Double Caret Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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When you hear someone say “double caret,” we wouldn’t blame you for instantly thinking about two bright-orange carrots. However, more often than not, our word of the day refers to a pair of punctuation marks. 

Interested in learning more? We’ve got you covered. Read on as we explore the meaning behind the double caret. 

What Is the Definition of “Double Caret?”

/ˈkærɪt/ /ˈkɛrɪt/

Collins English Dictionary defines the caret (‸) as a punctuation mark that is used in printed or written work to let others know where something needs to be inserted. 

How Is the Caret Used?

The caret can be used outside of just written work, however, as it is used in hex code, HTML code, Unicode, as well as CSS-code, such as:

  • Unicode — U+0005E
  • CSS-code — \005E
    HTML entity — ^
  • Hex code — ^
  • HTML code — ^

The Double Caret Emoji

Additionally, when used next to one another in text, other social media apps and websites, and even sites such as Microsoft’s Linkedin, you will also see the double caret used close together; for example, “^^.”

In this usage, the double caret takes the form of a Japanese-style smiley face and is commonly used to emphasize joy in a statement made online. This Japanese emoticon was even later developed into an emoji

Carets are often confused with guillemets, which are a pair of punctuation marks in the form of double quotation marks («) or ( »). The double caret points upwards versus sideways. 

What Are Guillemets? 

Are you confused about guillemets? We’ll explain. 

Guillemets are used as quotation marks in a number of languages, albeit rarely used in the English language; these punctuation marks take the form of sideways double chevrons, or («) and (»), respectively. In quite a few languages that do use guillemets, they also use a single guillemet or ‹ and › to show a quotation within another quotation. 

The double guillemets are used in a wide variety of 8-bit extended ASCII character sets. To clear up any confusion — below, we have listed the various codes for both the right-pointing and left-pointing guillemets. 

Examples of Right-Pointing Guillemets

  • PostScript Name — guillemotright
  • HTML Entity — »
  • UTF-16 Encoding — 0x00BB
  • HTML Entity — »
  • UTF-32 Encoding — 0x000000BB
  • UTF-8 Encoding — 0xC2 0xBB
  • Block — Latin-1 Supplement, U+0080 – U+00FF
  • HTML Entity — »

Examples of Left-Pointing Guillemets

  • PostScript Name — guillemotleft
  • HTML Entity — «
  • UTF-16 Encoding — 0x00AB
  • HTML Entity — «
  • Block — Latin-1 Supplement, U+0080 – U+00FF
  • UTF-32 Encoding — 0x000000AB
  • UTF-8 Encoding — 0xC2 0xAB
  • HTML Entity — «

How To Impress People With Guillemets

A fun fact about guillemets that you can use to wow your tech-savvy friends: Within Adobe Systems font software, its file format specifications, as well as all fonts that have been derived from these characters, the glyph names themselves have been incorrectly spelled. 

The typo reads guillemotright and guillemotleft, which —fun fact — is actually a species of seabird — Adobe acknowledges the error but has yet to fix it at this time. 

What Are Some Other Common Punctuation Characters?

A single caret (aka circumflex) is a punctuation mark that can be used to indicate a word, phrase, or punctuation that needs to be inserted at a certain spot in a document. 

Now that you’re better acquainted with the caret symbol, let’s take a look at some other common punctuation characters and their number codes: 

  • Apostrophe (‘) — '
  • Semicolon (;) — &#59;
  • Umlaut (¨) — ¨
  • Inverted Question Mark (¿) — ¿
  • Three-fourths Fraction (¾) — ¾
  • One-fourth Fraction (¼) — ¼

Are There Any Other Common Unicode Characters?

The caret is a pretty popular Unicode character, but it’s not the only one! Here are some other common Unicode characters — as well as their Unicode numbers — listed for you below:

  • « (Double Left Pointing Double Angle Quotation Mark) — U+00AB
  • » (Double Right Pointing Double Angle Quotation Mark — U+00BB
  • ⇭ (Upwards Thick Arrow on Pedestal with Vertical Bar — U+21ed
  • ↹ (Leftwards Arrow to Bar Over Rightwards Arrow to Bar — U+21b9
  • ↔ (Left-Right Arrow) — U+2194
  • ⥴ (Rightwards Arrow Above Tilde Operator) — U+2974
  • ⇅ (Upwards Arrow Leftwards of Downwards Arrow) — U+21c5
  • ⇒ (Rightwards Double Arrow) — U+21d2
  • ⇑ (Upwards Double Arrow) — U+21d1

What Are Translations of Double Caret?

Now that you understand what the double caret symbol is, let’s learn how to say our word of the day in a different language, shall we?

Translations of double caret include:

  • Afrikaans — dubbele caretm
  • Arabic — دبابة مزدوجة
  • Bulgarian — двойна картека
  • Chinese (simplified) — 双卡
  • Croatian — dvostruka kareta 
  • Czech — dvojitá stříška
  • Danish — dobbelt caretm
  • Dutch — dubbele caretm
  • British English — double caret
  • Finnish — kaksinkertainen hoito
  • French — double caretm
  • German — Doppel-Caretm
  • Greek — διπλό φροντισμένο
  • Italian — doppia caretm
  • Norwegian — dobbel cirka tegn
  • Korean — 더블 캐럿
  • Japanese — ダブルキャレットム
  • Polish — podwójna opieka tm
  • Portuguese — duplo caretm
  • Russian — двойной карета
  • Spanish — double cuidado
  • Swedish — dubbel caretm
  • Thai — คู่ caretm
  • American English — double caret
  • Turkish — çift caretm
  • Ukrainian — подвійний карет
  • Vietnamese — mũ kép


So, what does the word “double caret” mean, you ask?

A single caret — which is a punctuation mark — is used in printed or written work to let others know where something needs to be inserted. Our word of the day (the double caret) is a Japanese emoticon (顔文字) that developed into an emoji. 

It’s often used by someone when they can’t smile wholeheartedly because of some mixed feelings or nervousness. 

Now that you know all about the double caret, we invite you to check out our website, where you’ll find a number of informative blogs to expand your existing vocabulary. We also have many grammar tips and tools to assist you on your journey in understanding new terminology. 

Whether you’re hoping to make sense of a confusing word or simply on a mission to understand slang, you can always count on The Word Counter to have you covered with all of your grammar needs.


Caret definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 

Unicode Characters: 02900 to 029FF | W3

Punctuation mark Definition & Meaning |