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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

F (/[unsupported input]ɛf/; named ef, as a verb eff)[1] is the sixth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.


Proto-Semitic W Phoenician
Etruscan W Greek
Roman F
Proto-semiticW-01.png PhoenicianW-01.png EtruscanF-01.svg Digamma uc lc.svg Roman F

The origin of ‹f› is the Semitic letter vâv that represented the /v/, and originally probably represented either a hook or a club. It may have been based on a comparable Egyptian hieroglyph, such as that for the word mace:


The Phoenician form of the letter was adopted into Greek as a vowel, upsilon (which resembled its descendant, ‹Y›, but was also ancestor to Roman letters ‹U›, ‹V›, and ‹W›); and with another form, as a consonant, digamma, which resembled ‹F›, but indicated the pronunciation /w/, as in Phoenician. (After /w/ disappeared from Greek, digamma was used as a numeral only.)

In Etruscan, ‹F› also represented /w/; however, they formed the digraph ‹FH› to represent /f/; when the Romans adopted the letter, they had already borrowed ‹U› from Greek upsilon to stand for /w/. At that time, the Greek letter phi ‹Φ› represented an aspirated voiceless bilabial plosive /pʰ/, though it has now come to approximate the sound of /f/ in Modern Greek.

The lower case ‹f› is not related to the visually similar long s, ‹ſ›. The use of the long s largely died out by the beginning of the 19th century, mostly to prevent confusion with ‹f›.

Computing codes

Alternative representations of F
NATO phonetic Morse code
Foxtrot ··–·
ICS Foxtrot.svg Semaphore Foxtrot.svg ⠋
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode the capital ‹F› is codepoint U+0046 and the lower case ‹f› is U+0066.

The ASCII code for capital ‹F› is 70 and for lower case ‹f› is 102; or in binary 01000110 and 01100110, respectively.

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.

See also


  1. "F" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); "ef", "eff", "bee" (under bee eff) op. cit.

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