W : Double U or Double V

W : Double U or Double V

Why is W pronounced DOUBLE U rather than DOUBLE V and what is the origin of this letter?

English uses the Latin alphabet of the Romans. However, this had no letter suitable for representing the phoneme
W which was used in Old English, though phonetically the sound represented by V was quite close. In the 7th century scribes wrote UU for W. Later they used the runic symbols known as WYNN. European scribes had continued to write UU and this usage returned to England with the Norman Conquest in 1066. Early printers sometimes used VV for lack of a W in their type. The name double-u recalls the former identity of u and v which is also evident in a number of cognate words (flour/flower, guard/ward, suede/Swede, etc.).(Oxford Companion to the English Language)

Other Related Links:

How Many Words are there in the English language?

What is the difference between Old English and Anglo-Saxon?

Why is W pronounced DOUBLE U rather than DOUBLE V. Why?

Why don't you introduce some form of phonetic English spelling?

Is it true that English has the most words of any Language?

What is the proportion of English words of Other Languages?

Frequently Asked Questions Index


More To Explore