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KeshaFrom the California dance band !!! to MIA spelling out her name in dashes, musical artists seem to love putting symbols in their names. Perhaps none more notable than pop star, Ke$ha who differentiates herself with a single letter substitution. Born Kesha Rose Sebert, the singer/songwriter/rapper simply exchanged the ‘s’ in her first name with a $ (or dollar sign). The artist initially made the switch at the beginning of her career as an ironic nod to the difficult financial straits she experienced when she was still a struggling waitress in Los Angeles.

Coincidentally, part of the dollar sign’s evolution began in the place where Ke$ha decided to put the symbol in her name. The current leading etymology holds that  ’$’ was originally derived from an abbreviation for pesos, meaning ‘weight’ in Spanish. In the middle 1700s the peso was traded in all regions under Spanish control, from Southern California to South America, and the sign was commonly contracted as ‘ps.’ Many historians believe that the dollar sign we know today was born from the bad handwriting of merchants who allowed the line ‘p’ to fall in front of the s.

There is however another camp of scholars who think that the dollar sign originated from a far more deliberate abbreviation of peso. Originally referred to as the ‘piece of eight,’ the peso came to represent the Bolivian eight-sol and Peruvian eight-real coins. With this history in place the ‘S’ in the modern dollar sign was thought to represent the numeral ’8′ with the bisecting line meaning that the ’8 was cut in pieces.’

Though we may never know the true origin of the dollar sign, Ke$ha might be pleased to know that by putting it in her name she has gained something in common with one of her personal icons, the emperor of pop himself, Prince. In 1993 Prince changed his name to a symbol a combination of the signs for male (♂) and female (♀) that he dubbed ‘the love symbol.’ Both popular etymologies of the ‘$’ involve the combination of two symbols be it an ‘S’ and ‘P’ or a figure ’8′ with a bisecting line. This etymological similarity will surely be good news for the artist who sneaked into Prince’s house when she was a teenager to try to slip him her demo.

What do you think of Ke$ha’s extra $? How would you incorporate a symbol into your name?

117 Comments

  1. Alex Kintzer -  December 9, 2012 - 6:31 am

    I don’t think you really can change my name to be rapp-y, but I think it would be really cool to have a æ in my name.

    Reply
  2. Elaine2090 -  December 6, 2012 - 4:17 pm

    mine is E1a!ne not that great..

    Reply
  3. Mogs -  November 29, 2012 - 8:05 pm

    M011y. Not ver exciting

    Reply
  4. SHayes -  November 14, 2012 - 9:51 am

    Some of her songs I don’t get, but I understood tic tock when I heard it because it so fits me. :D~

    Reply
  5. SexyCakes358 -  November 12, 2012 - 10:02 am

    I aint gonna front but……………………………

    I LOVE U KE$HA

    U GO GURL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  6. fabgirl -  November 11, 2012 - 2:19 pm

    The first time I read Ke$ha in a magazine I thought it was a typo.

    Reply
  7. Michaela -  November 3, 2012 - 12:34 pm

    GUYS! Michael Jackson was not the “King of Pop” he was:
    1.) Maybe king of pop rock aka Crack
    2.) King of child molesters (really, semen in a daycare room in his house)
    3.) and really? RIP MJ! no… HE LITERALLY KILLED HIMSELF DERP!!!
    4.) He’s been dead since i was in 5th grade… 8th grade now… really get over it…
    5.) Everything with his name on it is a marketing scam

    Reply
  8. Michaela -  November 3, 2012 - 12:19 pm

    [~Mi¢k@yy!a~] Yep, just that amazing. My name is Michaela (pronounced McKayla)

    Reply
  9. calypso -  October 31, 2012 - 3:38 am

    i really dont get ke$ha. and i really dont get her song cannibal. :P

    Reply
  10. SHayes -  October 24, 2012 - 11:42 am

    Don’t know don’t care. The $ is a replacement for the s and to me it’s more creative and she is one of many of my fave singers. You go Ke$ha. :D Tic toc. that song so fits me lol. I so wish I was right now.

    Reply
  11. chocolatechips12347 -  October 23, 2012 - 1:39 pm

    M@®¥

    Reply
  12. Brad in NY -  October 23, 2012 - 5:55 am

    If the idea was to use her good looks to promote sales of mediocre dance music, they would have done better putting her in a swimsuit calendar or featured in an issue of Maxim magazine.

    Reply
  13. Ed -  October 21, 2012 - 5:38 am

    Did no one notice that the article did NOT refer to Prince as the “King of Pop,” but as the “Emperor of Pop?” There’s a difference, ladies and gentlemen!

    Reply
  14. Archon -  October 19, 2012 - 7:48 pm

    What *extra* $? Without the (only) one she’s got, it would be Keha, or perhaps Ke ha.

    Reply
  15. CharyAnna -  October 19, 2012 - 11:20 am

    Ch@ry

    Reply
  16. joe -  October 19, 2012 - 8:32 am

    It is not an ‘EXTRA’ $! It is just ‘ONE’ $! Sheeeesh.

    Reply
  17. Eric -  October 18, 2012 - 1:07 pm

    €®Ⅰ©

    Geez was it hard to find that 3rd symbol. (It still resembles the CAP eye though.)

    Reply
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