The manicule is a punctuation mark which is named after the Latin root manicula, meaning “little hand”. Other names for the symbol include printer’s fist, bishop’s fist, digit, mutton-fist, hand, pointer and index.
Manicules are first known to appear in the 12th century in handwritten manuscripts in Spain, and became commonin the 14th and 15th centuries in Italy. The typical use of the manicule is in the margin to mark corrections or notes. Even after the popularisation of the printing press,the handwritten version continued to be used as a meansto annotate printed documents.
The American Dictionary of Printing and Bookmaking (1894) treats it as the seventh in the standard sequence of footnote markers, following the paragraph sign (pilcrow).