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  1. REDIRECT Template:Pp
Basic 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

B (/[unsupported input]b/; named bee)[1] is the second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. It is used to represent a variety of bilabial sounds (depending on language), most commonly a voiced bilabial plosive.


‹B› started as a pictogram of the floorplan of a house in Egyptian hieroglyphs or the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet. By 1050 BC, the Phoenician alphabet's letter had a linear form that served as the beth.

Egyptian hieroglyph
Egyptian hieroglyphic house Proto-semitic house Phoenician beth Greek beta Etruscan B Roman B


The modern lowercase ‹b› derives from later Roman times, when scribes began omitting the upper loop of the capital.

Blackletter B Uncial B
Blackletter B Uncial B
Modern Roman B Modern Italic B Modern Script B
Modern Roman B Modern Italic B Modern Script B

‹B› is often confused with the visually similar Germanß› which stands for ‹ss› (historically, <ſz>).


In English and most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, ‹b› denotes the voiced bilabial plosive /b/, as in bib. In English it is sometimes silent; most instances are derived from old monosyllablic words with the b final and immediately preceded by an m, such as lamb and bomb; a few are examples of etymological spelling to make the word more like its Latin original, such as debt or doubt. In Estonian, Icelandic, and in Chinese, ‹b› does not denote a voiced consonant; instead, it represents a voiceless /p/ that contrasts with either a geminated /pp/ (in Estonian) or an aspirated /pʰ/ (in Chinese, Danish and Icelandic), represented by ‹p›. In Fijian ‹b› represents a prenasalized /mb/, whereas in Zulu and Xhosa it represents an implosive /ɓ/, in contrast to the digraph ‹bh› which represents /b/.

Finnish only uses ‹b› in loanwords.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet and X-SAMPA, ‹b› denotes the voiced bilabial plosive. Variants of ‹b› denote related bilabial consonants, like the voiced bilabial implosive and the bilabial trill. In X-SAMPA, capital ‹B› denotes the voiced bilabial fricative.

‹B› is also a musical note. Its value varies depending on the region; a ‹b› in Anglophone countries represents a note that is a semitone higher than the B note in Northern Continental Europe. (Anglophone B is represented in Northern Europe with ‹H›.) Archaic forms of ‹b›, the b quadratum (square b, ) and b rotundum (round b, ) remain in use for musical notation as the symbols for natural and flat, respectively.

In Contracted (grade 2) English braille, ‹b› stands for "but" when in isolation.

Computing codes

Alternative representations of B
NATO phonetic Morse code
Bravo –···
ICS Bravo.svg Semaphore Bravo.svg ⠃
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode the capital ‹B› is codepoint U+0042 and the lower case ‹b› is U+0062.

The ASCII code for capital ‹B› is 66 and for lower case ‹b› is 98; or in binary 01000010 and 01100010, respectively.

The EBCDIC code for capital ‹B› is 194 and for lowercase ‹b› is 130; or in binary 11000010 and 10000010, respectively.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "&#66;" and "&#98;" for upper and lower case, respectively.

See also


  1. "B" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "bee", op. cit.

ace:B af:B als:B ar:B an:B arc:B ast:B az:B zh-min-nan:B be:B, літара be-x-old:B (літара) bs:B br:B (lizherenn) ca:B cs:B co:B cy:B da:B de:B dv:B et:B el:B eml:B es:B eo:B eu:B fa:B fr:B (lettre) fy:B fur:B gv:Beih (lettyr) gd:B gl:B gan:B xal:B үзг ko:B hr:B io:B ilo:B id:B ia:B is:B it:B he:B ka:B kw:B sw:B ht:B ku:B (tîp) la:B lv:B lb:B lt:B lmo:B hu:B mk:B (Латиница) mg:B ml:B mr:B mzn:B ms:B my:B nah:B nl:B (letter) ja:B no:B nn:B nrm:B uz:B (harf) pl:B pt:B crh:B ro:B qu:B ru:B (латиница) se:B stq:B scn:B simple:B sk:B sl:B szl:B sr:B (слово латинице) sh:B fi:B sv:B tl:B th:B tr:B (harf) tk:B uk:B (латиниця) vi:B vo:B war:B yi:B yo:B zh-yue:B diq:B bat-smg:B zh:B