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Sign your Name

It is not correct to say that the expression “signing one's name” points to the time when persons could not write. No doubt persons who could not write made their mark in olden times as they do now, but we find over and over again in ancient documents these words: “This [grant] is signed with the sign of the cross for its greater assurance (or) greater inviolability,” and after the sign follows the name of the donor. (See Rymer's Faedera, vol. i. pt. i.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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