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Ö ö

"Ö", or "ö", is a character used in several extended Latin alphabets, or the letter O with umlaut or diaeresis. The closest equivalent in English would be a rounded version of the "u" in "burn" for the long Ö sound and the short Ö sound like "u" in "fur".



The letter O with Umlaut appears in the German alphabet. It represents the umlauted form of o, resulting in [œ] or [ø]. The letter is collated together with O. The letter also occurs in some languages which have adopted German names or spellings, but is not a part of these languages' alphabets.

In other languages that do not have the letter as part of the regular alphabet or in limited character sets such as ASCII, O-umlaut is frequently replaced with the two-letter combination "oe".

Letter Ö in Scandinavian languages

The letter Ö in the Swedish and Icelandic alphabets historically arises from the Germanic umlaut, but it is considered a separate letter from O. In Swedish, Ö is pronounced [øː] (e.g. "öl"), [œ] (e.g. "kött") or [ɶ] (e.g. "dörr"). Its name is Ö [øː]. It is collated as an independent letter and is placed at the end of the alphabet; in the Swedish alphabet, after Z, Å and Ä; and in the Icelandic alphabet, after Y, Ý, Þ and Æ.

The Icelandic expression frá A til Ö and the Swedish one från A till Ö (both meaning "from A to Ö") are the equivalents of the English expression "from A to Z" or "from alpha to omega".

In Danish, Faroese and Norwegian, the letter Ø usually represents the same phoneme as in Swedish and Icelandic, although the Danish and Norwegian alphabet has a different collating order than the Swedish.

In Swedish, ö is a separate word by itself, meaning island, and as such occurring in many island names, like Öland (Island land) and Gotska Sandön (The Gotlandic sand island).

Letter Ö in other languages

The letter Ö occurs, apart from Germanic languages, in the Finnish, Karelian, Estonian, Hungarian, Azeri, Turkish, Turkmen, Uyghur and Crimean Tatar alphabets, where it represents the vowel sound [ø]. Its name in Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian is Öö [øː], not "O with two dots", since /ø/ is not considered a "variant" of the phoneme /o/, but a distinct phoneme.

Note that unlike the O-umlaut, the letter Ö cannot be written as "oe". Minimal pairs exist between 'ö' and 'oe' (and also with 'oo', 'öö' and 'öe'). Consider Finnish eläinkö "animal?" (interrogative) vs. eläinkoe "animal test", or Finnish töissä "at work", toissa "before last" (cf. Germanic umlaut). In the case the character Ö is unavailable, O is substituted and context is relied upon for inference of the intended meaning.

It is collated as an independent letter, sometimes by placing it at the end of the alphabet. It is the last letter in the Finnish alphabet, after Z, Å and Ä, thus fulfilling the place of "omega", for example in the Finnish expression aasta ööhön "from A to Z". In Hungarian, in Turkish and other Turkic alphabets that have Ö, it is an independent letter between O and P.

In Estonian, öö means night.


O with diaeresis occurs in several languages which use diaereses. In these languages the letter represents a normal O, and the pronunciation does not change (e.g. in the Dutch/Afrikaans word coöperatief [cooperative]). Historically some writers and publications [1] have used it in English words such as zoölogy and coöperate, and it is also commonly employed in the name of the constellation Boötes.

Usage in phonetic alphabets

In the Rheinische Dokumenta, a phonetic alphabet for many West Central German, the Low Rhenish, and few related vernacular languages, "ö" represents the close-mid front rounded vowel with the IPA notation [ ø ].

Codes for computing

In Unicode, the capital Ö is codepoint U+00D6 and the lower case ö is U+00F6.

The extended ASCII code for capital Ö is 153 and for lowercase ö is 148; or in binary 10011001 and 10010100, correspondingly.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "Ö" and "ö" for upper and lower case respectively. The Entity Name s are "ö" and "Ö"


Johann Martin Schleyer proposed an alternate form for Ö in Volapük but it was rarely used.

Historically O-diaeresis was written as an O with two dots above the letter. O-umlaut was written as an O with a small e written above: this minute e degenerated to two vertical bars in early modern handwritings. In most later handwritings these bars in turn nearly became dots. The origin of the letter Ö was a similar ligature for the digraph OE: e was written above o and degenerated into two small dots.

In some inscriptions and display typefaces, Ö may be represented as an O with a small letter E inside.

In modern typography there was insufficient space on typewriters and later computer keyboards to allow for both an O-with-dots (also representing Ö) and an O-with-bars. Since they looked near-identical the two glyphs were combined, which was also done in computer character encodings such as ISO 8859-1. As a result there was no way to differentiate between the different characters. While Unicode theoretically provides a solution, this is almost never used.

The HTML entity for Ö is Ö. For ö, it is ö (Mnemonic for "O umlaut").

The Unicode code point for ö is U+00F6. Ö is U+00D6.

In TeX, Ö and ö are produced using \"{O} and \"{o} respectively.

The numerical XML entity for Ö is Ö or Ö. For ö, it is ö or ö.

Hungarian alphabet contains both ö and ő: double acute o is the longer pair of ö. See double acute accent.

See also

The basic modern Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter O with diacritics
Letters using umlaut or diaeresis sign

history palaeography derivations diacritics punctuation numerals Unicode list of letters ISO/IEC 646


External links

Simple English

The Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd
Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj
Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv
Ww Xx Yy Zz

O is the fifteenth (number 15) letter in the English alphabet.

Meanings for O

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