The typographic em is named after the metal type for the capital M in early printing, whose body was square (the printed letter M is almost never one em in width).
em (plural ems)
- The name of the Latin-script letter M.
- (typography) A unit of measurement equal to the height of the type in use.
- Alternative form of 'em
Coined by Christine M. Elverson by removing the "th" from them, perhaps influenced by the pre-existing em/'em, now often perceived as apheretic forms of them (though originally unrelated).
em (third-person singular, gender-neutral, objective case, reflexive emself, possessive adjective eir, possessive pronoun eirs)
- (rare) A gender-neutral third-person singular object pronoun, the objective case of ey, equivalent to the singular them and coordinate with him and her.
- (Scotland, Ireland) a form of hesitant speech, or an expression of uncertainty; um; umm; erm