Online Encyclopedia Search Tool

Your Online Encyclopedia


Online Encylopedia and Dictionary Research Site

Online Encyclopedia Free Search Online Encyclopedia Search    Online Encyclopedia Browse    welcome to our free dictionary for your research of every kind

Online Encyclopedia


Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd
Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj
Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv
Ww Xx Yy Zz
G g

G is the seventh letter in the Roman alphabet.



The letter G was created by the Romans because they felt that C was not an adequate letter to represent both /k/ and /g/.

Hebrew "gimel"
Hebrew gimel

Phoenician gimel
Classical Greek
Classical Greek gamma
Early Latin
Early Latin

Late Latin

Fascinatingly, the alleged inventor is a known historical figure, Spurius Carvilius Ruga (who flourished around 230 BC). G, which at this time took the place in the alphabet formerly held by Z, came to represent the sound /g/. As the sound /k/ did, /g/ also developed palatal and velar allophones which is why today, G has different sound values in all Romance languages, as well as English (due to French influence).


In English, the letter can be pronounced as a "soft G" (SAMPA: [dZ]), as in: giant, ginger, geology, or it can be pronounced as a "hard G" (SAMPA: [g]), as in: goose, gargoyle, game. In some words of French origin, as in French generally, the "soft G" is pronounced as SAMPA [Z], as in rouge, beige, and genre. Generally, G is soft before E, I, and Y , and hard otherwise, but there are many English words of non-Romance origin where G is hard regardless of position.

Most non-Romance languages pronounce G as /g/ regardless of position, while in Romance languages the soft value varies, such as /ʒ/ in French, Catalan, and Portuguese, /ʤ/ in Italian, and /x/ in Spanish.

Several digraphs are common in English. GH originally represented the letter yogh which English adopted from Old Irish , and took various values including /g/, /ɣ/, /x/, and /j/. It now has a great variety of values, including /f/ in "enough", /g/ in loan words like "spaghetti", and silence in words like "eight" and "night". In Italian, GH is used to force a /g/ value before E and I where G would take a soft value. GN, with value /n/, is also common.

In Spanish, -ge- and -gi- are pronounced as -je- and -ji-. The Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez proposed to simplify the Spanish spelling by using just the versions with j. Thus, while the rest of Spanish speakers didn't follow him, his works and the translations of Rabindranath Tagore made by Jiménez's wife Zenobia Camprubí are published in his spelling.

Alternate representations

Golf represents the letter G in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

In international Morse code the letter G is DahDahDit: - - ·

In Braille the letter G is represented as (in Unicode), the dot pattern,



In Unicode the capital G is codepoint U+0047 and the lowercase g is U+0067.

The ASCII code for capital G is 71 and for lowercase g is 103; or in binary 01000111 and 01100111, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital G is 199 and for lowercase g is 135.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "G" and "g" for upper and lower case respectively.

Meanings for G

See also

Two-letter combinations starting with G:

Letter-digit combinations starting with G:

Last updated: 02-10-2005 16:56:35
Last updated: 03-18-2005 11:16:12