Waw (Hebrew)

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Waw ( ו) is the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet . It has the numerical value  6. The closest related letter in the Latin alphabet is the " W ".

Waw as Mater Lectionis

Along with iodine, aleph and he, the waw is one of the consonants that can also be used as vowel symbols. If the vav receives a point above it ( choläm ) it is mater lectionis for long O and to speak likewise. If a point is placed in the middle ( Schuruq ), it is mater lectionis for long U.


The Hebrew letter Waw has the same historical background as the Phoenician letter Waw , which goes back to the pictorial representation of a forked hook. Later not used - - greek letter from Waw the forwards Digamma ago and this detour also the Greek Ypsilon and the Latin letters F , U , V , W and  Y .

The historical pronunciation of the letter is probably close to the English w. In today's Israeli pronunciation, which is influenced by Ashkenazi , the Waw is pronounced more like English v (and German w).

A waw at the beginning of a word is very often a prefix with the meaning "and". In ancient Hebrew it appears regularly in verbs in the narrative and AK-Consecutive at the beginning of a word, but can also appear in other words or names and on the first word in a sentence.


  • ורד (vered): Rose
  • רות (rut): Rut
  • יונה (iona): Jonah

Character encoding

Unicode codepoint U + 05D5
HTML & # 1493;
ISO 8859-8 0xE5

Web links

Commons : Waw  - collection of images, videos and audio files