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  • the names of the Greek letters Alpha and Beta, which start with the sounds they represent, are examples of acrophony?

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alpha uc lc.svg
Greek alphabet
Αα Alpha Νν Nu
Ββ Beta Ξξ Xi
Γγ Gamma Οο Omicron
Δδ Delta Ππ Pi
Εε Epsilon Ρρ Rho
Ζζ Zeta Σσς Sigma
Ηη Eta Ττ Tau
Θθ Theta Υυ Upsilon
Ιι Iota Φφ Phi
Κκ Kappa Χχ Chi
Λλ Lambda Ψψ Psi
Μμ Mu Ωω Omega
Obsolete letters
Digamma uc lc.svg Digamma Qoppa uc lc.svg Qoppa
San uc lc.svg San Sampi uc lc.svg Sampi
Other characters
Stigma uc lc.svg Stigma Sho uc lc.svg Sho
Heta uc lc.svg Heta

Greek diacritics

Alpha (uppercase Α, lowercase α; Greek: Αλφα) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 1. It was derived from the Phoenician letter Aleph Aleph. Letters that arose from Alpha include the Latin A and the Cyrillic letter А.

In both Classical Greek and Modern Greek, alpha represents the Open front unrounded vowel, /a/.

The lower case today represents an open back unrounded vowel in phonetics.

Plutarch in Moralia,[1] presents a discussion on why the letter alpha stands first in the alphabet. Ammonius asks Plutarch what he, being a Boeotian, thinks of Cadmus, the Phoenician who reputedly settled in Thebes and introduced the alphabet to Greece, placing alpha first because it is the Phoenician name for ox -- which, unlike Hesiod[2], the Phoenicians considered not the second or third, but the first of all necessities. "Nothing at all" Plutarch replied. He then added that he would rather be assisted by Lamprias, his own grandfather, than by Dionysus' grandfather, i.e. Cadmus. For Lamprias had said that the first articulate sound made is "alpha", because it is very plain and simple — the air coming off the mouth does not require any motion of the tongue — and therefore this is the first sound that children make.

The Homeric word "alphesiboios"[3] (ἀλφεσίβοιος[4]) is associated with both the root "alph-" and "ox". It is derived from "alphanō" (ἀλφάνω[5]) meaning to yield, earn and "bous" (βοῦς) meaning ox, hence alphesiboios means bringing in or acquiring oxen.

According to Plutarch's natural order of attribution of the vowels to the planets, alpha was connected with the Moon. Oxen were also associated with the Moon in both early Sumerian and Egyptian religious symbolism, possibly due to the crescent shape of their horns.

Alpha, both as a symbol and term, is used to refer to or describe a variety of things, including the first or most significant occurrence of something. The New Testament has God declaring himself to be the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." (Revelation 22:13, KJV, and see also 1:8).

The uppercase letter alpha is not generally used as a symbol because it tends to be rendered identically to the uppercase Latin A.

Common uses

The letter alpha represents various concepts in physics and chemistry, including alpha radiation, angular acceleration, alpha particles and alpha carbon. Alpha also stands for thermal expansion coefficient of a compound in physical chemistry. It is also commonly used in mathematics in algebraic solutions representing quantities such as angles.

Linguistic correlates

In the Runic alphabet of the Elder Futhark in received shamanic oral lore traditions from Scandinavia, the alphabet is a cycle rather than a linear progression and Ur commences the cycle that Fe closes, both are cattle, which is a correlate to the Christian Alpha and Omega.[6]


  1. ^ Symposiacs, Book IX, questions II & III On-line text at Adelaide library
  2. ^ In his Works and Days Hesiod advised the early Greek farmers, "First of all, get a house, then a woman and third, an ox for the plough"
    Hesiod, Works and Days at the Perseus Project.
  3. ^ Iliad, XVIII, 593,
  4. ^ Entry ἀλφεσίβοιος at Liddell & Scott
  5. ^ Entry ἀλφάνω at Liddell & Scott
  6. ^ Meadows, Kenneth (1995). Rune Power: The Secret Knowledge of the Wise Ones. Element Books Ltd. ISBN 1852307064; ISBN 978-1852307066

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ALPHA and OMEGA (A and S2), the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, corresponding to the Aleph and Taw of the Hebrew. They are used as a designation of Himself by the speaker in Rev. i. 8; xxi. 6; xxii. 13. The first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet are used in Rabbinic writings in a similar way. We find also "the seal of God is Emeth," Emeth (truth) being composed of the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. God is thus represented as the beginning, middle and end of all things (see the Jewish Encyclopaedia, s.v.).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also alpha


German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de


Alpha n.

  1. alpha (greek letter)

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, as Omega is the last. These letters occur in the text of Revelation 1:8,11; 21:6; 22:13, and are represented by “Alpha” and “Omega” respectively (omitted in R.V., 1:11). They mean “the first and last.” (Comp. Hebrews 12:2; Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; Revelation 1:11,17; 2:8.) In the symbols of the early Christian Church these two letters are frequently combined with the cross or with Christ’s monogram to denote his divinity.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Alpha.EXE article)

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Norton AND McAfee wouldn't be enough.

The boss known as Alpha.EXE or Alpha Virus, is the main enemy in Mega Man Battle Network 3.

Alpha was originally not a virus, but a network. It was an "Alpha" version of the internet that Lan and MegaMan.EXE know so well today. It was created by his grandfather, Doctor Tadashi Hikari. However, Alpha became corrupted by viruses and somehow became a sentient virus itself. It had the potential to destroy the entire cyber world. Because of this, it was locked away. Instead of just, you know, smashing the hard drive.

Of course, whenever there's a hidden super destructive weapon, some bad guys going to make it his goal to resurrect it. Just look at Lavos.

Mega Man series
Mega Man Battle Network series (MMBN series)
MMBN - MMBN 2 - MMBN 3 White - MMBN Transmission - MMBN 3 Blue - MMBN Chip Challenge - MMBN 4 Red Sun - MMBN 4 Blue Moon - MMBN 5 Team ProtoMan - MMBN 5 Team Colonel - MMBN 5 Double Team DS - MMBN 6 Cybeast Falzar - MMBN 6 Cybeast Gregar
Mega Man Star Force series (MMSF series)
MMSF: Leo - MMSF: Pegasus - MMSF: Dragon - MMSF 2: Berserk x Shinobi - MMSF 2: Berserk x Dinosaur
MMBN characters
Alpha.EXE - Gospel.EXE - MegaMan.EXE - Roll.EXE - Lan Hikari
Enemies - Bosses
Mega Man series

This article uses material from the "Alpha.EXE" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

The English Wiktionary has dictionary definitions (meanings of a word) for:

Alpha may mean:


The Greek letter alpha

Alpha, a letter in the Greek alphabet. α may be used as the symbol for:

  • Angle of attack in aerodynamics
  • Common-base current gain of a transistor in electronics
  • In physics:
    • Fine-structure constant, a fundamental physical constant
    • Alpha particle, form of particle radiation
    • H-alpha, or H-α, an emission line created by hydrogen atoms
  • The alpha carbon in organic chemistry
  • In Bayer designation, the typically brightest star in a constellation
  • The significance level in statistical hypothesis testing
  • Alpha channel, describing transparency and opacity in computer graphics
  • The alpha coefficient in evaluating financial returns
  • Thermal diffusivity

Place names

  • Alpha, Michigan
  • Alpha, Minnesota
  • Alpha, New Jersey
  • Alpha, Queensland

Media, literature and fiction

  • Alpha (band), a British electronic music group
  • Alpha Magazine, Australian men's sport magazine
  • Alpha (search engine), a search engine by Yahoo!
  • Alpha TV, a Greek terrestrial channel
  • Alpha the Ultimate Mutant, a character featured in Marvel Comics

Science and mathematics

  • Alpha Centauri, the brightest star system in the southern constellation of Centaurus
  • Alpha (biology), "alpha male" and "alpha female", the highest ranking individuals in a community of social animals
  • Alpha (investment), a measurement of risk-adjusted performance
  • Alpha waves, recorded by electroencephalography
  • Cronbach's alpha, a statistical measure of reliability
  • ALPHA, the Antihydrogen Laser PHysics Apparatus, an experiment at CERN.


  • Alpha (machine learning), the degree to which a learning agent takes into account new information
  • ALPHA refers to the set of ASCII characters A-Z and a-z, as defined in RFC 4234
  • The ALPHA programming language
  • Alpha, a development stage of software release
  • DEC Alpha, a microprocessor/central processing unit (CPU)
  • AlphaServer - DEC now HP machine successor to the VAX
  • AlphaStation - DEC now HP workstation successor to the VAX


  • Latin alpha, an open back unrounded vowel
  • Space Station Alpha, the original name and unofficial call sign for the International Space Station
  • The first letter in the NATO phonetic alphabet
  • Alpha (radio navigation), a Russian radio navigation system similar to the former Omega Navigation System
  • Alpha 2000, a light aircraft built in New Zealand
  • Alpha Group, a dedicated counter-terrorism unit that belonged to OSNAZ
  • Alpha class submarine, a Russian fast attack nuclear submarine
  • Sony α or Sony Alpha, a digital SLR series by Sony
    • Minolta α or Minolta Alpha, the Japanese name for a series of SLR cameras known as Maxxum or Dynax elsewhere, and predecessor to Sony's brand of the same name
  • Tropical Storm Alpha (2005)
  • Alpha Industries, clothing company

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