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Eth (/ɛð/, uppercase: Ð, lowercase: ð; also spelled edh or ) known as ðæt in Old English,[1] is a letter used in Old English, Middle English, Icelandic, Faroese (in which it is called edd), and Elfdalian.

Ð ð
(See below)
Writing cursive forms of Ð
Writing systemLatin script
TypeAlphabetic and Logographic
Language of originOld English language
Old Norse language
Phonetic usage[ð]
Unicode codepointU+00D0, U+00F0
Time period~800 to present
Transliteration equivalentsd
Variations(See below)
Other letters commonly used withth, dh

It was also used in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, but was subsequently replaced with dh, and later d.

It is often transliterated as d.

The lowercase version has been adopted to represent a voiced dental fricative in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Old EnglishEdit

In Old English, ð (called ðæt) was used interchangeably with þ to represent the Old English dental fricative phoneme /θ/ or its allophone /ð/, which exist in modern English phonology as the voiced and voiceless dental fricatives both now spelled "th".

Unlike the runic letter þ, ð is a modified Roman letter. Neither ð nor þ were found in the earliest records of Old English. A study of Mercian royal diplomas found that ð (along with đ) began to emerge in the early 8th century, with ð becoming strongly preferred by the 780s.[2] Another source indicates that the letter is "derived from Irish writing".[3]

Under King Ælfred the Great, þ grew greatly in popularity and started to overtake ð. Þ completely overtook ð by Middle English, and þ died out by Early Modern English, mostly due to the rise of the printing press, and was replaced by the digraph th.

Lower case versionEdit

The lowercase (minuscule) version has retained the curved shape of a medieval scribe's d, which d itself in general has not.

A sample of Icelandic handwriting with some instances of lowercase ð clearly visible: in the words Borðum, við and niður. Also visible is a thorn in the word því.


In Icelandic, ð represents a voiced dental fricative [ð], which is the same as the th in English that, but it never appears as the first letter of a word, where þ is used instead. The name of the letter is pronounced in isolation (and before words beginning with a voiceless consonant) as [ɛθ̠] and therefore with a voiceless rather than voiced fricative.


In Faroese, ð is not assigned to any particular phoneme, and appears mostly for etymological reasons; however, it does show where most of the Faroese glides are; when ð appears before r, it is, in a few words, pronounced [ɡ]. In the Icelandic and Faroese alphabets, ð follows d.

In Olav Jakobsen Høyem's version of Nynorsk based on Trøndersk, ð was always silent, and was introduced for etymological reasons.


Ð has also been used by some in written Welsh to represent /ð/, which is normally represented as dd.[4]


Ð used in Khmer romanization, e.g. preðh riðciðnaacak kampucið (Kingdom of Cambodia).

Phonetic transcriptionEdit

U+1D9E MODIFIER LETTER SMALL ETH is used in phonetic transcription.[5]

U+1D06 LATIN LETTER SMALL CAPITAL ETH is used in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet.[6]

Computer inputEdit

The Faroese and Icelandic keyboard layouts have a dedicated button for eth.

On Microsoft Windows, eth can be typed using the alt code Alt+(0240) for lowercase or Alt+(0208) for uppercase, or by typing AltGr+d using the US International keyboard layout.

On macOS, eth can be typed by activating the ABC Extended keyboard layout and typing ⌥ Option+D.

Using the compose key ("multi key") which is popular on Linux, eth can be typed by typing Compose D H for lowercase or Compose ⇧ Shift+D ⇧ Shift+H for capital letters.

On Chrome OS with 'extended keyboard' Chrome extension, AltGr+D will result in ð being displayed; ⇧ Shift+AltGr+D will result in Ð.


System Uppercase Lowercase
Unicode U+00D0 U+00F0
TeX/LaTeX \DH \dh
GTK+ Ctrl+⇧ Shift+U D0 ↵ Enter Ctrl+⇧ Shift+U F0 ↵ Enter
Vim[7] Ctrl+K ⇧ Shift+D - Ctrl+K D -

Modern usesEdit

This operator gives rise to spin-weighted spherical harmonics.

  • A capital eth is used as the currency symbol for Dogecoin.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Marsden, Richard (2004). The Cambridge Old English Reader. Cambridge University Press. p. xxix.
  2. ^ Shaw, Philip (2013). "Adapting the Roman alphabet for writing Old English: evidence from coin epigraphy and single-sheet charters". Early Medieval Europe. 21 (2): 115–139. doi:10.1111/emed.12012.
  3. ^ Freeborn, Dennis (1992). From Old English to Standard English. London: Macmillan. p. 24. ISBN 9780776604695.
  4. ^ Testament Newydd (1567) [The 1567 New Testament].
  5. ^ Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF).
  6. ^ Everson, Michael; et al. (2002-03-20). "L2/02-141: Uralic Phonetic Alphabet characters for the UCS" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Vim documentation: digraph".
  8. ^ "". Dogecoin Integration/Staging Tree (Source code). February 5, 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit