# Rp.: In nomine dei recipe

Elias's picture

On Danish medical prescriptions you will find # and Rp. written before the description of the prescribed drugs.
# RP. is a message from the doctor to the pharmacy. # is a double cross and short for "in nomine dei", while Rp. is short for "recipe".
In other words: In God's name take... (the prescribed drugs).
Now I am just wondering: is this just a local Danish use of the crosshatch, or do you know of similiar uses elsewhere?

Andreas Stötzner's picture

Is this an old, traditional convention or still practised today? I have not encountered that usage of the # sign (0023) so far.

Apart from the typical meaning “number” my records reveal few other connotations, from more specific contexts:

monetary: # Dukaten
phonology: # word boundary
mathematics: # equal and parallel (22D5)

A similar technical sign is encoded as 2317; another common usage is on telephone keycaps.

… and in music of course, though there it gets typically rendered rather vertically slanted (266F).

Elias's picture

It's still in use today, though sometimes without the Rp. I'll see if I can find a picture for you.

John Hudson's picture

Andreas, here's another use for your records: in the US and Canada the # sign is used to indicate stock weight in the paper and printing industries.

E.g. http://www.limitedpapers.com/heavy-weight-paper.html

eliason's picture

And Hash tags. And tic-tac-toe!

Theunis de Jong's picture

phonology: # word boundary

The same, traditionally, in proofing marks: Insert One Space Here. Usually, above the point where two wordsjoin, or with a reference marker.

See your built-in Mac Dictionary (go to "Go", "Front/Back Matter", "Proofreader's Marks").

maxgraphic's picture

Interesting that it's Rp for recipe in Danish but Rx for recipe in English, both from Latin.

guifa's picture

Well it's not really Rx so much as R with stroke. Rp sounds like an actual abbreviation instead of a symbol.

maxgraphic's picture

Good point: ℞. The Wikipedia article also mentions folk theories linking it to the "Eye of Horus, or to the ancient symbol for Jupiter, both gods whose protection may have been sought in medical contexts." Fun stuff.

Elias's picture

Here's a picture of a prescription, though only with in nomine dei

Syndicate content Syndicate content