English names for the characters in both US and British keyboards

English names for the characters in both US and British keyboards

English names for the characters in both US and British keyboards contain some tricky and hard to remember symbols like ~ ` or ^. Here is a useful list of them explained. Red quotes stand for the British.

~ tilde (sounds like til-da); be prepared to explain to   computer-illiterate people saying “you know, the wave-shaped   thingy”
! exclamation; commonly read as bang in case of #!/bin/sh
@ at
# pound; but commonly read as shee in case of #!/bin/sh, not   sure why, pound is the American, UK is hash
£ pound
$ Dollar
% Percent
^ caret; not many people know this word so be prepared to   say “no, not carrot; it’s the character above 6, an arrow pointing   up”
& Ampersand
* star; some read asterisk
( opening parenthesis (some may shorten it saying paren), open bracket
) closing parenthesis, close bracket
_ underscore; once I heard people say underbar
+ Plus
minus; as symbol before arguments in commands, some people   including me read dash, easier to say one syllable,   or hyphen
= Equals
` backtick or backquote
{ opening brace, open curly bracket
} closing brace, close curly bracket
[ opening bracket, open square bracket
] closing bracket, close square bracket
| pipe or vertical bar
\ backslash; be prepared to explain to some   computer-illiterate people
: colon
; semicolon
double quote
single quote
< less than; some may read left angle bracket
> greater than
, comma
. dot; period if in English text
? question mark
/ slash or forward slash; some computer-illiterate people   may be confused about / and \
space
(), [] and {} may also be called brackets in general. In that case, they   specifically call [] square brackets and {} curly brackets. I never like   this. Open and Closing may also be called left and right.
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