The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







The letter F is the sixth letter in the Latin alphabet.



F developed from the digraph FH that stood for /f/.

The Etruscans were the inventors of this digraph; F on its own stood for /w/ in Etruscan as in Greek (where the letter F,called Digamma in Greek, has disappeared due to the fact that the /w/ phoneme itself disappeared.) The origin of F is the Semitic letter ww that also represented /w/ and originally probably represented a hook or a club.

The minuscule f is not to be confused with ſ, the archaic long s (or medial s). For example, "sinfulness" is rendered as "ſinfulneſs" using the long s. The use of the long s died out by the end of the 19th century, largely to prevent confusion with f.

Phonetic use

In English, F represents the voiceless labiodental fricative ('f' in IPA), although in certain words, such as "of", it can be a voiced labiodental fricative ('v' in IPA). The digraph "ff", pronounced 'f', is often used at the end of words (and, in rare personal or placenames, at the beginning). Both initial and final F are commonly used with other discrete consonants.

In other languages, F can take on different values, such as 'ɸ' (voiceless bilabial fricative) in Spanish and Romanized Japanese or 'v' in Welsh (which uses the "ff" digraph for IPA 'f'). Different digraphs can also be used, such as "pf" in German for the affricate formed by 'p' and 'f'.

Alternate representations

Foxtrot represents the letter F in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

In international Morse code the letter F is DitDitDahDit:   - 

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



In Unicode the capital F is codepoint U+0046 and the lowercase f is U+0066.

The ASCII code for capital F is 70 and for lowercase f is 102; or in binary 01000110 and 01100110, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital F is 198 and for lowercase f is 134.

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


Common f ligatures
Common f ligatures

In formal typography, particularly for serifed fonts, minuscule f is one of the most commonly ligated letters. Unicode has the ligatures with f, l, i, and t: , , , , and (U+fb00 through U+fb05).

Meanings for F

Variants of F

  • The capital F with hook (Unicode U+0191, Ƒ) is used in the transcription of certain African languages
  • The small F with hook (Unicode U+0192, ) or small script F, is the monetary symbol for the Dutch florin, as well as the mathematical symbol of function
  • F with dot above (Unicode U+1e1e and U+1e1f, Ḟ and ḟ) is used in the old orthography of Irish Gaelic
  • The French Franc can be written FF or ₣ (Unicode U+20a3)
  • In mathematics, the script capital F (Unicode U+2131, ℱ) represents the Fourier transform
  • There also exists:
    • The turned capital F (Unicode U+2132, Ⅎ)
    • The parenthesized small F (Unicode U+24a1, ⒡)
    • The circled F (Unicode U+24bb and U+24d5, Ⓕ and ⓕ)

See also

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