Why is "W" called "double-u" when it looks like "double v"?

Was just thinking about it and trying to make sense of it. Is it because when W is written it looks like 2 u's. What do you think?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You're close!

    The Roman alphabet doesn't have a W.

    It doesn't have a V, either, but what looks like a V is actually their U.

    When the English adopted the 23 letters of the Roman alphabet (a LONG time ago), they decided they needed a new letter to pronounce the W sound (which way back then was pronounced like a V because of Germanic influence), so they made a "double U" out of the Roman V (which, if you recall, looks like a U).

    Confused yet? Just wait.

    BUT ... they didn't call it "double u;" they called it "wyn."

    And it looked sort of like a P with a short leg.

    Then, the French came along - William the Conqueror, specifically - and adopted the W again. They weren't content with that, however, and sort of made it into a combination of W and G, which is why we have words like "warranty" and "guaranty" that mean the same thing. At any rate, they re-imported W into the English language in 1066.

    You can at least be happy that in some languages they DO call it "double V."

    http://podictionary.com/?p=844

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Why is "W" called "double-u" when it looks like "double v"?

    Was just thinking about it and trying to make sense of it. Is it because when W is written it looks like 2 u's. What do you think?

    Source(s): w called double-u double v: https://knowledge.im/?s=w+called+double-u+double+v
  • 1 decade ago

    In most other languages, it is called double-v and is pronounced as a prolonged v... if that is even possible. Here in our merry mash-up English, it is a double-u and is pronounced as a prolonged u.

    English is one messed-up language when it comes to pronunciation and spelling. Spelling bees are only conducted in English. The concept of "spelling" really doesn't exist in other languages.

  • In cursive and back when people used to write using roman letters, the U looked like a V, so when they wanted to make a double U sound, they'd write VV.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    because the "w" looks like double "u" in normal handwriting or script

    not sure if this is relevant but ancient latin didn't have the "w" but they used "v". also, when they wrote their "u"'s looked like "v"'s. So if you make the connection the v u and w are all related in that sense.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have never heard that. However, I am a new student of French and I do know that in the French alphabet, V is pronounced vee and W is pronounced duble vee (double V) and wonder if that has some relationship to what you are talking about.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    like James said, it originates in the Latin language.

    "Valete" means hello, good day, etc

    but you pronounce it "Wal-eh-te"

    I suppose people just begun using V as it sounds today and needed a new "V" and came up with "W"

    I don't know.

  • kerens
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    W Double U

  • 1 decade ago

    i seriously dont know....but some people do write w's with 2 u's sorta lol

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