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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

V is the twenty-second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /ˈviː/) is spelled vee.[1]


The letter

The letter V ultimately comes from the Semitic letter Waw, as do the modern letters F, U, W, and Y. See F for details.

In Greek, the letter "upsilon" (Υ) was adapted from waw to represent, at first, the vowel /u/ as in "moon". This later developed to /y/, the vowel spelled ü in German.

In Latin, a stemless variant shape of the upsilon was borrowed in early times as V – either directly from the Western Greek alphabet or from the Etruscan alphabet as a middle man – to represent the same /u/ sound, as well as the consonantal /w/. Thus, num — originally spelled, NVM — was pronounced /nu:m/ and via was pronounced /wi:a/. From the first century A.D. on, depending on Vulgar Latin dialect, consonantal /w/ developed into /β/, then later to /v/.

In Roman numerals, the letter V is used to represent the number 5. It was used because it resembled the convention of counting by notches carved in wood, with every fifth notch double-cut to form a "V".

During the late Middle Ages, two forms of "v" developed, which were both used for modern u and v. The pointed form "v" was written at the beginning of a word, while a rounded form "u" was used in the middle or end, regardless of sound. So whereas valor and excuse appeared as in modern printing, "have" and "upon" were printed haue and vpon. The first distinction between the letters "u" and "v" is recorded in a Gothic alphabet from 1386, where "v" preceded "u". By the mid-1500s, the "v" form was used to represent the consonant and "u" the vowel sound, giving us the modern letter "u". Capital "U" was not accepted as a distinct letter until many years later.[2]

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, /v/ represents the voiced labiodental fricative. See Help:IPA.

Similarly to J, K, Q, W, and Y, V is not used very frequently in the Basic English Language. However, it appears frequently in the Spanish and French languages.

This letter is not used in the Polish alphabet, along with Q and X. In loan words the letter W (pronounced /v/) is used instead.

Other names

  • Catalan: ve, pronounced [ve], but in dialects that lack the /v/ sound is named ve baixa "low vee".
  • French:
  • Italian: vi or vu
  • Spanish: uve (recommended) / ve (traditional). In some countries it is called ve corta, ve baja, ve pequeña, ve chica or ve labiodental. These further terms are needed to distinguish ve from be, the letter B, as both are pronounced /b/ in Spanish.[3]
  • Portuguese:
  • German: fau

In Japanese, V is often called "bui" (ブイ). This name is an approximation of the English name which substitutes the voiced bilabial plosive for the voiced labiodental fricative (which does not exist in native Japanese phonology) and differentiates it from "bī" (ビー), the Japanese name of the letter B. The sound can be written with the relatively recently developed katakana character 「ヴ」 (vu)[4] va, vi, vu, ve, vo (ヴァ, ヴィ, ヴ, ヴェ, ヴォ ?), though in practice the pronunciation is usually not the strictly labiodental fricative found in English. Moreover, some words are more often spelled with the b equivalent character instead of vu due to the long-time use of the word without it (e.g. "violin" is more often found as baiorin (バイオリン ?) than as vaiorin (ヴァイオリン ?) due partly to inertia, and to some extent due to the more native Japanese sound).

In Chinese Hanyu Pinyin, letter V is missing, as there is no sound [v] in Standard Mandarin but the letter “v” is used by most input methods to enter letter “ü”, since it is missing on most keyboards. Romanised Chinese is a popular method to enter Chinese text phonetically.

In Irish Language the letter v is sometimes used in loan words from English, such as Vean Van. However the sound "Ví" appears naturally in Irish when the letter B is lenitised or softened, i.e. [b] followed by a h forms a [v] so "Bhí" is pronounced Vee, "An Bhean"(the woman) is pronounced van, et cetera.

Codes for computing

Alternative representations of V
NATO phonetic Morse code
Victor ···–
ICS Victor.svg Semaphore Victor.svg ⠧
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode the capital V is codepoint U+0056 and the lowercase v is U+0076.

The ASCII code for capital V is 86 and for lowercase v is 118; or in binary 01010110 and 01110110, respectively.

The EBCDIC code for capital V is 229 and for lowercase v is 165.

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

See also


  1. ^ "V" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "vee," op. cit.
  2. ^ Pflughaupt, Laurent (2008). Letter by Letter: An Alphabetical Miscellany. trans. Gregory Bruhn. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 123–124. ISBN 9781568987378. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  3. ^ Díez Losada, Fernando (2004) (in Spanish). La tribuna del idioma. Editorial Tecnologica de CR. p. 176. ISBN 9977661618, ISBN 9789977661612.  
  4. ^ Not an entirely new character, 「ヴ」 is simply the character for u (ウ) with the addition of a dakuten, the same mark used to change the sound of other kana. The dakuten is, for example, used to transform ka (カ) to ga (ガ), hi (ヒ) to bi (ビ) and ta (タ) to da (ダ).
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 V with diacritics

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


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

V May Refer to:


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

The Universal Character Set
Basic Latin U+0056



Wikipedia has an article on:



V upper case (lower case v)

  1. The twenty-second letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.

See also



  1. The volt in the International System of Units.
  2. (chemistry) Symbol for vanadium.
  3. The Roman numeral for 5.
  4. (biochemistry) IUPAC 1-letter abbreviation for valine

See also

Other representations of V:




V (uppercase, lowercase v)

  1. The twenty-second letter of the English alphabet, preceded by U and followed by W.



  1. (organic chemistry) The resin identification code for polyvinyl chloride, also PVC

American Sign Language


V (Stokoe V)

  1. The letter V



  • (letter name): IPA: /veː/


V (capital, lowercase v)

  1. The twenth-second letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: U
  • Next letter: W




Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

V m. and f. inv.

  1. The twentieth letter of the Italian alphabet
  2. The twenty-second letter of the Latin alphabet




V (capital, lowercase v)

  1. The twenty-sixth letter of the Romanian alphabet representing the phoneme /v/. Preceded by U and followed by X.


Slovene Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia sl



V (capital, lowercase v)

  1. The 23rd letter of the Slovene alphabet. Preceded by U and followed by Z.



V (upper case, lower case v)

  1. The 25th 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

V is the twenty-second (number 22) letter in the English alphabet.

Meanings for V

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