Charles I of Spain. Earl Rosenthal, author of The Palace of Charles V in Granada , has researched the origin of the motto...

: "further beyond."

The symbol was adopted by Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 and was part of his coat of arms representing Spain's American possessions. The symbol was later stamped on coins minted in gold and silver. These coins, depicting the Pillars of Hercules over two hemispheres and a small "S"-shaped ribbon around each, were spread throughout America, Europe and Asia. For the sake of simplicity, traders wrote signs that, instead of saying dollar or peso, had this symbol made by hand, and this in turn evolved into a simple S with two vertical bars.

From "US"

A dollar sign with two vertical lines is a monogram
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...

 of U.S., used on money bags issued by the United States Mint
United States Mint
The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of State...

. The letters U and S superimposed resemble the historical double stroke dollar sign : the bottom of the 'U' disappears into the bottom curve of the 'S', leaving two vertical lines. This theory does not consider the fact that the symbol was already in use before the formation of the United States.

The book Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. Rand's fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing...

by Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism....

 includes a section where the main characters philosophize about the United States being the only nation to ever use its own monogram for its currency symbol. They suggest it means that the country had always been primarily concerned with the creation of wealth.

"Unit of silver"

Another theory is that it derives from "unit of silver", each unit being one "bit" of the "pieces of eight". Before the American Revolution, prices were often quoted in units of the Spanish dollar. According to this theory, when a price was quoted the capital 'S' was used to indicate silver with a capital 'U' written on top to indicate units. Eventually the capital 'U' was replaced by double vertical hash marks.

German Thaler

Another hypothesis is that it derives from the symbol used on a German Thaler
The Thaler was a silver coin used throughout Europe for almost four hundred years. Its name lives on in various currencies as the dollar or tolar. Etymologically, "Thaler" is an abbreviation of "Joachimsthaler", a coin type from the city of Joachimsthal in Bohemia, where some of the first such...

. According to Ovason (2004), on one type of thaler one side showed the crucified Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 while the other showed a serpent
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

 hanging from a cross
A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two lines or bars perpendicular to each other, dividing one or two of the lines in half. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally; if they run obliquely, the design is technically termed a saltire, although the arms of a saltire need not meet...

, the letters NU near the serpent's head, and on the other side of the cross the number 21. This refers to the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, Numbers
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

, Chapter 21 (see Nehushtan
The Nehushtan , in the Hebrew Bible, was a sacred object in the form of a snake of brass upon a pole.The priestly source of the Torah says that Moses used a 'fiery serpent' to cure the Israelites from snakebites...


Roman sestertius

There is a theory that the dollar sign goes back to the most important Roman coin, the sestertius
The sestertius, or sesterce, was an ancient Roman coin. During the Roman Republic it was a small, silver coin issued only on rare occasions...

, which had the letters 'HS' as its currency sign. When superimposed these letters form a dollar sign with two vertical strokes (the horizontal line of the 'H' merging into the 'S').

Later history

Robert Morris was the first to use that symbol in official documents and in official communications with Oliver Pollock
Oliver Pollock
Oliver Pollock was a merchant and financier of the American Revolutionary War, of which he has long been considered a historically undervalued figure...

. The US Dollar was directly based on the Spanish Milled Dollar
Spanish dollar
The Spanish dollar is a silver coin, of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497. Its purpose was to correspond to the German thaler...

 when, in the Coinage Act of 1792, the first Mint Act, its value was "fixed" (per the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, clause 1 power of the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 "To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures") as being "of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver."

According to a plaque in St Andrews
St Andrews
St Andrews is a university town and former royal burgh on the east coast of Fife in Scotland. The town is named after Saint Andrew the Apostle.St Andrews has a population of 16,680, making this the fifth largest settlement in Fife....

, Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, the dollar sign was first cast into type at a foundry in Philadelphia, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1797 by the Scottish immigrant John Baine and Archibald Binney.
The dollar sign did not appear on U.S. coinage until February 2007, when it was used on the reverse of a $1 coin authorized by the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005
Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005
The Presidential $1 Coin Program is part of an Act of Congress, , which directs the United States Mint to produce $1 coins with engravings of relief portraits of U.S. Presidents on the obverse.-Legislative history:...


The dollar sign appears as early as 1847 on the $100 Mexican War notes and the reverse of the 1869 $1000 United States note. The dollar sign also appears on the reverse of the 1934 $100,000 note as well as the reverse of the 1917 $1 note.

Use in computer software

The symbol "$" has Unicode code point U+0024 (inherited from Latin-1).

As the dollar sign is one of the few symbols that is, on one hand, almost universally present in computer character sets, but, on the other hand, rarely needed in their literal meaning within computer software, the $ character has been used on computers for many purposes unrelated to money. Its uses in programming language
Programming language
A programming language is an artificial language designed to communicate instructions to a machine, particularly a computer. Programming languages can be used to create programs that control the behavior of a machine and/or to express algorithms precisely....

s have often influenced or provoked its uses in operating system
Operating system
An operating system is a set of programs that manage computer hardware resources and provide common services for application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system...

s, and applications
Application software
Application software, also known as an application or an "app", is computer software designed to help the user to perform specific tasks. Examples include enterprise software, accounting software, office suites, graphics software and media players. Many application programs deal principally with...


Programming languages

  • $ was used for defining string
    String (computer science)
    In formal languages, which are used in mathematical logic and theoretical computer science, a string is a finite sequence of symbols that are chosen from a set or alphabet....

     variables in older versions of the BASIC
    BASIC is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use - the name is an acronym from Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code....

     language ("$" was often pronounced "string" instead of "dollar" in this use).
  • $ is used for defining hexadecimal constants in Pascal
    Pascal (programming language)
    Pascal is an influential imperative and procedural programming language, designed in 1968/9 and published in 1970 by Niklaus Wirth as a small and efficient language intended to encourage good programming practices using structured programming and data structuring.A derivative known as Object Pascal...

    -like languages such as Delphi
    Object Pascal
    Object Pascal refers to a branch of object-oriented derivatives of Pascal, mostly known as the primary programming language of Embarcadero Delphi.-Early history at Apple:...

    , and in some variants of assembly language
    Assembly language
    An assembly language is a low-level programming language for computers, microprocessors, microcontrollers, and other programmable devices. It implements a symbolic representation of the machine codes and other constants needed to program a given CPU architecture...

  • $ is used at the starts of names to define variables
    Variable (mathematics)
    In mathematics, a variable is a value that may change within the scope of a given problem or set of operations. In contrast, a constant is a value that remains unchanged, though often unknown or undetermined. The concepts of constants and variables are fundamental to many areas of mathematics and...

     in the PHP
    PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages. For this purpose, PHP code is embedded into the HTML source document and interpreted by a web server with a PHP processor module, which generates the web page document...

     language and the AutoIt
    AutoIt is a freeware automation language for Microsoft Windows. In its earliest release, the software was primarily intended to create automation scripts for Microsoft Windows programs but has since grown to include enhancements in both programming language design and overall functionality.With...

     automation script language, scalar
    Scalar (computing)
    In computing, a scalar variable or field is one that can hold only one value at a time; as opposed to composite variables like array, list, hash, record, etc. In some contexts, a scalar value may be understood to be numeric. A scalar data type is the type of a scalar variable...

     variables in the Perl
    Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions and become widely popular...

     language (see sigil (computer programming)
    Sigil (computer programming)
    In computer programming, a sigil is a symbol attached to a variable name, showing the variable's datatype or scope. In 1999 Philip Gwyn adopted the term "to mean the funny character at the front of a Perl variable".- Historical context:...

    ), and global variables in the Ruby
    Ruby (programming language)
    Ruby is a dynamic, reflective, general-purpose object-oriented programming language that combines syntax inspired by Perl with Smalltalk-like features. Ruby originated in Japan during the mid-1990s and was first developed and designed by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto...

  • In most shell script
    Shell script
    A shell script is a script written for the shell, or command line interpreter, of an operating system. It is often considered a simple domain-specific programming language...

    ing languages, $ is used for interpolating environment variable
    Environment variable
    Environment variables are a set of dynamic named values that can affect the way running processes will behave on a computer.They can be said in some sense to create the operating environment in which a process runs...

    s, special variables, arithmetic computations and special characters, and for performing translation of localised strings.
  • $ is used in the ALGOL 68
    ALGOL 68
    ALGOL 68 isan imperative computerprogramming language that was conceived as a successor to theALGOL 60 programming language, designed with the goal of a...

     language to delimit transput format regions.
  • $ is used in the TeX
    TeX is a typesetting system designed and mostly written by Donald Knuth and released in 1978. Within the typesetting system, its name is formatted as ....

    Typesetting is the composition of text by means of types.Typesetting requires the prior process of designing a font and storing it in some manner...

     language to delimit mathematical regions.
  • Formulas in spreadsheet
    A spreadsheet is a computer application that simulates a paper accounting worksheet. It displays multiple cells usually in a two-dimensional matrix or grid consisting of rows and columns. Each cell contains alphanumeric text, numeric values or formulas...

    s (e.g., Microsoft Excel
    Microsoft Excel
    Microsoft Excel is a proprietary commercial spreadsheet application written and distributed by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications...

    ) use $ to denote an absolute cell reference.
  • In many versions of FORTRAN 66, $ could be used as an alternative to a quotation mark for delimiting strings.
  • In PL/M
    The PL/M programming languageis a high-level language developed byGary Kildall in 1972 for Intel for its microprocessors....

    , $ can be used to put a visible separation between syllables of identifiers. For example, 'Some$Name' refers to the same thing as 'SomeName'.
  • In Haskell
    Haskell (programming language)
    Haskell is a standardized, general-purpose purely functional programming language, with non-strict semantics and strong static typing. It is named after logician Haskell Curry. In Haskell, "a function is a first-class citizen" of the programming language. As a functional programming language, the...

    , $ is used as a function application operator.
  • In several JavaScript
    JavaScript is a prototype-based scripting language that is dynamic, weakly typed and has first-class functions. It is a multi-paradigm language, supporting object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles....

     frameworks starting with Prototype.js and also popular in jQuery
    jQuery is a cross-browser JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML. It was released in January 2006 at BarCamp NYC by John Resig...

    , $ is a common utility class.
  • In ASP.NET
    ASP.NET is a Web application framework developed and marketed by Microsoft to allow programmers to build dynamic Web sites, Web applications and Web services. It was first released in January 2002 with version 1.0 of the .NET Framework, and is the successor to Microsoft's Active Server Pages ...

     the dollar sign indicates an expression will follow it, when used in a tag in the web page. The expression that follows is .net language-agnostic, as it will work with c#,, or any CLR supported language.

Operating systems

  • In CP/M
    CP/M was a mass-market operating system created for Intel 8080/85 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc...

     and subsequently in all versions of DOS
    DOS, short for "Disk Operating System", is an acronym for several closely related operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995, or until about 2000 if one includes the partially DOS-based Microsoft Windows versions 95, 98, and Millennium Edition.Related...

     (86-DOS, MS-DOS
    MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid 1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating...

    , PC-DOS
    IBM PC DOS is a DOS system for the IBM Personal Computer and compatibles, manufactured and sold by IBM from the 1980s to the 2000s....

    , more) and derivatives, $ is used as a string terminator (Int 21h with AH=09h).
    $ is used by the prompt command to insert special sequences into the DOS command prompt string.
  • In Microsoft Windows
    Microsoft Windows
    Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

    , $ is used at the end of the share name to hide a shared folder. For example, \\server\share is accessible and visible through browsing, while \\server\share$ is accessible only by explicit reference.
  • In Unix-like
    A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification....

     systems the $ is often part of the command prompt, depending on the user's shell
    Shell (computing)
    A shell is a piece of software that provides an interface for users of an operating system which provides access to the services of a kernel. However, the term is also applied very loosely to applications and may include any software that is "built around" a particular component, such as web...

     and environment settings. For example, the default environment settings for the bash shell specify $ as part of the command prompt.
    The using history expansion !$ (same as !!1$ and !-1$) means the last argument of the previous command in bash, !-2$ expands to the last argument of the penultimate command, !5$ expands into the last argument of the fifth command and so on. For example:

> touch my_first_file
> echo "This is my file." > !$
where !$ expands into my_first_file.
  • In the LDAP directory access protocol, $ is used as a line separator in various standard entry attributes such as postalAddress.


  • $ signifies the end of a line or the file in text editors ed
    Ed (text editor)
    ed is a line editor for the Unix operating system. It was one of the first end-user programs hosted on the system and has been standard in Unix-based systems ever since. ed was originally written in PDP-11/20 assembler by Ken Thompson in 1971...

    , ex
    Ex (text editor)
    ex, short for EXtended, is a line editor for Unix systems.The original ex was an advanced version of the standard Unix editor ed, included in the Berkeley Software Distribution...

    , vi
    vi is a screen-oriented text editor originally created for the Unix operating system. The portable subset of the behavior of vi and programs based on it, and the ex editor language supported within these programs, is described by the Single Unix Specification and POSIX.The original code for vi...

    , pico
    Pico (text editor)
    Pico is a text editor for Unix and Unix-based computer systems. It is integrated with the Pine e-mail client, which was designed by the Office of Computing and Communications at the University of Washington....

     and derivatives, and, as a result:
  • $ matches the end of a line or string in sed
    sed is a Unix utility that parses text and implements a programming language which can apply transformations to such text. It reads input line by line , applying the operation which has been specified via the command line , and then outputs the line. It was developed from 1973 to 1974 as a Unix...

    , grep
    grep is a command-line text-search utility originally written for Unix. The name comes from the ed command g/re/p...

    , and POSIX
    POSIX , an acronym for "Portable Operating System Interface", is a family of standards specified by the IEEE for maintaining compatibility between operating systems...

     and Perl
    Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions and become widely popular...

     regular expression
    Regular expression
    In computing, a regular expression provides a concise and flexible means for "matching" strings of text, such as particular characters, words, or patterns of characters. Abbreviations for "regular expression" include "regex" and "regexp"...


Currencies that use the dollar or peso sign

In addition to those countries of the world that use dollars or pesos, a number of other countries use the $ symbol to denote their currencies, including:
  • Nicaraguan córdoba
    Nicaraguan córdoba
    - History :The first córdoba was introduced on March 20, 1912. It replaced the peso at a rate of 12½ pesos = 1 córdoba & was initially equal to the US dollar. It was named after the founder of Nicaragua, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba....

     (usually written as C$)
  • Samoan tālā
    Samoan tala
    The tālā is the currency of Samoa. It is divided into 100 sene. The terms tālā and sene are the equivalents or transliteration of the English words dollar and cent, in the Samoan language....

     (a transliteration of the word dollar)
  • Tongan paʻanga

An exception is the Philippine peso
Philippine peso
The peso is the currency of the Philippines. It is subdivided into 100 centavos . Before 1967, the language used on the banknotes and coins was English and so "peso" was the name used...

, whose sign is written as .

The dollar sign is also still sometimes used to represent the Malaysian ringgit
Malaysian ringgit
The Malaysian ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. It is divided into 100 sen...

 (which replaced the local dollar), though its official use to represent the currency has been discontinued .

Some currencies use the cifrão , similar to the dollar sign, but always with two strokes:
  • Brazilian real
    Brazilian real
    The real is the present-day currency of Brazil. Its sign is R$ and its ISO code is BRL. It is subdivided into 100 centavos ....

  • Cape Verde escudo
  • Chilean peso
    Chilean peso
    The peso is the currency of Chile. The current peso has circulated since 1975, with a previous version circulating between 1817 and 1960. The symbol used locally for it is $. The ISO 4217 code for the present peso is CLP. It is subdivided into 100 centavos, although no centavo denominated coins...

  • Portuguese escudo
    Portuguese escudo
    The escudo was the currency of Portugal prior to the introduction of the Euro on 1 January 1999 and its removal from circulation on 28 February 2002. The escudo was subdivided into 100 centavos....


The cifrão is also used to account for over 130,000,000 domestic standard U.S. Mint (1986+) bullion U.S. silver dollars as one dollar per one troy ounce fine (99.9%), thereby avoiding confusion with debased U.S. trade dollar-denominated tokens and Federal Reserve notes.

In Mexico and another peso-using countries, the cifrão is used as a dollar sign when a document uses pesos and dollars at the same time, to avoid confusions, but, when it used alone, usually is represented as US $ (United States dollars). Example: US $5 (five US dollars).

In the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Pacific Island nations, and English-speaking Canada, the dollar or peso symbol precedes the number, unlike most currency symbols. Five dollars or pesos is written and printed as $5, whereas five cents is written as 5¢. In French-speaking Canada, the dollar symbol usually appears after the number, although it sometimes appears in front of it, or instead may even be totally absent.

Other Uses

The dollar sign is also used in library cataloging to represent subsections.

Also, it is used derisively to indicate greed or excess money such as in "Micro$oft", "George W. Bu$h", "Lar$ Ulrich", and "Ke$ha".
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