It represents the Latin conjunction et, meaning "and". The ampersand's symbol is not only a logogram, but also a ligature. It joins the old handwritten Latin letters e and t of the word et, so that the word is represented as a single glyph.
With a c added on it means "et cetera", "and so on".
References[change | change source]
- diagram standing for a word.
- "The ampersand & more" with Kory Stamper, part of the "Ask the Editor" video series at Merriam-Webster.com