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dʌbəlˌyu, -yʊ; rapidly ˈdʌbyə ref

Either delete or do something with it... I don't care... but the bickering over the pronouncation is absurd. Let alone making those who bash America look worse by bashing America because of the way they pronounce their "W"'s.

What are the IPA symbol and number? I came to this page to find it, but it doesn't seem to be here. Other letters have them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Computer codes bogus[edit]

The values on the page are auto generated. I don't know how to fix it. Unicode, utf-8, and ASCII are essentially the same for this lower 7bit character. W decimal 87 W hex 57 w decimal 119 w hex 77 UTF-8 87 57 119 77 Numeric character reference W W w w (talk) 03:54, 18 December 2012 (UTC)


For meanings: In Japan, 'W' is often read as simply 'double' (particularly in technical documentation or electronics advertising. e.g. "W chuunaa" is "double tuner")

'W' is an abbreviation for laughter (笑い) on Japanese message boards, etc. I was about to add it until I realised that I wasn't sure what could be cited as a third-party source for this; does it need one? ~ジリー (talk) 03:29, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Is Welsh a major European language?[edit]

I think most people will agree that Welsh is not a major European language, but of course this depends on your definition of major, and if it makes the Welsh people happy, I'm ok with it.--Lamadude 15:04, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

It's certainly a major language to someone who studies the languages of the region; it preserves a good deal of the older tongues of the region in a way that no other modern language (exept maybe Manx Gaelic) does. What's more, it's unique enough to make it important in linguistic studies. --DestroyYouAlot 16:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


This is the only letter of the alphabet with a dis-ambiguation page at the title, and I studied the history and saw it was done with a cut-paste. Georgia guy 19:28, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Notice that this is no longer the case. Not only has W's disambig page been cleaned up considerably and been made relevant, but there are other letters that are in the same boat. For an example C see & C (disambiguation) MrZaiustalk 17:39, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Pronunciation (W vs. V)[edit]

Studying various Internet sites, including Wikipedia, I appear to hear something ridiculous about 2 consonant sounds:

The sound of English w belongs chiefly to languages of long ago, and v to more modern languages. Why?? The sounds don't seem related. Georgia guy 19:34, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

They are probably not related Speling12345 (talk) 12:54, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
They are related. A transition in pronunciation from [w] to [v] is very common. V in Latin was used to represent the vowel [u], and the closely related consonant sound [w]. There are puns from the 1st century BC that only work if consonantal 'v' was pronounced as a [w]. On the other hand, there a mispellings and confusions between 'v' and 'b' in the 1st century AD, that can only be explained if the pronunciation had shifted to [v] by then. English retains the old Germanic pronunciation of 'w'. In other Germanic languages [w] has become [v], as has [hw] in German and Dutch at least. (This is the English digraph wh, still pronounced distinctly in some forms of spoken English.) Among the Oceanic languages (Polynesian and others), some languages have w, where others have v. I have heard a Bengali speaker and a Hindi speaker reading Sanskrit. The Hindi speaker pronounced 'v' as [w], while the Bengali speaker pronounced it as [v].
The relationship between them is obvious. Both are voiced labial continuants: [w] is a bi-labial approximant, while [v] is a labio-dental fricative. I think in some forms of Spanish, both 'b' and 'v' represent voiced bilabial fricatives.
In English, the [v] sound comes from two different sources. In native English words (eg give and have), it results from the softening of an old Germanic /b/, whereas in words borrowed from Latin and French it represents the [v] sound in those languages, which is derived from a [w] sound in Latin and its proto-Italic ancestor. Koro Neil (talk) 05:27, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Double V?[edit]

Why is the letter W called double U and not double v?

Because back in the day u and v were interchangeable, so the name 'duble-u' made some sense.Cameron Nedland 21:11, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
By the way, in Swedish the letter is called "dubbel-ve" (Lit. "double v"). 惑乱 分からん 22:29, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
W is called double-v in every language but English. ( or almost ) How I see it, double v and double u are two separate letters, with the same graph. English W is pronounced more like a U than a V, so double U makes sense. In Spanish, or every other romance language, W is pronounced exactly as V so double V makes sense. User:Petruza
W is more important to the English language as a vowel additive (or extremely rarely a "stand-alone" vowel"). AW, EW , and OW, are more like AU, EU, and OU, than AV, EV, or OV. A non-sequitur question: Do you need an account to edit or comment on something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:10, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
No, you don't generally need an account, though some articles that have been vandalized are protected, and you'll need an account to edit them. If you get an account, the welcome message you get will have links to wiki help pages. If you just type help:edit in the search window, you'll get the basics. kwami (talk) 04:23, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

W/ => with[edit]

Why is w/ an abbreviation of "with"? I mean is it because back in the days there was very little memory to use in data (most famous example: y2k)? -- Edao 21:36, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I do not think y2k was a result of a lack of memory, but was a catch phrase from which bottled water companies made millions. w/ is shorthand, why a slash is used I am unsure, but it is easier/faster to write. motorbyclist 12:49, 21 September 2006


Isn't the Hebrew pronunciation rather due to the lack of a voiced labial-velar approximant sound in the Hebrew language, rather than the same letter being used for both transcribed words? 惑乱 分からん 22:32, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

www "dub-dub-dub"[edit]

the intro states that the pronounciation of 'www' and 'dub dub dub' is rare. In (at least) New Zealand and Australia it is common, could I change this? Furthermore dubdubdub is not considered rare on the page about 'www'. I will change it if no-one objects within a week. Actually, I'll change it now, you guys can change it back if you like, no, ok how do you edit without an edit link? Motorbyclist 12:58, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree, it is commonly said in the US as well (at least where I am, New England). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

FWIW, The Jargon Dictionary claims "dub dub dub" is "common". See -- (talk) 07:13, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

(Section that's previously had as title both "Huh?" and "V O C A L I C w")[edit]

   The practice of renaming talk sections by simply changing the section-header markup is disruptive. The approach i've just substituted for this section avoids the problem of links to the section from other pages (usually other talk pages) being broken, and also lets the talk-page ToC help those reading an old name elsewhere, then visually seeking it in the ToC.
--Jerzyt 07:30, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Can someone give an example of when W is used as a vowel! 16:33, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

   I'm with you man, that is just total nonsence and I'm getting rid of it now. Saksjn 12:05, 28 March 2007 (UTC)In this edit, i restore Saksjn's contrib to its chronological order by moving a duplicate of ip-user 131...'s later response to the same request to its logical place in the sequence of contribs.--Jerzyt 06:07, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Answer: Welsh orthography spells the sound u by the grapheme [w]. gwr = husband, g^wr = husbands.
Other consonants (resonants) can as well function as vowels: Czech prst = finger, vlk = wolf etc. - Ángel.García (talk) 20:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I strike thru here the original copy of the contrib, which should have been placed further down in this section after earlier responses to the contrib.--Jerzyt 06:07, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
When I was in elementary school, we learned that the vowels were "A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y and W". I'm pretty sure that, nowadays, they're taught as "A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y", but I was coming to this article to see if there were any words, specifically, that contain W as a vowel. I've found some sources online, and will be restoring the information and probably writing a section on W's use as a vowel. —  MusicMaker5376 22:57, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Isn't that for a few Irish loanwords and place names? 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 12:56, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
When "w" is used in dipthongs, such as "ow" (how)"ew" (few) "aw" (flaw) the sound it makes is a vowel equivalent, which is why people occasionally call it a part-time vowel. It's the same sound that the u makes in "house" so phonemically if u is a vowel in that dipthong, you'd have to admit that the "w" in "how" is also a vowel. Oh, and the only real semi-common word that you'll run into that uses "w" as a vowel outside of a dipthong is "cwm" which is a Welsh loan-word meaning a semi-circular hollow at the end of a mountain valley. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think so. W is a vowel every time. i know this from learning Greek, which does not have a W character. However, it creates W's with the ou sound, just as I realized English does. Look below, and you're going to get the same explanations as I'm about to give.
Take a word that ends in W: tow. When you say this word, what you're really saying is to - ou. These aren't seperate syllables; they're two vowels merged together.
Now take a word that begins in W: Work. When you say Work, you're really saying Ou - ork. Say that really fast, and you'll realize that they are the exact same thing.
Also, your vocal cords do not close at any time while pronouncing the letter w in any situation.
See what I mean?
-Panther (talk) 01:02, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
A sound like an english 'w' also appears as the first part of a dipthong vowell in some languages. For example in chinese and korean, you would have 'ho' and then 'hwo' (or 'huo' ) where the 'wo' part is a dipthong with the 'w' sound first. Then you got 'hyo' which is also a dipthong.Eregli bob (talk) 15:32, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Answer: Welsh orthography spells the sound u by the grapheme [w]. gwr = husband, g^wr = husbands.
Other consonants (resonants) can as well function as vowels: Czech prst = finger, vlk = wolf etc. - Ángel.García (talk) 20:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Please remove the unrelated vulgarity[edit]

There is a vulgar discourse on someone hating their mother and other activities she is engaged in and is unrealted to its usage in Unix (in the Meanings for W section)
thx —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:51, 23 February 2007 (UTC).

New Pronunciation?[edit]

I've been noticing on a lot of shows and movies that words with W's at the beggining are pronounced like a H. exp: family guy. stewie says cool hwip. hot rod. "why are you talking that way?" "Talking hwat hway". I dont know how to spell it like pronouncing it but you get the idea -.-

Actually, it's a very old pronunciation of "wh", though it seems to be used less and less, surviving more in Britain than in the US. It's perfect for Stewie, though, isn't it? It's represented in IPA with an upside-down W. See [1] Jrbbopp 13:14, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

History Nonsense[edit]

I don't think the line "The W stands for the 3 greatest things in the world 1.) Presedent W bush 2.) W for the win 3.) The halo team that goes by the name W" is factual... User:gigantibyte 14:10, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

A vowel? Really?[edit]

Answer: Welsh orthography spells the sound u by the grapheme [w]. gwr = husband, g^wr = husbands.

Other consonants (resonants) can as well function as vowels: Czech prst = finger, vlk = wolf etc. Ángel.García (talk) 20:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I tagged the reference for this statement as {{disputable}}:

in words such as "low" or "bow" the letter W represents a vowel.

The reference states, with my emphasis:

However, in words like "low" and "bow," one can make a good case that the letter w represents a vowel. Both of these words end with one or another of the diphthongs of modern English. In each case, the second part of the diphthong is represented by w. By the way, l, m, n, and r may also sometimes represent vowels; that is, in English there are vowels that are routinely represented by these letters. They show up at the ends of the words "bottle," "bottom," "button," and "butter."

I don't think that "one can make a good case" automatically makes W a vowel. The reference then goes on to find that four other consonants could be logically included as vowels. This contradicts the sentence in the lede of the article that asserts, "along with Y, [W] is one of two letters to serve as a representation for both vowel and consonant sounds." Finally, this leaves us with Welsh loanwords as the only vowel usage of W. If it is a Welsh loanword, is it not just a Welsh word? Since Spanish loanwords have made it into English — such as jalapeño, piña colada, and piñata — does ñ now become a new English consonant? Unless I'm missing something here, a small section should show how W behaves like a vowel, but is certainly not a vowel.It stands in when needed or used in a certian way like Y is used sometimes with A E I O and U (the five real vowls)—Twigboy 20:12, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

As the article currently stands, there is no discussion about its use as a vowel in English. There are THOUSANDS of elementary school students who are (or were) taught "sometimes Y and W". They're not taught about l, m, n, and r. The teachers teaching W as a vowel usually have no examples as to its usage. We don't have to espouse the notion that W is a vowel, but we should make some concession that W can be considered a vowel in some circumstances. — MusicMaker5376 16:45, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
  • W is totally a vowel. Every time. Think about it, we'll use the words William and Throw as examples.

In throw, the w is pretty much silent, and if it is not, must act as another o or a u. Say it in your head: Thro-ou.

In William, does your throat or mouth close at any point during saying the W? no, it doesn't. It closes when you say 'd', 's', 'k', and other consonants. It doesn't close for W because what you're really saying is:

Ou-ill-iam, really fast. An Ou sound represents a W every time it appears in a word.

See what I'm saying? In all cases, w IS a vowel. Same thing with Y, actually. -Panther (talk) 00:54, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

No matter how fast I say ou-ill-iam (ou-ork) I can't get it to sound anything like William or work. Which is not to say that it's not a vowel, just that I'm not sure that's a good example.--HarryHenryGebel (talk) 07:17, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
/w/ is the voiced labio-velar approximant, which is a consonant designation. If it is a vowel (and using Greek orthographic conventions is not a valid argument - see Digamma), then where would you place it on the vowel chart? (talk) 07:27, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Above [u]. It's a semivowel: vocalic, except that it isn't syllabic. That's what he means by saying it fast: he's just discovered that the only difference between [u] and [w] is where it occurs in a syllable. (Okay, English [w] in water is closer than [u], but the [w] in cow--if you consider than a [w]--is not.) — kwami (talk) 07:39, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Persistent Vandalism[edit]

This page certainly finds itself a frequent target for vandalism; someone really has a thing for the letter "W". I'll go ahead and revert it. --DestroyYouAlot 16:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Nicaraguan names?[edit]

Where does the "w" come from names like Awastara or Bilwi or other names? -- (talk) 03:57, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Miskito language? —Tamfang (talk) 05:29, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

English: /w/ and Dutch /ʋ/[edit]

Could somebody please explain me the difference in pronunciation between the dutch and english w? As a native Dutch (Flemish) speaker I cannot hear the difference myself. --Lamadude (talk) 17:54, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

It's the same thing for Surinamese speakers. We just pronounce the w differently than the Dutch, so that difference doesn't really exist in our case (talk) 16:58, 23 December 2008 (UTC)kevinsano
Exactly, maybe there are some parts of the Netherlands where w is pronounced /ʋ/ but this is definitely not the case everywhere. And since Dutch has a standard spelling but no standard pronunciation, the Flemish or Surinamese pronunciation /w/ is just as correct. I'll have another look at the article and see if I can change or explain this.--Lamadude (talk) 23:42, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


Maybe it could be interesting to list the name of the letter in the languages that use it? For example Double u (english); double v (many languages, for example german) or just the "w" sound (Dutch w is just w (pronounced "way")) I would be interested in knowing if there were other names for this letter in different languages. --Lamadude (talk) 15:28, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Spanish: Doble V -Panther (talk) 13:07, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
In Mexico is called "doble u".

History of war and wor[edit]

Words beginning with w followed by a vowel and then an r are rarely spelled like their rhymes. Words beginning with war generally sound rhyming with "for", and words beginning with wor (exceptions are wore and worn) generally sound rhyming with "fur". There are very few words, one of which is warrant, which start with w whose first syllable rhymes with "far". Does Wikipedia mention this anywhere in any article?? Wikipedia needs info on this. Georgia guy (talk) 14:45, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I barely even follow that. You have a source? Wknight94 talk 16:20, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
However, reveals that war as a Scottish dialect word for worse rhymes with far. Georgia guy (talk) 13:17, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Could be because the sound in English is a half-vowel, and thus more likely to affect the following vowel by assimilation. Just a guess. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 09:39, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
warrant rhymes with far for people who have the Father–bother merger and/or Cot–caught merger. How do you pronounce warrior? Warrant can also rhyme with the "normal" pronunciation like in war. See warrant, warrior and war --androl (talk) 12:48, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Star trek[edit]

So, if in German a V sounds like an english F , and a W sounds like an english V, then why does the guy on Star Trek say "nuclear wessels" and not "nuclear fessels" ?Eregli bob (talk) 15:24, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

For one thing, although the actor has a German name, he's playing a comedy Russian. Evidently in his dialect the nearest thing to /v/ or /w/ is /ʋ/, which is intermediate between the two, so to us it sounds like /w/ when we expect /v/ and vice versa. (Analogous effects produce stereotypes associated with Japanese and Brooklynese accents.) —Tamfang (talk) 05:28, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

U dub[edit]

Is the University of Wisconsin really called U-dub? My understanding was always that U. of Washington was U-dub and U. of Wisconsin was U double-U, and this distinguished them. So I have been told at least. Others? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:41, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

okjkugrkbhfuhpqakqrybrfhpfqrw boei7vufeq8 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:52, 17 June 2015 (UTC)


In Νομο-λεξικον by Blount, some headwords seem to give separate "UU" in old script, whereas others seem to have a kind of conjoined version in old script, and in the definitions a simple modern-style "W" is used.
—DIV ( (talk) 09:38, 8 April 2016 (UTC))

History section[edit]

Is there any chance of someone revising the history section so that maybe someone who is not a specialist in linguistics can get something out of it? According to its Flesch-Kincaid readability stands around 51, or 12th-grade level. And it's an article about a letter of the alphabet, so probably of interest to people well before that. (talk) 02:16, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

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