V is the twenty-second letter in the modern Latin alphabet.
Like F, Greek Ypsilon has Semitic Waw as its letter of origin. The Etruscans somehow simplified the letter to V. Its Etruscan sound value was /u/; but since Latin lacked a letter for /w/, Romans used V for both /w/ and /u/. In Romance languages, V came to represent /v/ which developed from /w/; as German W -- which originally was pronounced as the English letter -- was pronounced /v/ since Middle High German times. At the same time, V was in German pronounced as in English, but the German Vau soon stood for /f/ again (the same is probably now happening in Dutch).
See SAMPA Chart for pronunciation key.
Victor represents the letter V in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
V is also:
- The symbol for the element vanadium.
- The number five in Roman numerals
- The symbol V for the SI derived unit for electric potential, the volt
- The variable v for speed or velocity in physics
- In sign language, a represention of peace or victory. With both hands, it is associated with Richard Nixon.
- The title of V a science fiction TV series.
- An operating system developed at Stanford University.
- The name of a hand gesture, the V sign
- The stock symbol for Vivendi Universal