The English alphabet, as you likely know, is made up of 26 letters.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Before we get to which letters were late additions, let’s explain a bit about Old English. English was first written in the Anglo-Saxon futhorc runic alphabet, also known as Anglo-Saxon. The Angles and Saxons came from Germany and settled in Britain in the fifth century. The region they inhabited became known as “Angle-land,” or “England.”

Eventually, Christian missionaries introduced the Latin alphabet, which ultimately replaced Anglo-Saxon. But for some time, the alphabet included the letters of the Latin alphabet, some symbols (like the ampersand), and some letters of Old English.

As Modern English evolved, the Old English letters were dropped or replaced.

(Our trusty alphabet isn’t the only part of language that has changed — October used to be the eighth month, and September the seventh. What happened? Find out here.)

Here’s an example: In Old English, a letter called “thorn” represented the “th” sound (as in “that”) in Modern English. In the Latin alphabet, the “y” was the symbol that most closely resembled the character that represented thorn. So, thorn was dropped and “y” took its place. (But is “y” a vowel or a consonant? We explore the dilemma here.)

That is why the word “ye,” as in “Ye Olde Booke Shoppe,” is an archaic spelling of “the.”

The Old English letter “wynn” was replaced by “uu,” which eventually developed into the modern w. (It really is a double u.)

The letters “u” and “j” didn’t join what we know as the alphabet until the sixteenth century.

Now consider ancient history influences days of the week. Who is the attractive goddess that Friday is named for? Here’s that odd and entertaining story.

RESTAURANT REQUESTS; Chicken salad recipe from Kozlak’s Royal Oak.(TASTE) see here chicken salad sandwich recipe

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) January 11, 2001 | Osby, Diane Q. I would like the almond chicken salad sandwich recipe from Kozlak’s Royal Oak Restaurant.

- Peggy Louis, Cannon Falls A. Here is the chicken salad recipe sent from Kozlak’s Royal Oak Restaurant, 4785 Hodgson Rd., Shoreview.

Kozlak’s Royal Oak Restaurant Almond Chicken Salad X Makes 6 cups.

- 2 (10-oz.) cans chicken – 6 green onions, chopped – 4 ribs celery, chopped – 1 c. sliced almonds, toasted – 1 (7-oz.) jar red pepper, rinsed, drained and diced – 1 1/2 c. mayonnaise – Salt and white pepper to taste In a bowl, combine chicken, onions, celery, almonds and red pepper. Add mayonnaise, salt and white pepper to taste. Chill. Serve with your choice of bread. web site chicken salad sandwich recipe

Nutrition information per 1/4 cup serving:

Calories 165 Carbohydrates 2 g Protein 6 g Fat 15 g including sat. fat 2 g Cholesterol 23 mg Sodium 221 mg Calcium 22 mg Dietary fiber 1 g Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 med-fat meat exch., and 2 fat exch.

X Recipe has been tested.

Osby, Diane


  1. harley -  March 30, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    @jay kruse in it”s original pronounceing u would make the k hard then roll the r like in germanany or spainish if it”s easey the u would have the umlaut makeing it like oe/oo and the se as see and or ond in old English would have meant cross. my last name is supposed to have the umlaut over the o making it go:ff the double ff is like a single f n slightly like a v I hope I helped u

  2. harley -  March 30, 2014 - 12:25 pm

    @Glitchy the y with out a dot was pronounced like a u like ypsolon in old English or middle English u would have used thou for you in some places ther was a y with a dot above it was pronounced eye or ie another letter im teaching my daughter n her teachers whene she has teachers to teach lol

  3. harley -  March 30, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    @nick if u translate the end of your comment it would read that was good king it”s from Beowulf the o in god is supposed to have a dot over the o it was pronounced like oo im teaching the o with a dot to my baby as well as all her teachers whene she goes to school. the c was pronounced like the k

  4. harley -  March 30, 2014 - 11:47 am

    @odin”s-Boy the ruinc symbol of ingwaz or ng was a x with two diamonds set on top of each outher im nat sure why more people aren’t taught of these letters their part of English it would be easer in writing,im going to teach them to my one year ond daughter lol I accadentley said and before I wrought daughter ha ha her name ist aanaztarc.ia ist was used in middle English or is it aenglish :-)

  5. harley -  March 30, 2014 - 11:14 am

    I have a one year daughter n I have included da ae ,oe ,thorn ,sh ,ng, and ,yoga in da alphabeta and will be giving a copy to all of her teachers whene she starts school oh n the umlaut like da doted letter c. or the y with a dot n her middle name has da thorn in it her middle name is lylythzee but u put da umlaut over da e e n a dot over the y n a thorn for the th it means sea of lillis

  6. Kate -  March 5, 2014 - 4:27 am

    Just wondering what the QWERTY keyboard would look like with these changes. All of us would have to go back to typing class.

  7. Ralph Morgan Lewis -  January 22, 2014 - 9:11 pm

    For Mr. Kruse: German pronunciation is kru-zuh with u like that in cool. Many families anglicized the pronunciation to sound less German, especially during WW 1 and WW 2.

    In many languages, the polite form for “you” was based on the 3rd person pronouns, as in the use of 3rd person when addressing royalty. 2nd person pronouns (German “du”, plural “ihr”) are used for family, close friends, or children. The polite form “Sie” uses 3d person plural verb forms when addressing one or several people. Other languages, likewise use a 3rd person form for polite (Spanish “Usted”, pl. “Ustedes”; French “vous” for both singular & plural; Italian “Lei”, pl. “Loro”)

  8. Ralph Morgan Lewis -  January 22, 2014 - 8:31 pm

    Your statement concerning Old English thorn [ ϸ ] is incorrect: it represented the voiceless th sound in think, thought, with. The voiced th sound of the, this, that, then was represented by edh [ ð ] the large form of which resembled a Y and thus led to confusion.

  9. Ye Olde Fenwick & wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 11, 2013 - 3:27 am

    I always thought “ye” was like “you.”
    Signed, Ye Olde Fenwick*

    *If you’ve read the 39 Clues, you should know who I am.

    I’m glad neither “w” nor “th” are in my name. (My real name, not my screen name.) Minecrafters forever!!
    -A wolf tamer and tree puncher

  10. Lawrence -  July 10, 2013 - 5:01 am

    What would happen if I spelled my name out and said double v instead of double u? Do you think they would get it?

  11. yayapapaya -  June 11, 2013 - 1:41 am

    wait. it’s 4.40 pm on my clock.

  12. yayapapaya -  June 11, 2013 - 1:39 am


  13. Hector -  January 5, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    Bless all you guys. Not because you’re so damn smart, but
    because you’re so damn curious about this kind of stuff. Long
    live the Geeks of the world.

  14. Diana -  September 26, 2012 - 4:45 pm

    **crazy, I just realized that’s how you pronounce ‘ear’. This is now embarrassing. And yet there is still a difference! But this is not article-relevant, so accept the nit-picking apology and ignore me.

  15. Diana -  September 26, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    To Everybody: Thanks for the healthy discussion, this adds so much more knowledge to what the article already has to offer. To Nate: I study German, and ‘ihr’ is not pronounced as ‘ear’; ‘ihr’ has a little more of an open-ended lilt to it where the r is concerned and is definitely more broken-up than smooth, kind of like pronouncing ‘e’ first and then ‘ar’. But these things are hard to explain in words, they must be heard. Sorry I’m so nit-picky, it’s a bit of a fix. :<

  16. Nathaniel -  September 18, 2012 - 10:44 am

    In Old English, it was known as “æsc”; this has become “ash” in Modern English.

  17. Said -  September 16, 2012 - 7:03 pm

    What about the British ae symbol?

  18. Logan -  September 11, 2012 - 8:12 am

    To Dracodis: Thx 4 the info. im SO gonna tell my English teacher that!

  19. Olivia -  August 12, 2012 - 5:47 pm

    COOL! this article links to lots of other random ones but thats good and btw wynn is such a pretty word!! thorn woulda been soooooooooooo useful!!!! we need to add that back and also a letter for sh and ch. mayb ck too

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