Teth

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Teth
Phoenician Hebrew Aramaic Syriac Arabic
Teth ט Teth ܛ ط
Phonemic representation
Position in alphabet 9
Numerical value 9
Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician
Greek Latin Cyrillic
Θ - Ѳ

Ṭēth (also Teth, Tet) is the ninth letter of many Semitic abjads (alphabets), including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew Tet ט, Syriac ܛ and Arabic Ṭāʾ ط; it is 9th in abjadi order and 16th in modern Arabic order.

Its sound value is //, one of the Semitic emphatic consonants.

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Theta (Θ). The Persian Ța is also used however it is pronounced as a hard "t" sound and it is the 19th letter in the modern Persian alphabet.

Origins[edit]

The Phoenician letter name ṭēth means "wheel", but the letter possibly (according to Brian Colless) continues a Middle Bronze Age glyph named ṭab "good", Tav in Arameic and Tov טוב in Hebrew, ṭayyib طَيّب in modern Arabic, based on the nfr "good" hieroglyph:

F35

Jewish scripture books about the "holy letters" from the 10th century and on discuss the connection or origin of the letter Teth with the word Tov,[1] and the Bible uses the word 'Tov' in alphabetic chapters to depict the letter.[2]

Hebrew Tet[edit]

Orthographic variants
Serif sans-Serif Monospaced Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
Script
ט ט ט Hebrew letter Tet handwriting.svg Rashi-tet.png

The Hebrew spelling of name of the letter: טֵית

Hebrew pronunciation[edit]

In Modern Hebrew, Tet represents a voiceless alveolar plosive /t/, although this can be pharyngealized to produce [tˤ] in traditional Temani and Sephardi pronunciation.

Significance[edit]

In gematria, Tet represents the number nine. When followed by an apostrophe, it means 9,000. The most common example of this usage is in the numbers of the Hebrew years (e.g., ט'תשנד in numbers would be the date 9754).

As well, in gematria, the number 15 is written with Tet and Vav, (9+6) to avoid the normal construction Yud and Hei (10+5) which spells a name of God. Similarly, 16 is written with Tet and Zayin (9+7) instead of Yud and Vav (10+6) to avoid spelling part of the Tetragrammaton.

Tet is also one of the seven letters which receive special crowns (called tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah. See Shin, Ayin, Gimmel, Nun, Zayin, and Tzadi.

Arabic Ṭāʾ[edit]

The letter is named Ṭāʾ ; Modern Standard Arabic pronunciation: /tˤ/.

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ط ـط ـطـ طـ

Similar symbols[edit]

A symbol similar to the Phoenician teth is used for the tensor product, as \otimes, but this is presumably an independent development, by modification of the multiplication sign ×. The Hebrew ט is also visually similar to the letter Ʋ.

Character encodings[edit]

Character ט ط ܛ
Unicode name HEBREW LETTER TET ARABIC LETTER TAH SYRIAC LETTER TETH SAMARITAN LETTER TIT
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1496 U+05D8 1591 U+0637 1819 U+071B 2056 U+0808
UTF-8 215 152 D7 98 216 183 D8 B7 220 155 DC 9B 224 160 136 E0 A0 88
Numeric character reference ט ט ط ط ܛ ܛ ࠈ ࠈ
Character 𐎉 𐡈 𐤈
Unicode name UGARITIC LETTER TET IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER TETH PHOENICIAN LETTER TET
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 66441 U+10389 67656 U+10848 67848 U+10908
UTF-8 240 144 142 137 F0 90 8E 89 240 144 161 136 F0 90 A1 88 240 144 164 136 F0 90 A4 88
UTF-16 55296 57225 D800 DF89 55298 56392 D802 DC48 55298 56584 D802 DD08
Numeric character reference 𐎉 𐎉 𐡈 𐡈 𐤈 𐤈

References[edit]

  1. ^ This was especially emphasized ever since the late 1600s after the Baal Shem Tov became influential, since the letter Teth was in his Acronym standing for Tov, and goodness was part of his philosophy.
  2. ^ i.e. Psalms 119: 65-72. and many more.