• andrewruhren22

The wacky wierd history of W


The name of the letter W was always just a sound until one day I was teaching preschoolers to pronounce it. When I realized it's name was double U I was shocked at my ignorance and immediately had to look up it's history. The 24th letter added to the alphabet is the only one with a three syllable name and one of only three which name is not based on its phonetic sound. Latin didn't have a W sound but in the middle ages, as scribes began to add more Germanic words and didn't want to use runic derived symbols, they began to use uu. As printers took over, they preferred vv, which then began to cross over each other as in the font on the title of this post. So a new letter was born but it retained its original name. In recent times it can be heard morphing into bub-u.

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