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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The ogonek ([ɔˈgɔnɛk], Polish for "little tail", the diminutive of ogon; Lithuanian nosinė) is a diacritic hook placed under the lower right corner of a vowel in the Latin alphabet used in several European and Native American languages.

Ą ą
Ą̊ ą̊
Ę ę
Į į
Ǫ ǫ
Ǭ ǭ
Ų ų



Example in Polish:

Wół go pyta: „Panie chrząszczu,
Po co pan tak brzęczy w gąszczu?”
Jan Brzechwa, Chrząszcz

Example in Cayuga:

Ęyǫgwędę́hte⁷ 'we will become poor'”

Example in Lithuanian:

Lydėdami gęstančią žarą vėlai
Pakilo į dangų margi sakalai
— Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas, Margi sakalai

Example in Elfdalian:

"Ja, eð war įe plåg að gęslkallum, dar eð war slaik uondlostjyner i gęslun."
— Vikar Margit Andersdotter, I fäbodlivet i gamla tider.



The use of the ogonek to indicate nasality is common in the transcription of the indigenous languages of the Americas. This usage originated in the orthographies created by Christian missionaries to transcribe these languages. Later, the practice was continued by Americanist anthropologists and linguists who still follow this convention in phonetic transcription to the present day (see Americanist phonetic notation).

The ogonek is also used in academic transliteration of Old Church Slavonic. In Polish, Old Church Slavonic, Navajo, Western Apache, Chiricahua, and Dalecarlian it indicates that the vowel is nasalized. Even if ę is nasalized e in Polish, ą is nasalized o not a (this is so because of the vowel change — "ą" was a long nasal "a", which turned into short nasal "o", when the vowel quantity distinction disappeared).


In Lithuanian, where it formerly indicated nasalization which is no longer distinctive, it indicates that a vowel is long. The Lithuanian word for "ogonek" is nosinė which literally means "nasal".


In Navajo, Chiricahua, Western Apache, and Mescalero it can be combined with the acute and grave accents where it indicates high tone, or in long vowels high, falling, rising tone (e.g. ą́, ǫ́ǫ́, į́į). In the orthography conventions of Willem de Reuse, Western Apache has combinations of ogonek and macron (e.g. ǭ, į̄į̄). In Dogrib, the ogonek can be combined with the grave accent to show low tone (e.g. ą̀), rising tone (e.g. ą̀ą) or falling tone (e.g. ąą̀).


In Rheinische Dokumenta, it marks vowels which are more open than those denoted by their base letters Ää, Oo, Öö. Here it can be combined with umlaut marks in two cases.

Similar diacritics: e caudata, o caudata

The e caudata (ę), a symbol similar to an e with ogonek, evolved from a ligature of a and e in medieval scripts, in Latin and Irish palaeography. The o caudata of Old Norse[1] (letter ǫ, with ǭ/ǫ́) [1][2] is used to write the open-mid back rounded vowel, /ɔ/. Medieval Nordic manuscripts show this "hook" in both directions, in combination with several vowels.[3] Despite this distinction, the term "ogonek" is sometimes used in discussions of typesetting and encoding Norse texts, as o caudata is typographically identical to o with ogonek.

Typographical notes

The ogonek should be almost the same size as a descender (in larger type sizes may be relatively quite shorter) and should not be confused with the cedilla or comma diacritic marks used in other languages.

The HTML/Unicode numbers for ogonek letters are

Upper Case Lower Case
Letter HTML Alt Code Letter HTML Alt Code
Ą Ą Alt + 0260 ą ą Alt + 0261
Ę Ę Alt + 0280 ę ę Alt + 0281
Į Į Alt + 0302 į į Alt + 0303
Ǫ Ǫ Alt + 0490 ǫ ǫ Alt + 0491
Ų Ų Alt + 0370 ų ų Alt + 0371
˛ ˛ Alt + 0731

Unicode also provides the ogonek as a combining diacritic mark, at the codepoint #x0328;.

Other encodings

E with ogonek is present in both Latin-2 and Latin-4, as CA (uppercase) and EA (lowercase). In Latin-10 it is located at DD (uppercase) and FD (lowercase).


In LaTeX2e macro \k will typeset a letter with ogonek, if it is supported by the font encoding , e.g. \k{a} will typeset ą. (The default LaTeX OT1 encoding does not support it, but the newer T1 one does. It may be enabled by saying \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} in the preamble.) The package TIPA activated by using the command "\usepackage{tipa}", offers a different way: "\textpolhook{a}" will produce ą.

See also


  1. ^ For this traditional and correct name, see e.g. Einar Haugen (ed. and trans.), First Grammatical Treatise, 2nd edition, Longman, 1972.

External links

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
Letters using ogonek sign

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

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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