Powered by
Share this page on
Article provided by Wikipedia

O o
("See below)
""Writing cursive forms of O
Writing system "Latin script
Type "Alphabetic
Language of origin "Latin language
Phonetic usage ["o]
Unicode value U+004F, U+006F
Alphabetical position 15
Time period ~-700 to present
Descendants  • "Ö
 • "
 • "Ø
 • "Œ
 • "Ɔ
 • "Ơ
 • "
 • "
 • "
 • "º
 • ℅
Sisters "

Ո ո
Օ օ
Variations ("See below)
Other letters commonly used with "o(x)

O ("named o "//, plural oes)[1] is the 15th "letter and the fourth "vowel in the "modern English alphabet and the "ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is used in words such as opulent and "orangutan, as well as names such as Ophelia and Oprah.



Its graphic form has remained fairly constant from "Phoenician times until today. The name of the Phoenician letter was "ʿeyn, meaning "eye", and indeed its shape originates simply as a drawing of a human eye (possibly inspired by the corresponding Egyptian hieroglyph, cf. "Proto-Sinaitic script). Its original sound value was that of a consonant, probably ["ʕ], the sound represented by the cognate "Arabic letter "ع ʿayn.

The use of this Phoenician letter for a vowel sound is due to the early "Greek alphabets, which adopted the letter as "O "omicron" to represent the vowel /o/. The letter was adopted with this value in the "Old Italic alphabets, including the "early Latin alphabet. In Greek, a variation of the form later came to distinguish this long sound ("Omega, meaning "large O") from the short o (Omicron, meaning "small o"). Greek omicron gave rise to the corresponding "Cyrillic letter O and the early Italic letter to "runic ᛟ.

Even alphabets that are not derived from Semitic tend to have similar forms to represent this sound; for example, the creators of the "Afaka and "Ol Chiki scripts, each invented in different parts of the world in the last century, both attributed their vowels for 'O' to the shape of the mouth when making this sound.["original research?]

Use in writing systems[edit]


The letter ⟨o⟩ is the fourth "most common letter in the "English alphabet.[2] Like the other English vowel letters, it has associated "long" and "short" pronunciations. The "long" ⟨o⟩ as in boat is actually most often a "diphthong "// (realized dialectically anywhere from [o] to [əʊ]). In English there is also a "short" ⟨o⟩ as in fox, "/ɒ/, which sounds slightly different in different dialects. In most dialects of "British English, it is either an "open-mid back rounded vowel [ɔ] or an "open back rounded vowel [ɒ]; in "American English, it is most commonly an unrounded back to a central vowel [ɑ] to [a].

Common digraphs include ⟨oo⟩, which represents either "// or "/ʊ/; ⟨oi⟩ or ⟨oy⟩, which typically represents the diphthong "/ɔɪ/, and ⟨ao⟩, ⟨oe⟩, and ⟨ou⟩ which represent a variety of pronunciations depending on context and etymology.

In other contexts, especially before a letter with a "minim, ⟨o⟩ may represent the sound "/ʌ/, as in 'son' or 'love'. It can also represent the "semivowel "/w/ as in choir or quinoa.

In English, the letter ⟨o⟩ in isolation before a noun, usually capitalized, marks the "vocative case, as in the titles to "O Canada or "O Captain! My Captain! or certain verses of the "Bible.[3]

Other languages[edit]

Pronunciation of the name of the letter ⟨o⟩ in European languages

⟨o⟩ is commonly associated with the "open-mid back rounded vowel [ɔ], "mid back rounded vowel [o̞] or "close-mid back rounded vowel [o] in many languages. Other languages use ⟨o⟩ for various values, usually back vowels which are at least partly open. Derived letters such as ⟨"ö⟩ and ⟨"ø⟩ have been created for the alphabets of some languages to distinguish values that were not present in Latin and Greek, particularly rounded front vowels.

Other systems[edit]

In the "International Phonetic Alphabet, ⟨o⟩ represents the "close-mid back rounded vowel.

Related characters[edit]

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet[edit]

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations[edit]

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

Character O o
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
"Unicode 79 U+004F 111 U+006F 65327 U+FF2F 65359 U+FF4F
"UTF-8 79 4F 111 6F 239 188 175 EF BC AF 239 189 143 EF BD 8F
"Numeric character reference O O o o O O o o
"EBCDIC family 214 D6 150 96
"ASCII g1 79 4F 111 6F
1 Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations[edit]

"NATO phonetic "Morse code
Oscar –––
""ICS Oscar.svg ""Semaphore Oscar.svg ""Sign language O.svg ""⠕
"Signal flag "Flag semaphore "American manual alphabet ("ASL "fingerspelling) "Braille

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "O" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989);Chambers-Happap, "oes" op. cit. Oes is the plural of the name of the letter. The plural of the letter itself is rendered Os, O's, os, o's.
  2. ^ English Letter Frequency
  3. ^ "Quick search: "o lord"". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  4. ^ Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF). 
  5. ^ a b Everson, Michael; Baker, Peter; Emiliano, António; Grammel, Florian; Haugen, Odd Einar; Luft, Diana; Pedro, Susana; Schumacher, Gerd; Stötzner, Andreas (2006-01-30). "L2/06-027: Proposal to add Medievalist characters to the UCS" (PDF). 
  6. ^ Lemonen, Therese; Ruppel, Klaas; Kolehmainen, Erkki I.; Sandström, Caroline (2006-01-26). "L2/06-036: Proposal to encode characters for Ordbok över Finlands svenska folkmål in the UCS" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "Everson, Michael; et al. (2002-03-20). "L2/02-141: Uralic Phonetic Alphabet characters for the UCS" (PDF). 
  8. ^ Everson, Michael; Dicklberger, Alois; Pentzlin, Karl; Wandl-Vogt, Eveline (2011-06-02). "L2/11-202: Revised proposal to encode "Teuthonista" phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF). 
  9. ^ Anderson, Deborah; Everson, Michael (2004-06-07). "L2/04-191: Proposal to encode six Indo-Europeanist phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF). 
  10. ^ Earliest Uses of Symbols of Set Theory and Logic

External links[edit]

) ) WikipediaAudio is not affiliated with Wikipedia or the WikiMedia Foundation.