Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why is the letter "W" called "double U"?

This is interesting! Have you ever wonder why is the letter "W" called "double U" when it looks more like two "V"s put together? Why isn't there a unique name for this letter like other letters?
Here's the answer...

According to the experts at, English uses the Latin alphabet of the Romans but the latter had no letter suitable for representing the phoneme "w" used in Old English. The earliest from for "w" was probably the "uu" that was used by scribes in the seventh century. Some of the scribes later replaced the "uu" with the runic symbol known as "wynn".

European scribes continued to use the "uu" term and this usafe was brought back to England along with the Norman Conquest in 1066. Early printers sometimes used "vv" for the lack of a "w" in their type but the pronunciation "double u" stuck around till now.

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