Back quote

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as an acute, backtick, grave, grave accent, left quote, open quote, or a push, the back quote or backquote is a punctuation mark (`). It is on the same U.S. computer keyboard key as the tilde.


Although not as common as the above uses, the back quote is also sometimes referred to as a back prime, back tick, birk, blugle, quasiquote, and unapostrophe.

Where is the back quote key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the back quote key highlighted in blue.

Tilde key

How to create the ` symbol

Creating the ` symbol on a U.S. keyboard

To create a back quote using a U.S. keyboard, press back quote key, which is on the same key as the tilde ( ~ ) and directly below the Esc key in the top-left portion of the keyboard.

Creating the ` symbol on a smartphone or tablet

These devices do not have a back quote symbol. However, you can create a single quote on a smartphone or tablet by opening the keyboard and going into the numbers (123) or symbols (sym) section and then press your finger on the ' symbol.

What is a back quote used for on a computer?

There are not many uses for the back quote on a computer. For most users, the single quote is used in place of the back quote when writing. However, back quote can be used in programming. For example, below is an example of Perl code that uses back quotes to execute a system command and load the command results into an array.

@files = `dir /b c:\windows\temp`;

How do I get a back quote above a letter?

See our accent mark page for steps and links to creating accented letters in your programs.

Keyboard terms, Push, Quote, Single quote, Typography terms