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Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale: n. An asterisk (see also splat, ASCII). Oh,
   you want an etymology?  Notionally, from "I regret that I have only
   one asterisk for my country!", a misquote of the famous remark
   uttered by Nathan Hale just before he was hanged.  Hale was a
   (failed) spy for the rebels in the American War of Independence.