An asterisk is a typographical symbol or glyph. It is so called because it resembles a conventional image of a star. Computer scientists and mathematicians often pronounce it as star . In English, an asterisk is usually five-pointed in sans-serif typefaces, six-pointed in serif typefaces, and six- or eight-pointed when handwritten.The asterisk is derived from the need of the printers of family trees in feudal times as a symbol to indicate date of birth. The original shape was seven-armed.