Saturday, 6 February 2021


Used in a number of orthographies around the world instead of or in combination with quotation marks, the term is a diminutive of Guillaume (William) after the pioneering sixteenth century French printer and font-founder Guillaume Le Bรฉ—France being the primary place where they are employed, though the nested quotes are used elsewhere and in other ways, including in Japan and China where « » sets off the title of a book or album, in Portuguese and Swiss German (called Mรถwchen, little Sea Gulls) to indicated a reported quotation within a quotation, and inwardly pointing » « to bracket off direct speech. In Quebec, a singular right pointing guillemet itรฉratif is used as a ditto mark.