We can see the character or symbol * on web pages or in code.

What's its name?

  1. From my dictionary, it is called the asterisk.
  2. But in the documentation page of fishshell dot com, it is called the star or star character.

So which one is correct and what's the difference between them? When you see *, what's the first word that appears in your mind?

  • 2
    I would always refer to it as an asterisk. That would be the correct name. However, it is also perfectly understandable (if simplistic) to refer to it as a "star".
    – JMB
    Jan 10, 2016 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


Either term is acceptable.

I generally call it by its formal name, asterisk. But 'star character' is becoming common; we speak of starring a passage when we put an asterisk in the margin; and in fact the name asterisk is, etymologically, little star, from Greek via Latin.


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