Top 10 symbols that have changed meaning throughout history, it evolves like…

You are aware that the world is constantly changing, otherwise we would still be hanging around naked while living in caves, which would be quite boring in everyday life. But with customs, languages, manners and car models have also evolved certain symbols that have had a second life with a new meaning. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was not so good (often because of the Nazis), and we invite you to see some examples here.

1. The alphabet

Inevitably, if we want to start from the most obvious, we can simply take the alphabet, which was originally a succession of symbols representing very specific things such as an eye or an ox. Over time they evolved through different civilizations (Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans) until they became the letters we know today as the F or the very popular W.

2. Bluetooth: the rune of King Harald

You must have seen this strange symbol on your phone, without perhaps wondering what it means. Bluetooth technology was developed by Swedish researchers who paid homage to the Norse king Harald Blatand, nicknamed Harald with the blue tooth (you have there the explanation of the name of the Blue Tooth technology). As for the symbol, it is two runes that correspond to the letters H and B that have been associated.

3. The Swastika

The history of the symbol is millennial, we have found representations in Africa, Europe, Asia, America and many peoples have represented it with different meanings. Among Buddhists or Hindus it is considered the most positive symbol, in China it represents eternity and its name in Indian means “it is good”. And then there were the Nazis who took it over, reversing it and vastly changing its meaning and representation in Western history.

4. The Rod of Asclepius (or Rod of Aesculapius)

You’ve probably seen this symbol in doctors’ offices or in the medical community in general. In Greek mythology Aesculapius was one of the sons of Apollo and was the god of medicine. His stick around which a snake wraps had the power to cure most illnesses and you can therefore understand why it was taken up by the medical community, it made sense. It would have been less logical in the motorway environment for example.

5. The Pentagram

Basically, the pentagram represents several ideas, depending on its position upright or upside down, depending on the times and civilizations. But today, unless you are really well versed in the subject, it is easier to think of Satanism and this kind of dark subject when you see the symbol on the black hooded sweater of your little cousin who tortures mice and who is a bit disturbing.

6. The symbol of peace

You must have seen this symbol on a patch stuck on your backpack from the time when you were babes in college and you identify it with peace. Well you are partly right because it has always been positive, however when it was created in 1958 the symbol had a less broad meaning since it represented the will to campaign for nuclear disarmament. Since it was taken over by the hippie movement at the time, it became more widely a symbol of peace. You now have the explanation behind this known symbol.

Top 10 symbols that have changed meaning throughout history, it evolves like...
Photo credits (Public Domain): Gerald Holtom (DW: Original uploaded by Schuminweb to English Wikipedia.)

7. Eye of Providence

Basically, this symbol, which is found in several forms in the United States, represents the eye of God who watches over men. The first representations of the eye go back a long way since we find traces of it in Indian or Egyptian mythologies, which does not date from last weekend. But as the thing has been associated with the Freemasons and the Illuminati, we think directly of them when seeing the symbol, too bad.

8. The Skull and Bones

If when you see this symbol you think of pirates or life-threatening warnings on certain everyday products, then you may not know the origin of this representation. Well, it has always represented a form of death, but there is a connection with the Latin phrase “memento mori” (remember that you are going to die). A sentence with multiple interpretations and representations that the pirates probably displayed on their flags as a warning.

9. Lightning

Basically this symbol dates back to Antiquity where it quite logically represented the lightning of Zeus. It was therefore necessary to see in it the power but also the judgment of this capricious God who reigned over the Greek pantheon. And then once again the Nazis came along and appropriated the symbol to represent the SS. They really pissed us off to the end.

Top 10 symbols that have changed meaning throughout history, it evolves like...

10. The Cock Drawing

One might think that this penile shape has always represented the penis but no, lost. In ancient Mesopotamia this was the form of the deity Bitux which represented the means of transport. Too bad, we remember less now.

Top 10 symbols that have changed meaning throughout history, it evolves like...

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