In China the corresponding historical mark was two horizontal lines 二 (also the symbol of "two"), found in bronze script from the Zhou Dynasty, as in the example at right (circa 825 BCE). In script form this became 〻, and is now written as 々; see iteration mark.
The word ditto comes from the Tuscan language, where it is the past participle of the verb dire (to say), with the meaning of "said", as in the locution "the said story". The first recorded use of ditto with this meaning in English occurs in 1625. In English, the abbreviation "do." has sometimes been used.
For Chinese, Japanese and Korean, there is the specific Unicode character U+3003 〃 DITTO MARK in the range CJK Symbols and Punctuation. This facilitates the setting of both marks on a single horizontal line in Asian vertical text.
The equivalent symbol used in other languages are the corresponding quotation mark pointing to the right (» in French, „ in German, etc.) In French, it is called a guillemet itératif.