Waw (letter)

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This article is about the Semitic letter. Waw (letter)_sentence_0

For other uses, see WAW. Waw (letter)_sentence_1

Waw (letter)_table_infobox_0

← He Waw Zayin →Waw (letter)_header_cell_0_0_0
PhoenicianWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_1_0 Waw (letter)_cell_0_1_1
HebrewWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_2_0 ו‎Waw (letter)_cell_0_2_1
AramaicWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_3_0 Waw (letter)_cell_0_3_1
SyriacWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_4_0 ܘWaw (letter)_cell_0_4_1
ArabicWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_5_0 وWaw (letter)_cell_0_5_1
Phonemic representationWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_6_0 w, v, o, uWaw (letter)_cell_0_6_1
Position in alphabetWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_7_0 6Waw (letter)_cell_0_7_1
Numerical valueWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_8_0 6Waw (letter)_cell_0_8_1
Alphabetic derivatives of the PhoenicianWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_9_0
GreekWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_10_0 Ϝ (Ϛ), Υ (Ȣ).Waw (letter)_cell_0_10_1
LatinWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_11_0 F, V, U, W, Y, Ⅎ, Ↄ?, Ⱶ?, Ƿ?Waw (letter)_cell_0_11_1
CyrillicWaw (letter)_header_cell_0_12_0 Ѕ, У (Ꙋ), Ѵ, Ю, Ѱ?Waw (letter)_cell_0_12_1

Waw/Vav (wāw "hook") is the sixth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician wāw , Aramaic waw , Hebrew ו‎, Syriac waw ܘ and Arabic و (sixth in abjadi order; 27th in modern Arabic order). Waw (letter)_sentence_2

It represents the consonant w in original Hebrew, and v in modern Hebrew, as well as the vowels u and o. Waw (letter)_sentence_3

In text with niqqud, a dot is added to the left or on top of the letter to indicate, respectively, the two vowel pronunciations. Waw (letter)_sentence_4

It is the origin of Greek Ϝ (digamma) and Υ (upsilon), Cyrillic У, Latin F and V, and the derived "Latin"- or "Roman"- alphabet letters U, W, and Y. Waw (letter)_sentence_5

Origin Waw (letter)_section_0

The letter likely originated with an Egyptian hieroglyph which represented the word mace (transliterated as ḥ(dj)): Waw (letter)_sentence_6

In Modern Hebrew, the word vav is used to mean both "hook" and the letter's name (the name is also written ). Waw (letter)_sentence_7

Arabic wāw Waw (letter)_section_1

Hebrew Waw / Vav Waw (letter)_section_2

Waw (letter)_table_general_1

Orthographic variantsWaw (letter)_header_cell_1_0_0
Various print fontsWaw (letter)_header_cell_1_1_0 Cursive HebrewWaw (letter)_header_cell_1_1_3 Rashi scriptWaw (letter)_header_cell_1_1_4
SerifWaw (letter)_header_cell_1_2_0 Sans-serifWaw (letter)_header_cell_1_2_1 MonospacedWaw (letter)_header_cell_1_2_2
ו‎Waw (letter)_cell_1_3_0 וWaw (letter)_cell_1_3_1 וWaw (letter)_cell_1_3_2 Waw (letter)_cell_1_3_3 Waw (letter)_cell_1_3_4

Hebrew spelling: וָו‎ or וָאו‎ or וָיו‎. Waw (letter)_sentence_8

Pronunciation in Modern Hebrew Waw (letter)_section_3

Vav has three orthographic variants, each with a different phonemic value and phonetic realisation: Waw (letter)_sentence_9

Waw (letter)_table_general_2

Variant (with Niqqud)Waw (letter)_header_cell_2_0_0 Without NiqqudWaw (letter)_header_cell_2_0_1 NameWaw (letter)_header_cell_2_0_2 Phonemic valueWaw (letter)_header_cell_2_0_3 Phonetic realisationWaw (letter)_header_cell_2_0_4 English exampleWaw (letter)_header_cell_2_0_5
ו‎Waw (letter)_cell_2_1_0 as initial letter:ו‎Waw (letter)_cell_2_1_1 Consonantal Vav
(Hebrew: Vav Itsurit ו׳ עיצורית‎)Waw (letter)_cell_2_1_2
/v/, /w/Waw (letter)_cell_2_1_3 v, wWaw (letter)_cell_2_1_4 vote

wallWaw (letter)_cell_2_1_5

as middle letter:וו‎Waw (letter)_cell_2_2_0
as final letter:ו‎ or יו‎Waw (letter)_cell_2_3_0
וּ‎Waw (letter)_cell_2_4_0 ו‎Waw (letter)_cell_2_4_1 Vav Shruka ([väv ʃruˈkä] / ו׳ שרוקה‎) or

Shuruq ([ʃuˈruk] / שׁוּרוּק‎)Waw (letter)_cell_2_4_2

/u/Waw (letter)_cell_2_4_3 uWaw (letter)_cell_2_4_4 glueWaw (letter)_cell_2_4_5
וֹ‎Waw (letter)_cell_2_5_0 ו‎Waw (letter)_cell_2_5_1 Vav Chaluma ([väv χäluˈmä] / ו׳ חלומה‎) or

Holam Male ([χo̞ˈläm maˈle̞] / חוֹלָם מָלֵא‎)Waw (letter)_cell_2_5_2

/o/Waw (letter)_cell_2_5_3 Waw (letter)_cell_2_5_4 no, nohWaw (letter)_cell_2_5_5

In modern Hebrew, the frequency of the usage of vav, out of all the letters, is about 10.00%. Waw (letter)_sentence_10

Vav as consonant Waw (letter)_section_4

Consonantal vav (ו‎) generally represents a voiced labiodental fricative (like the English v) in Ashkenazi, European Sephardi, Persian, Caucasian, Italian and modern Israeli Hebrew, and was originally a labial-velar approximant /w/. Waw (letter)_sentence_11

In modern Israeli Hebrew, some loanwords, the pronunciation of whose source contains /w/, and their derivations, are pronounced with w: ואחד‎ – /ˈwaχad/ (but: ואדי‎ – /ˈvadi/). Waw (letter)_sentence_12

Modern Hebrew has no standardized way to distinguish orthographically between v and w. Waw (letter)_sentence_13

The pronunciation is determined by prior knowledge or must be derived through context. Waw (letter)_sentence_14

Some non standard spellings of the sound w are sometimes found in modern Hebrew texts, such as word-initial double-vav: וואללה‎ – /ˈwala/ (word-medial double-vav is both standard and common for both /v/ and /w/, see table above) or, rarely, vav with a geresh: ו׳יליאם‎ – /ˈwiljam/. Waw (letter)_sentence_15

Vav with a dot on top Waw (letter)_section_5

Main article: Holam Waw (letter)_sentence_16

Vav can be used as a mater lectionis for an o vowel, in which case it is known as a ḥolam male, which in pointed text is marked as vav with a dot above it. Waw (letter)_sentence_17

It is pronounced (phonemically transcribed more simply as /o/). Waw (letter)_sentence_18

The distinction is normally ignored, and the HEBREW POINT HOLAM (U+05B9) is used in all cases. Waw (letter)_sentence_19

The vowel can be denoted without the vav, as just the dot placed above and to the left of the letter it points, and it is then called ḥolam ḥaser. Waw (letter)_sentence_20

Some inadequate typefaces do not support the distinction between the ḥolam male ⟨וֹ‎⟩ /o/, the consonantal vav pointed with a ḥolam ḥaser ⟨וֺ‎⟩ /vo/ (compare ḥolam male ⟨מַצּוֹת‎⟩ /maˈtsot/ and consonantal vav-ḥolam ḥaser ⟨מִצְוֺת‎⟩ /mitsˈvot/). Waw (letter)_sentence_21

To display a consonantal vav with ḥolam ḥaser correctly, the typeface must either support the vav with the Unicode combining character "HEBREW POINT HOLAM HASER FOR VAV" (U+05BA, HTML Entity (decimal) ֺ) or the precomposed character וֹ‎ (U+FB4B). Waw (letter)_sentence_22

Compare the three: Waw (letter)_sentence_23

Waw (letter)_ordered_list_0

  1. The vav with the combining character HEBREW POINT HOLAM: מִצְוֹת‎Waw (letter)_item_0_0
  2. The vav with the combining character HEBREW POINT HOLAM HASER FOR VAV: מִצְוֺת‎Waw (letter)_item_0_1
  3. The precomposed character: מִצְוֹת‎Waw (letter)_item_0_2

Vav with a dot in the middle Waw (letter)_section_6

Main article: Shuruk Waw (letter)_sentence_24

Vav can also be used as a mater lectionis for u, in which case it is known as a shuruk, and in text with niqqud is marked with a dot in the middle (on the left side). Waw (letter)_sentence_25

Shuruk and vav with a dagesh look identical ("וּ‎") and are only distinguishable through the fact that in text with niqqud, vav with a dagesh will normally be attributed a vocal point in addition, e.g. שׁוּק‎ (/ʃuk/), "a market", (the "וּ‎" denotes a shuruk) as opposed to שִׁוֵּק‎ (/ʃiˈvek/), "to market" (the "וּ‎" denotes a vav with dagesh and is additionally pointed with a zeire, " ֵ‎ ", denoting /e/). Waw (letter)_sentence_26

In the word שִׁוּוּק‎ (/ʃiˈvuk/), "marketing", the first ("וּ‎") denotes a vav with dagesh, the second a shuruk, being the vowel attributed to the first. Waw (letter)_sentence_27

Numerical value Waw (letter)_section_7

Vav in gematria represents the number six, and when used at the beginning of Hebrew years, it means 6000 (i.e. ותשנד in numbers would be the date 6754.) Waw (letter)_sentence_28

Words written as vav Waw (letter)_section_8

Main article: Hebrew grammar Waw (letter)_sentence_29

Vav at the beginning of the word has several possible meanings: Waw (letter)_sentence_30

Waw (letter)_unordered_list_1

  • vav conjunctive (Vav Hachibur, literally "the Vav of Connection"—chibur means "joining, or bringing together") is a vav connecting two words or parts of a sentence; it is a grammatical conjunction meaning 'and' , cognate to the Arabic. This is the most common usage.Waw (letter)_item_1_3
  • vav consecutive (Vav Hahipuch, literally "the Vav of Reversal"—hipuch means "inversion"), mainly biblical, commonly mistaken for the previous type of vav; it indicates consequence of actions and reverses the tense of the verb following it:Waw (letter)_item_1_4
    • when placed in front of a verb in the imperfect tense, it changes the verb to the perfect tense. For example, yomar means 'he will say' and vayomar means 'he said';Waw (letter)_item_1_5
    • when placed in front of a verb in the perfect, it changes the verb to the imperfect tense. For example, ahavtah means 'you loved', and ve'ahavtah means 'you will love'.Waw (letter)_item_1_6

(Note: Older Hebrew did not have "tense" in a temporal sense, "perfect," and "imperfect" instead denoting aspect of completed or continuing action. Waw (letter)_sentence_31

Modern Hebrew verbal tenses have developed closer to their Indo-European counterparts, mostly having a temporal quality rather than denoting aspect. Waw (letter)_sentence_32

As a rule, Modern Hebrew does not use the "Vav Consecutive" form.) Waw (letter)_sentence_33

Waw (letter)_unordered_list_2

Yiddish Waw (letter)_section_9

In Yiddish, the letter (known as vov) is used for several orthographic purposes in native words: Waw (letter)_sentence_34

Waw (letter)_unordered_list_3

  • Alone, a single vov ו‎ represents the vowel u in standard Yiddish.Waw (letter)_item_3_8
  • The digraph וו‎, "tsvey vovn" ('two vovs'), represents the consonant v.Waw (letter)_item_3_9
  • The digraph וי‎, consisting of a vov followed by a yud, represents the diphthong [oj].Waw (letter)_item_3_10

The single vov may be written with a dot on the left when necessary to avoid ambiguity and distinguish it from other functions of the letter. Waw (letter)_sentence_35

For example, the word vu 'where' is spelled וווּ‎, as tsvey vovn followed by a single vov; the single vov indicating u is marked with a dot in order to distinguish which of the three vovs represents the vowel. Waw (letter)_sentence_36

Some texts instead separate the digraph from the single vov with a silent aleph. Waw (letter)_sentence_37

Loanwords from Hebrew or Aramaic in Yiddish are spelled as they are in their language of origin. Waw (letter)_sentence_38

Syriac Waw Waw (letter)_section_10

Waw (letter)_table_general_3

WawWaw (letter)_header_cell_3_0_0
Madnḫaya WawWaw (letter)_cell_3_1_0
Serṭo WawWaw (letter)_cell_3_2_0
Esṭrangela WawWaw (letter)_cell_3_3_0

In the Syriac alphabet, the sixth letter is ܘ. Waw (ܘܐܘ) is pronounced [w]. Waw (letter)_sentence_39

When it is used as a mater lectionis, a waw with a dot above the letter is pronounced [o], and a waw with a dot under the letter is pronounced [u]. Waw (letter)_sentence_40

Was has an alphabetic-numeral value of 6. Waw (letter)_sentence_41

Character encodings Waw (letter)_section_11

Waw (letter)_table_general_4

Character informationWaw (letter)_table_caption_4
PreviewWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_0_0 וWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_0_1 وWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_0_3 ܘWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_0_5 Waw (letter)_header_cell_4_0_7 Waw (letter)_header_cell_4_0_9 Waw (letter)_header_cell_4_0_11
Unicode nameWaw (letter)_cell_4_1_0 HEBREW LETTER WAW/VAVWaw (letter)_cell_4_1_1 ARABIC LETTER WAWWaw (letter)_cell_4_1_3 SYRIAC LETTER WAWWaw (letter)_cell_4_1_5 SAMARITAN LETTER BAAWaw (letter)_cell_4_1_7 HEBREW LETTER VAV WITH DAGESHWaw (letter)_cell_4_1_9 HEBREW LETTER VAV WITH HOLAMWaw (letter)_cell_4_1_11
EncodingsWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_0 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_1 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_2 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_3 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_4 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_5 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_6 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_7 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_8 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_9 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_10 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_11 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_4_2_12
UnicodeWaw (letter)_cell_4_3_0 1493Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_1 U+05D5Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_2 1608Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_3 U+0648Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_4 1816Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_5 U+0718Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_6 2053Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_7 U+0805Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_8 64309Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_9 U+FB35Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_10 64331Waw (letter)_cell_4_3_11 U+FB4BWaw (letter)_cell_4_3_12
UTF-8Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_0 215 149Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_1 D7 95Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_2 217 136Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_3 D9 88Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_4 220 152Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_5 DC 98Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_6 224 160 133Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_7 E0 A0 85Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_8 239 172 181Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_9 EF AC B5Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_10 239 173 139Waw (letter)_cell_4_4_11 EF AD 8BWaw (letter)_cell_4_4_12
Numeric character referenceWaw (letter)_cell_4_5_0 וWaw (letter)_cell_4_5_1 וWaw (letter)_cell_4_5_2 وWaw (letter)_cell_4_5_3 وWaw (letter)_cell_4_5_4 ܘWaw (letter)_cell_4_5_5 ܘWaw (letter)_cell_4_5_6 Waw (letter)_cell_4_5_7 Waw (letter)_cell_4_5_8 Waw (letter)_cell_4_5_9 Waw (letter)_cell_4_5_10 Waw (letter)_cell_4_5_11 Waw (letter)_cell_4_5_12

Waw (letter)_table_general_5

Character informationWaw (letter)_table_caption_5
PreviewWaw (letter)_header_cell_5_0_0 𐎆Waw (letter)_header_cell_5_0_1 𐡅Waw (letter)_header_cell_5_0_3 𐤅Waw (letter)_header_cell_5_0_5
Unicode nameWaw (letter)_cell_5_1_0 UGARITIC LETTER WOWaw (letter)_cell_5_1_1 IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER WAWWaw (letter)_cell_5_1_3 PHOENICIAN LETTER WAUWaw (letter)_cell_5_1_5
EncodingsWaw (letter)_header_cell_5_2_0 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_5_2_1 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_5_2_2 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_5_2_3 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_5_2_4 decimalWaw (letter)_header_cell_5_2_5 hexWaw (letter)_header_cell_5_2_6
UnicodeWaw (letter)_cell_5_3_0 66438Waw (letter)_cell_5_3_1 U+10386Waw (letter)_cell_5_3_2 67653Waw (letter)_cell_5_3_3 U+10845Waw (letter)_cell_5_3_4 67845Waw (letter)_cell_5_3_5 U+10905Waw (letter)_cell_5_3_6
UTF-8Waw (letter)_cell_5_4_0 240 144 142 134Waw (letter)_cell_5_4_1 F0 90 8E 86Waw (letter)_cell_5_4_2 240 144 161 133Waw (letter)_cell_5_4_3 F0 90 A1 85Waw (letter)_cell_5_4_4 240 144 164 133Waw (letter)_cell_5_4_5 F0 90 A4 85Waw (letter)_cell_5_4_6
UTF-16Waw (letter)_cell_5_5_0 55296 57222Waw (letter)_cell_5_5_1 D800 DF86Waw (letter)_cell_5_5_2 55298 56389Waw (letter)_cell_5_5_3 D802 DC45Waw (letter)_cell_5_5_4 55298 56581Waw (letter)_cell_5_5_5 D802 DD05Waw (letter)_cell_5_5_6
Numeric character referenceWaw (letter)_cell_5_6_0 𐎆Waw (letter)_cell_5_6_1 𐎆Waw (letter)_cell_5_6_2 𐡅Waw (letter)_cell_5_6_3 𐡅Waw (letter)_cell_5_6_4 𐤅Waw (letter)_cell_5_6_5 𐤅Waw (letter)_cell_5_6_6


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waw (letter).