Why does GNU Emacs use ksi(ξ) as its logo, while most Lisp dialects use lambda(λ) as their logos?

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not mean this one:

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  • 1
    FYI, if it was ξ then written in English it would be xi, not ksi, which is ѯ. Wikipedia: xi ksi. Apr 10, 2017 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


It doesn't. It uses just an E that is suggestive of a gnu's horns.

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    I thought the new logo of emacs is a ksi(ξ). I think you mean the Emacs(公牛). My ksi is refer to the GNU Emacs' icon.
    – cmal
    Apr 10, 2017 at 13:57
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    No. It is the letter E, rendered artistically to resemble a gnu.
    – Drew
    Apr 10, 2017 at 13:59
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    @cmal: Specifically, it's a cursive E, not a print E, hence the curviness. Apr 10, 2017 at 16:13
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    See the full story of the creation of the logo here: ee.ryerson.ca:8080/~elf/emacs/logo
    – Tyler
    Apr 11, 2017 at 1:40
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    @Tyler That is the "公牛" logo. What I am curious about is the xi(ξ) or E icon. Thank you all the same.
    – cmal
    Apr 11, 2017 at 7:33

See also https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/EmacsIcons

It is the letters "E" and "M" stylized to look like the horns of a Gnu. Any resemblance to the Greek alphabet is coincidental.

Emacs version 22 put this symbol over an icon of a notepad. Later versions put it in a circle, overlaid with a pen.

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