Ditto mark

The ditto mark is a sign indicating that the words or figures above it are to be repeated.[1][2]

The mark is made using 'a pair of apostrophes';[1] 'a pair of marks " used underneath a word';[3] the symbol " (quotation mark);[2][4] or the symbol (right double quotation mark).[5]

Early evidence of ditto marks can be seen on a cuneiform tablet of the Neo-Assyrian period (934–608 BCE) where two vertical marks are used in a table of synonyms to repeat text.[6]

In China the corresponding historical mark was two horizontal lines (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 , and is now written as ; see iteration mark.

The word ditto comes from the Tuscan language,[7] 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.[7] In English, the abbreviation "do." has sometimes been used.

An advertisement from 1833. The second item on the list can be read as "Prime American Pork, in barrels", but the third and fourth are ambiguous as to the origin of the meat. The repetition indicator used is "do." (Perth Gazette)

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,[citation needed] etc.) In French, it is called a guillemet itératif.[8][9]