V is the twenty-second letter in the modern Latin alphabet.
Like F and the Greek letter Upsilon (also spelled Ypsilon), V evolved from the Phoenician letter Waw. In Etruscan it was simplified to V and had the sound value /u/, but since F came to represent /f/ in Latin rather than /w/, the Romans used V for both /w/ and /u/, as in EQVVS. In some Roman handwriting styles, it was written as a modern uppercase V, while in others like uncial it resembled modern lowercase u. With the Mediaeval introduction of the distinction between both cases, the pair was written as V/u, as in Vniuersitas. In Romance languages, V came to represent /v/ which developed from /w/; Around the Renaissance, U and V were felt as sounds different enough to warrant their own letters, and a lowercase v and an uppercase U were developed. A similar evolution happened with I/J.
German W (or double u, from VV) originally was pronounced as the English letter – but has been pronounced /v/ since Middle High German times. At the same time, V was pronounced in German as in English, but the German 'Vau' soon stood for /f/ again (the same is probably now happening in Dutch). However, it is still pronounced as /v/ in German words of foreign origin.
See IPA chart for English for pronunciation key.
Victor represents the letter V in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
Meanings for V
- In biochemistry, V is the symbol for valine.
- In chemistry, V is the symbol for vanadium.
- In communication, V is the name of a hand gesture; see V sign
- In computer science,
- In electrical engineering, V is the symbol for voltage (also known as electric potential, see below).
- In financial securities, V is the stock symbol for Vivendi Universal.
- In grammar, v is an abbreviation for verb.
- In international licence plate codes, V stands for Vatican City.
- In the Metric system, V is the symbol for volt, the SI derived unit for electric potential.
- In physics, v is often a variable for speed or velocity.
- As the first letter of a postal code,
- In Roman numerals, V denotes the number five.
- In literature, Thomas Pynchon's first novel is called V. (including the period).
- In television, V is the name of a science fiction TV series
- In music,
V is the name of a drink produced by Frucor in New Zealand.
- A V engine is an internal combustion engine configuration.