The Full Wiki

H: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on H

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basic 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

H› is the eighth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. Its name in both British and American English is aitch[1] (pronounced /ˈeɪtʃ/), plural aitches, though it is also pronounced /ˈheɪtʃ/ in some dialects (see the discussion below).



Egyptian hieroglyph
Proto-semiticH-01.png PhoenicianH-01.png EtruscanH-01.svg Eta uc lc.svg

The Semitic letter ‹ח› (ḥêṯ) most likely represented the voiceless pharyngeal fricative (IPA: [ħ]). The form of the letter probably stood for a fence or posts. The early Greek eta ‹Η› represented /h/, but later on it came to represent a long vowel, /ɛː/. In Modern Greek, this phoneme has merged with /i/, similar to the English development where Middle English /ɛː/ and /eː/ came to be both pronounced /iː/.

Etruscan and Latin had /h/ as a phoneme, but almost all Romance languages lost the sound—Romanian later re-borrowed the /h/ phoneme from its neighbouring Slavic languages, and Spanish developed a secondary /h/ from /f/, before losing it again; various Spanish dialects have developed [h] as allophone of /s/ in some Spanish-speaking countries. ‹H› is also used in many spelling systems in digraphs and trigraphs, such as ‹ch› which represents /tʃ/ in Spanish and English, /ʃ/ in French and Portuguese, /k/ in Italian, and /x/ in German, Czech, Polish and Slovak.

Name in English

In most dialects of English, the name for the letter is pronounced /eɪtʃ/ and spelled ‹aitch›[1] or occasionally ‹eitch›. The pronunciation /heɪtʃ/ and hence a spelling of ‹haitch› is often considered to be h-adding and hence nonstandard. It is, however, a feature of Hiberno-English[2] and other varieties of English, such as those of Malaysia and Singapore. In Northern Ireland it is a shibboleth as Protestant schools teach aitch and Catholics haitch; this may be traced back to the disenfranchising of Irish Catholics by Protestant Anglo-Irish. The Irish Catholics were barred from any positions of power resulting in poor education.[3] In both Canada[citation needed] and Australia, this has also been attributed to Catholic school teaching.[4] The perceived name of the letter affects the choice of indefinite article before initialisms beginning with H: for example "an HTML page" or "a HTML page". The pronunciation /heɪtʃ/ may be a hypercorrection formed by analogy with the names of the other letters of the alphabet, most of which include the sound they represent.[5]

The haitch pronunciation of h is now widespread in the United Kingdom, being used by approximately 24% of British people born since 1982.[6]

Authorities disagree about the history of the letter's name. The Oxford English Dictionary says the original name of the letter was /aha/; this became /aka/ in Latin, passed into English via Old French /atʃ/, and by Middle English was pronounced /aːtʃ/. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language derives it from French hache from Latin haca or hic.


In the International Phonetic Alphabet, variations of the letter are used to represent two sounds. The lowercase form, [h], represents the voiceless glottal fricative, and the small capital form, [ʜ], represents the voiceless epiglottal fricative. A superscript [ʰ] is used to represent aspiration.

In English, ‹h› occurs as a single-letter grapheme (being either silent or representing /h/) and in various digraphs, such as ‹ch› (/tʃ/, /ʃ/, /k/, or /x/), ‹gh› (silent, /ɡ/, or /f/), ‹ph› (/f/), ‹rh› (/r/), ‹sh› (/ʃ/), ‹th› (/θ/ or /ð/), ‹wh› (//hw//[7]). ‹H› is silent in a syllable rime, as in ah, ohm, dahlia, cheetah, pooh-poohed. It is often silent in the weak form of some function words beginning with ‹h›, including had, has, have, he, her, him, his; and in some words of Romance origin and, for some speakers, also in an initial unstressed syllable, as in "an historic occasion", "an hotel".

In the German language, the name of the letter is pronounced /haː/. Following a vowel, it often silently indicates that the vowel is long: In the word erhöhen ('heighten'), only the first ‹h› represents /h/. In 1901, a spelling reform eliminated the silent ‹h› in nearly all instances ‹th› in native German words such as thun ('to do') or Thür ('door'). It has been left unchanged in words derived from Greek, such as Theater (theater') and Thron ('throne'), which continue to be spelled with ‹th› even after the last German spelling reform.

In Spanish and Portuguese, ‹h› is a silent letter with no pronunciation, as in hijo [ˈixo] ('son') and húngaro [uŋɡaɾu] ('Hungarian'). The spelling reflects an earlier pronunciation of the sound /h/. The [h] sound exists in a number of dialects in Spanish, either as a syllable-final allophone of /s/ as in Andalusian esto [ˈɛht̪ɔ] ('this'), or as a dialectal realization of /x/, as in Puerto Rican caja [ˈkaha] ('box'). ‹H› also appears in the digraph ‹ch›, which represents /tʃ/ in Spanish and /ʃ/ in Portuguese.

In French, the name of the letter is pronounced /aʃ/. The French language classifies words that begin with this letter in two ways that must be learned to use French properly, even though it is a silent letter either way. The h muet, or "mute h", is considered as though the letter were not there at all, so for example the singular definite article le or la is elided to l'. For example, le + hébergement becomes l'hébergement ('the accommodation'). The other kind of ‹h› is called h aspiré ("aspirated h", though it is not normally aspirated phonetically), and is treated as a phantom consonant. For example in le homard ('the lobster') the article le remains unelided, and may be separated from the noun with a bit of a glottal stop. Most words that begin with an h muet come from Latin (honneur, homme) or from Greek through Latin (hécatombe), whereas most words beginning with an h aspiré come from Germanic (harpe, hareng) or non-Indo-European languages (harem, hamac, haricot); in some cases, an ‹h› was added to disambiguate the [v] and semivowel [ɥ] pronunciations before the introduction of the distinction between the letters ‹v› and ‹u›: huit (from uit, ultimately from Latin octo), huître (from uistre, ultimately from Greek through Latin ostrea).

In Italian, ‹h› has no phonological value. Its most important uses are to differentiate certain short words, for example some present tense forms of the verb avere ('to have') (such as hanno, 'they have', vs. anno, 'year'), in short interjections (oh, ehi), and in the digraphs ‹ch› /k/ and ‹gh› /ɡ/.

Some languages, including English, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Finnish, use ‹h› as a breathy voiced glottal fricative [ɦ], often as an allophone of otherwise voiceless /h/ in a voiced environment.

In Ukrainian and Belarusian, when written in the Latin alphabet, ‹h› is also commonly used for /ɦ/, normally written with the Cyrillic letter ‹г›. (Note the difference from Russian pronunciation and romanisation.)

In Irish, ‹h› after a consonant indicates lenition of that consonant; it is known as a séimhiú.

In Polish, both ‹h› and the digraph ‹ch› always represent /x/.

Codes for computing

Alternative representations of H
NATO phonetic Morse code
Hotel ····
ICS Hotel.svg Semaphore Hotel.svg ⠓
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode, the capital ‹H› is codepoint U+0048 and the lower case ‹h› is U+0068.

The ASCII code for capital ‹H› is 72 and for lowercase ‹h› is 104; or in binary 01001000 and 01101000, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital ‹H› is 200 and for lowercase ‹h› is 136.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "H" and "h" for upper and lower case respectively.

See also


  1. ^ a b "H" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "aitch", op. cit.
  2. ^ A dictionary of Hiberno-English, Terence Patrick Dolan page 118, Gill & Macmillan Ltd, 2004
  3. ^ In Newfoundland, the pronunciation is /heɪtʃ/. The Association for Scottish Literary Studies
  4. ^ Ab(h)ominable (H)aitch by Frederick Ludowyk, Australian National Dictionary Centre
  5. ^ Todd, L. & Hancock I.: "International English Usage", page 254. Routledge, 1990.
  6. ^ John C Wells, Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, page 360, Pearson, Harlow, 2008
  7. ^ In many dialects, /hw/ and /w/ have merged
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 H with diacritics

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

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

H The eighth symbol in the Phoenician alphabet, as in its descendants, has altered less in the course of ages than most alphabetic symbols. From the beginning of Phoenician records it has consisted of two uprights connected by transverse bars, at first either two or three in number. The uprights are rarely perpendicular and the cross bars are not so precisely arranged as they are in early Greek and Latin inscri Lions. In these the symbol takes the form of two rectangles lI out of which the ordinary H develops by the omission of the cross bars at top and bottom. It is very exceptional for this letter to have more than three cross bars, though as many as five are occasionally found in N.W. Greece. Within the same inscription the appearance of the letter often varies considerably as regards the space between and the length of the uprights. When only one bar is found it regularly crosses the uprights about the middle. In a few cases the rectangle is closed at top and bottom but has no middle cross bar The Phoenician name for the letter was Heth (Het). According to Semitic scholars it had two values, (1) a glottal spirant, a very strong h, (2) an unvoiced velar spirant like the German ch in ach. The Greeks borrowed it with the value of the ordinary aspirate and with the name ?Ira. Very early in their history, however, most of the Greeks of Asia Minor lost the aspirate altogether, and having then no further use for the symbol with this value they adopted it to represent the long e-sound, which was not originally distinguished by a different symbol from the short sound (see With this value its name has always been ira in Greek. The alphabet of the Asiatic Greeks was gradually adopted elsewhere. In official documents at Athens H represented the rough breathing or aspirate ` till 403 B.C.; henceforth it was used for 7 7. The Western Greeks, however, from whom the Romans obtained their alphabet, retained their aspirate longer than those of Asia Minor, and hence the symbol came to the Romans with the value not of a long vowel but of the aspirate, which it still preserves. The Greek aspirate was itself the first or left-hand half of this letter -, while the smooth breathing ' was the right-hand portion -I. At Tarentum F is found for H in inscriptions. The Roman aspirate was, however, a very slight sound which in some words where it was etymologically correct disappeared at an early date. Thus the cognate words of kindred languages show that the Lat. anser " goose" ought to begin with h, but nowhere is it so found. In none of the Romance languages is there any trace of initial or medial h, which shows that vulgar Latin had ceased to have the aspirate by 240 B.C. The Roman grammarians were guided to its presence by the Sabine forms where f occurred; as the Sabines said fasena (sand), it was recognised that the Roman form ought to be harena, and so for haedus (goat), hordeum (barley), &c. Between vowels h was lost very early, for ne-hemo (no man) is throughout the literature nemo, bi-himus (two winters old) bimus. In the Ciceronian age greater attention was paid to reproducing the Greek aspirates in borrowed words, and this led to absurd mistakes in Latin words, mistakes which were satirized by Catullus in his epigram (84) upon Arrius, who said chommoda for commoda and hinsidias for insidias. In Umbrian h was often lost, and also used without etymological value to mark length, as in comohota (= Lat. commota), a practice to which there are some doubtful parallels in Latin.

In English the history of h is very similar to that in Latin. While the parts above the glottis are in position to produce a vowel, an aspirate is produced without vibration of the vocal chords, sometimes, like the pronunciation of Arrius, with considerable effort as a reaction against the tendency to "drop the h's." Though h survives in Scotland, Ireland and America as well as in the speech of cultivated persons, the sound in most of the vulgar dialects is entirely lost. Where it is not ordinarily lost, it disappears in unaccented syllables, as "Give it 'im" and the like. Where it is lost, conscious attempts to restore it on the part of uneducated speakers lead to absurd misplacements of h and to its restoration in Romance words when it never was pronounced, as humble (now recognized as standard English), humour and even honour. Gi.)

<< Gyula

Carl Haag >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

The Universal Character Set
Basic Latin U+0048



Wikipedia has an article on:



H upper case (lower case h)

  1. The eighth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.

See also



  1. (chemistry) Symbol for hydrogen.
  2. (physics) Symbol for a henry, a unit for measurement of electrical inductance in the International System of Units.
  3. (biochemistry) IUPAC 1-letter abbreviation for histidine

See also

Other representations of H:



 Audio (UK)help, file


H (uppercase, lowercase h)

  1. The eighth letter of the English alphabet, preceded by G and followed by I.




H (uncountable)

  1. (slang) A street term for heroin.




H (plural Hs)

  1. (baseball) Hits, the number of hits by a given batter in a given season.
  2. (British) A grade of pencil with lead that makes lighter marks than a pencil grade HB but darker marks than a pencil of grade 2H; a pencil with hard lead.

American Sign Language


H (Stokoe H)

  1. The letter H




H n.

  1. H (the 10th letter in the Czech alphabet)
  2. (music): B



  • (letter name): IPA: /ɦa/


H (capital, lowercase h)

  1. The eighth letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: G
  • Next letter: I



  • (letter name): IPA: /ho/
  • (phoneme): IPA: /h/


H (upper case, lower case h)

  1. The tenth letter of the Esperanto alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: Ĝ
  • Next letter: Ĥ




Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

H m. and f. inv.

  1. The eighth letter of the Italian, and of the Latin alphabets



  • IPA: /ha/, /haʃ/


H (capital, lowercase h)

  1. The tenth letter of the Romanian alphabet representing the phoneme /h/. Preceded by G and followed by I.


Slovene Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia sl



H (capital, lowercase h)

  1. The 9th letter of the Slovene alphabet. Preceded by G and followed by I.



H (upper case, lower case h)

  1. The ninth letter of the Spanish alphabet.

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
Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

H ( /ˈ/) is the eighth (number 8) letter in the English alphabet.

Meanings for H

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address