One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The sixth letter of the early Greek alphabet (Ϝ, ϝ), probably pronounced as ‘w’. It became obsolete before the Classical period.
- ‘The letters digamma, koppa, and san are the obsolete ones.’
- ‘It may be noted that another sherd bearing a fragmentary inscription which includes a digamma was found among the material examined this year.’
- ‘They included the letters digamma and koppa, the ancestors of Roman F and Q and a modification of P written with a tail, which served as an early model for Roman R.’
- ‘While this information is in good dictionaries, I have sometimes wanted a more convenient list of words used in Epic which start with the digamma.’
- ‘If anyone knows how to put a digamma in, let me know, and I'll fix it.’
Late 17th century: via Latin from Greek, from di- ‘twice’ + gamma (because of the shape of the letter, resembling gamma (Γ) with an extra stroke).
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