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THE LETTER Y the twenty-fifth letter of the English alphabet, one of four variants (u, v, w, y) which have been developed out of one Greek symbol. It was taken into the Roman alphabet as a form distinct from V in the 1st century B.C., when it was desired to represent the sound of the Greek u more accurately than could be done by the ordinary Roman alphabet. Many Greek words had been borrowed from Greek long before this and pronounced like genuine Latin words. Thus the proper name Hippos was borrowed as Burrus, $pvyes as Bruges. But with the growth of literary knowledge this was felt to be a very inexact representation of the Greek sounds, and the words were respelt as Pyrrhus and Phryges. The philosopher Pythagoras is said to have regarded this letter as a symbol of human life (Servius, on Virgil, Aeneid vi. 136). To this there are various references in the Roman poets. Two lines of Persius (iii. 56-57) seem to throw some light upon the particular form of Y intended' " Et tibi quae Samios diduxit littera ramos surgentem dextro monstravit limite callem " These lines appear to imply that the letter took the form y, which can only be one of the oldest forms (\) written from right to left. The straight road is the difficult, the deviating line is the easier path of vice. Anglo-Saxon took over the Roman Y with its Roman iralue of the "modified u" (u), and employed it accordingly for the sound which arose from a u sound under the influence of an i in the following sy liable :fyttan, " fill," cp. Gothic fulljan; mus, " mouse," plural mus, from an earlier lost musis. The y sounds were often confused with i, whence, in modern English, mice.

The vowel use was the only use of the old symbol. The consonant Y is of a different origin. The early English g (always hard as in gig) was palatalized before e and i sounds into a consonant t (j) or y, which was written in Middle English with the symbol 3. With this letter also was written the original consonant i (i), which appears in Latin as i (j) in iugum, iuvencus. This Latin sound seems, at least initially, to have represented two originally separate sounds, for Greek represents the first sound of iugum by f (fiTop), while in other words it represents a i (y) of other languages by the " rough breathing " (h or ') : ayvbs, " holy," is the same word as the Sanskrit yajnas. The English words that correspond etymologically to iugum and iuvencus are " yoke " and " young." In Northern English the symbol 5 survived longer than in the southern part of the island, and in Scottish documents of the 16th century was confused with 2. From this cause various Scottish names that were never pronounced with z are so spelt, as Menzies (Mengies), Dalziel, Cadzow. In others like Mackenzie, z is now universally pronounced, though as late as the middle of the 18th century Lord Kames declared that to hear Mackenzie pronounced with a z turned his stomach. (P. Gi.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

Y

Yablonoi
Yachow-Fu
Yachting
Yahboli
Yak
Yaku-Shima
Yakub Khan
Yakutsk, Siberia
Yakutsk, Town Of
Yale University
Yalta
Yam
Yama Yang-Chow Fu
Yama
Yamagata, Aritomo, Prince
Yamethin
Yanaon
Yancey, William Lowndes
Yang-Chow Fu
Yangtsze-Kiang Yaos
Yankee
Yankton
Yaos
Yaqot
Ya'qubi
Yarkand
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Yarmouth
Yarn
Yaroslavl, Town Of
Yaroslavl
Yarrell, William
Yarrow
Yataghan
Yates, Edmund Hodgson
Yates, Mary Ann
Yates, Richard
Yatsauk
Yatung
Yauco
Yavorsky, Stephen
Yawl
Yaws
Yazdegerd
Yeast
Yeats, William Butler
Yecla
Yeisk
Yellow Fever
Yellowstone National Park
Yemen
Yenisei
Yeniseisk, Town Of
Yeniseisk
Yeola
Yeoman
Yeomanry
Yeomen Of The Guard
Yeotmal
Yeovil
Yerkes, Charles Tyson
Yetholm
Yew
Yezd, City Of
Yezd
Yezidis
Yezo
Yggdrasil
Yo-Chow Fu
Yogi
Yokohama
Yokosuka
Yola
Yolande
Yonge, Charlotte Mary
Yonge, John
Yonge, Sir William, Bart
Yonkers
Yonne
Yorck Von Wartenburg, Hans David Ludwig, Count
Yoredale Series
York Edmund Of Langley, Duke Of
York, Edward, Duke Of
York, England
York, Frederick Augustus, Duke Of
York, House Of
York, Maine
York, Nebraska
York, Pennsylvania
York, Richard, Duke Of
Yorke, Charles
Yorkshire
Yorktown
Yorubas, Yorubaland
Yosai
Yosemite
Youghal
Young, Arthur
Young, Brighah
Young, Charles Mayne
Young, Edward
Young, James
Young Men's Christian Association
Young, Thomas
Youngstown
Ypres
Ypsilanti, Alexander
Ypsilanti, Demetrios
Ypsilanti Family
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Ysaye, Eugene
Ystad
Ytterbium
Yttrium
Yucatan
Yucca
Yue-Chi
Yukon Territory
Yukon
Yule, Sir Henry
Yule, Sir
Yule
Yun-Nan Fu Yvetot
Yun-Nan Fu
Yun-Nan
Yuriev
Yusafzai
Yuzgat
Yvetot

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