W

From Academic Kids

Template:AZ W is the twenty-third letter of the modern Latin alphabet.

W was invented in the 7th century by Anglo-Saxon writers, and was originally a doubled V (which also represented U—hence the name "Double U"). The sound [w], the voiced labial-velar approximant, was previously represented by the Runic letter Wynn (Ƿ).

The Latin [w] sound developed into Romance [v]; therefore V no longer adequately represented Germanic [w]. In German—as in Romance—the phoneme [w] was lost; this is why German W represents [v] rather than [w]. In Dutch, W is a labiodental approximant (with the exception of words with EEUW, which have ), or other diphthongs containing -UW.

There are only four major European languages that use W in native words: English, German, Polish, and Dutch. In the Swedish and Finnish alphabets, "W" is seen as a variant of "V" and not a separate letter. It is however recognised and maintained in names, like "William". In the alphabets of modern Romance languages, it is not used either, except in foreign names and words recently borrowed (le week-end, il watt, el kiwi). When a spelling for the [w] sound in a native word is needed, a spelling from the native alphabet, such as U or OU, can be used instead.

The equivalent representation of the [w] sound in the Cyrillic alphabet is Ў, a letter unique to the Belarusian language.

"Double U" is the only English letter name with more than one syllable. This gives the nine-syllable initialism www the irony of being an abbreviation that takes more syllables to say than the unabbreviated form, and thus shortening the "double u" into "dub" only. In Texas dialect, however, the name of W is often condensed to two syllables rather than three, resulting in George W. Bush's nickname of "Dubya".

Whiskey represents the letter W in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

The W on a weather vane stands for west.

Meanings for W

See also

Template:AZsubnavaf:W ca:W sn:W cs:W da:W de:W el:W als:W es:W eo:W fr:W gl:W it:W la:W nl:W ja:W no:W nn:W pl:W pt:W ro:W simple:W sl:W fi:W sv:W vi:W yo:W zh:W

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