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ISO basic Laitin 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

Cursive script 'f' and capital 'F' in the U.S. D'Nealian script style

F (named ef[1] /ˈɛf/)[2] is the saxt letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

V or W
Roman F
Roman F

The origin o 'F' is the Semitic letter vâv (or waw) that representit a soond lik /v/ or /w/. Graphically it oreeginally probably depictit aither a huik or a club. It mey hae been based on a comparable Egyptian hieroglyph sic as that which represented the wird mace (transliteratit as ḥ(dj)):-


The Phoenician fairm o the letter wis adoptit intae Greek as a vowel, upsilon (which resembled its descendant, 'Y' but wis an aa ancestor tae Roman letters 'U', 'V', an 'W'); an wi anither fairm, as a consonant, digamma, which resembled 'F', but indicatit the pronunciation /w/, as in Phoenician. (Efter /w/ disappeared frae Greek, digamma wis uised as a numeral anly.)

In Etruscan, 'F' probably representit /w/, as in Greek; an the Etruscans fairmed the digraph 'FH' tae represent /f/. When the Romans adoptit the alphabet, thay uised 'V' (frae Greek upsilon) tae staund for /w/ as well as /u/, leavin 'F' available for /f/. (At that time, the Greek letter phi 'Φ' representit an aspiratit voiceless bilabial plosive /pʰ/, tho in Modren Greek it approximates the soond o /f/.) An sae oot o the various vav variants in the Mediterranean warld, the letter F entered the Roman alphabet attached tae a soond which its antecedents in Greek an Etruscan did nae hae. The Roman alphabet fairms the basis o the alphabet uised the day for Inglis an mony ither leids.

The lawercase ' f ' is nae relatit tae the visually seemilar lang s, ' ſ ' (or medial s). The uise o the lang s lairgely died oot bi the beginnin o the 19t century, maistly tae prevent confusion wi ' f ' when uisin a short mid-bar (see mair at: S).

Relatit letters an ither similar characters[eedit | eedit soorce]

Computin codes[eedit | eedit soorce]

Character F f
Encodins decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 70 U+0046 102 U+0066
UTF-8 70 46 102 66
Numeric chairacter reference F F f f
EBCDIC faimily 198 C6 134 86
ASCII 1 70 46 102 66
1 An aa for encodings based on ASCII, includin the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 an Macintosh faimilies o encodings.

Ither representations[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Spelled eff as a verb
  2. "F", Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); "ef", "eff", "bee" (under "bee eff"), op. cit.

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Media relatit tae F at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionar defineetion o F at Wiktionary
  • The dictionar defineetion o f at Wiktionary

The ISO basic Laitin 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 F with diacritics
Ḟḟ Ƒƒ