is the twenty-third letter of the modern Latin alphabet
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
W was invented in the 7th century by Anglo-Saxon writers, it was originally a double U (hence its English name, because the /w/ sound was spelled "uu").
The Latin /w/ sound developed into Romance /v/; therefore V no longer adequately represented Germanic /w/. In German - like in Romance - the phoneme /w/ was lost, this is why German W represents /v/ rather than /w/. In Dutch, W is an approximant (with the exception of words with EEUW, which have [-e:w]).
In the Swedish and Finnish alphabets, "W" is seen as a variant of "V" and not a separate letter. It is however recognised and maintained in names, like "William".
Whiskey represents the letter W in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
W is also:
- the symbol for the chemical element tungsten, after its German name, Wolfram
- the symbol for the watt, the SI unit for power.
- in physics, the variable W for energy or work, measured in joules
- the American 1973 film, W
- in Unix, w is a basic command that displays information on users currently logged in
- the W Window System, a graphical windowing system for Unix platforms
- an American fashion magazine, W
- a nickname of American President George W. Bush, sometimes spelled out as "Dubya" (the President's name is sometimes written "George Double-U Bush")
starting with W:
Words beginning with the letter W, suitable for teaching children the alphabet