There are many times when instead of using ‘and’ we replace it with the shortened ‘&’. Ampersand is nothing more than the name of the ‘&’ sign.
An ampersand is a logogram which means that it is the smallest unit that can be used to represent a word or phrase. In this case, the ampersand, i.e. ‘&’ is used to represent the conjunction word ‘and’.
The ampersand actually came about as a misunderstanding that was created over hundreds of years. In the original English alphabet there were 27 letters, instead of the 26 we used today. There were the usual 26 letters used today. The 27th was the & sign which was pronounced as ‘and’. It was used to denote ‘and’ which was considered to the 27th alphabet. Hence, the alphabet was recited as A, B, C… X, Y, Z, and per se and”. The ‘and per se and’ refers to and by it self. If the phrase is said very quickly, it actually sounds as Ampersand. Hence, the name.
The symbol ‘&’ actually comes from the letters ‘et’, which in Latin meant ‘and’. Over the years the letters fused to become the sign ‘&’.