This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Double hyphen" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Double oblique hyphen in a Fraktur typeface

In Latin script, the double hyphen is a punctuation mark that consists of two parallel hyphens. It was a development of the earlier double oblique hyphen , which developed from a Central European variant of the virgule slash, originally a form of scratch comma. Similar marks (see below) are used in other scripts.

In order to avoid it being confused with the equals sign =, the double hyphen is often shown as a double oblique hyphen in modern typography. The double hyphen is also not to be confused with two consecutive hyphens (--), which are often used to represent an em dash or en dash due to the limitations of typewriters and keyboards that do not have distinct hyphen and dash keys.


Double hyphen appearance in several Fraktur typefaces
Double oblique hyphens (besides ordinary hyphens) used in a Hittite dictionary[1]
Double (straight) hyphen in an edition of stories by Arno Schmidt[2]

The double hyphen is used for several different purposes throughout the world:

Stylistic variant of the single hyphen

When the double hyphen is used as a functionally equivalent graphical variant (allograph) of the single hyphen, it has the same Unicode code point as a conventional hyphen (since how it is displayed/printed is a font choice on that occasion).

Similar marks

Other forms of double hyphen are given unique codepoints in Unicode:

Name Glyph Code point Purpose
CANADIAN SYLLABICS HYPHEN U+1400 Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics to distinguish a hyphen from U+1428 CANADIAN SYLLABICS FINAL SHORT HORIZONTAL STROKE ( ᐨ )
DOUBLE OBLIQUE HYPHEN U+2E17 Coptic and ancient Near Eastern language scholarship
DOUBLE HYPHEN U+2E40 Generic (non-Asian) double hyphen
KATAKANA-HIRAGANA DOUBLE HYPHEN U+30A0 Japanese and orthography (in Katakana or Hiragana script)
MODIFIER LETTER SHORT EQUALS SIGN U+A78A Used as a tone letter and also to mark clitics in interlinear glossing

See also


  1. ^ Hans G. Güterbock, Harry A. Hoffner, Theo P. J. van den Hout: The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CHD), volume L–N, Chicago (USA) 1989, ISBN 0-918986-58-3, p. 355. – Detail of the left border of the second column.
  2. ^ Arno Schmidt: Erzählungen, Frankfurt am Main (Germany) 1994, ISBN 3-10-373505-7, p. 525. – Detail of the right border of the printed text.
  3. ^ "Double hyphen(ダブルハイフン)の意味 - goo国語辞書".
  4. ^ Arie de Jong, Gramat Volapüka, Leiden, Brill, 1931, § 34.