Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pigpen Cipher

The pigpen cipher is a geometric substitution cipher in which symbols are substituted for letters. The symbols are derived from fragments of two tic-tac-toe boards and two X’s as shown below.

Using the pigpen cipher, the phrase “x marks the spot” would look like the following:

Variation on the cipher can easily be made by writing the letters in different places. Here are some examples:

The exact origin of the cipher is uncertain, but records of this system have been found which go back to at least the 18th century. Variations of this cipher were used by both the Rosicrucian brotherhood and the Freemasons, though the latter used it so often that the system is frequently called the Freemason's cipher.

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