The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







L is the twelfth letter of the Latin alphabet.



The letter L is derived ultimately from the Semitic Lamed which stood for the phonetic value /l/ as did the Greek letter Lambda Λ (upper case) or λ (lower case), as well as the equivalent Etruscan and Latin letters. In reference, it is spelled el or ell.


In English, L can have several values, depending on whether it occurs before or after a vowel. The lateral alveolar approximant (IPA ) occurs before a vowel, as in lip or please, while the velarized lateral alveolar approximant (IPA /ɫ/) occurs in bell and milk (See Dark L). This velarization does not occur in many European languages that use L, and is also a factor making L difficult to pronounce for users of languages such as Japanese or Chinese that either lack or have different values for L.

L can occur before almost any plosive, fricative, or affricate in English. Common digraphs include LL, which has a value identical to L in English but has the separate value voiceless alveolar lateral fricative (IPA /ɬ/) in Welsh, where it can appear in an initial position.

A palatalised L (IPA /ʎ/) occurs in many languages, and is represented by GL in Italian, LL in certain varieties of Spanish, and LH in Portuguese.

Alternate representations

Lima represents the letter L in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

In international Morse code the letter L is DitDahDitDit:  -  

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



In Unicode the capital L is codepoint U+004C and the lowercase l is U+006C.

The ASCII code for capital L is 76 and for lowercase l is 108; or in binary 01001100 and 01101100, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital L is 211 and for lowercase l is 147.

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

Meanings for L

See also

Ł, Ll,

Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13