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Cursive script 'f' and capital 'F

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
F (named ef
is the sixth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
1 History
2 Usage
3 Related letters and other similar characters
4 Computing codes
5 Other representations
6 References
7 External links
V or W
Roman F
The origin of 'F' is the Semitic letter vâv (or waw) that represented a sound like /v/ or /w/. Graphically it
originally probably depicted either a hook or a club. It may have been based on a comparable Egyptian
hieroglyph such as that which represented the word mace (transliterated as ḥ(dj)):-
The Phoenician form of the letter was adopted into Greek as a vowel, upsilon (which resembled its descendant,
'Y' but was also ancestor of Roman letters 'U', 'V', and 'W'); and with another form, as a consonant, digamma,
which resembled 'F', but indicated the pronunciation /w/, as in Phoenician. (After /w/ disappeared from Greek,
digamma was used as a numeral only.)
In Etruscan, 'F' probably represented /w/, as in Greek; and the Etruscans formed the digraph 'FH' to represent /f/.
When the Romans adopted the alphabet, they used 'V' (from Greek upsilon) to stand for /w/ as well as /u/,
leaving 'F' available for /f/. (At that time, the Greek letter phi 'Φ' represented an aspirated voiceless bilabial
plosive /pʰ/, though in Modern Greek it approximates the sound of /f/.) And so out of the various vav variants in
the Mediterranean world, the letter F entered the Roman alphabet attached to a sound which its antecedents in
Greek and Etruscan did not have. The Roman alphabet forms the basis of the alphabet used today for English
and many other languages.
The lowercase ' f ' is not related to the visually similar long s, ' ſ ' (or medial s). The use of the long s largely
died out by the beginning of the 19th century, mostly to prevent confusion with ' f ' when using a short mid-bar
(see more at: S).
In the English writing system 'f' is used to represent the sound /f/. It is commonly doubled at the end of words.
Exceptionally, it represents the voiced sound /v/ in the common word "of". In the orthographies of other
languages, 'f' commonly represents /f/, [ɸ] or /v/.
In French orthography, 'f' is used to represent /f/. It may also be silent at the end of words.
In Spanish orthography, 'f' is used to represent /f/.
In the Hepburn romanization of Japanese, 'f' is used to represent [ɸ], which is usually considered to be an
allophone of /h/ before /u/.
In phonetic and phonemic transcription, the International Phonetic Alphabet uses 'f' to represent the voiceless
labiodental fricative.
Related letters and other similar characters
Ƒ ƒ : Latin letter F with hook
Ϝ ϝ : Greek letter digamma/wau, from which F is directly descended
Y y : Latin letter Y, sharing its roots with F
V v : Latin letter V, also sharing its roots with F
U u : Latin letter U, which is descended from V
W w : Latin letter W, also descended from V
: Phoenician letter waw, the original glyph
Computing codes
F f
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 70 U+0046 102 U+0066
UTF-8 70 46 102 66
Numeric character reference F F f f
EBCDIC family 198 C6 134 86
70 46 102 66
Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of
Other representations
NATO phonetic Morse code
· · – ·
Signal flag
Flag semaphore
^ Spelled eff as a verb 1.
^ "F", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); "ef", "eff", "bee" (under "bee eff"), op. cit. 2.
External links
Media related to F at Wikimedia Commons
The dictionary definition of F at Wiktionary
The dictionary definition of f at Wiktionary
Retrieved from ""
Categories: ISO basic Latin letters
This page was last modified on 15 June 2014 at 09:46.
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