The grapheme Š, š (S with caron) is used in various contexts representing the sh sound usually denoting the voiceless postalveolar fricative or similar voiceless retroflex fricative /ʂ/. In the International Phonetic Alphabet this sound is denoted with ʃ or ʂ, but the lowercase š is used in the Americanist phonetic notation, as well as in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet. It represents the same sound as the Turkic letter Ş and the Romanian letter Ș (S-comma).

Š in upper- and lowercase

For use in computer systems, Š and š are at Unicode codepoints U+0160 and U+0161 (Alt 0138 and Alt 0154 for input), respectively. In HTML code, the entities Š and š can also be used to represent the characters.

Primary usageEdit

The symbol originates with the 15th-century Czech alphabet as introduced by the reforms of Jan Hus.[1][2] From there, it was adopted into the Croatian alphabet by Ljudevit Gaj in 1830,[3] and other alphabets of languages such as Assyrian Neo-Aramaic,[4] Bosnian,[1] Belarusian,[5] Latvian,[6] Lithuanian,[7] Macedonian (as auxiliary alphabet), Serbian,[8] Montenegrin,[9] Slovak,[10] Slovene, Karelian, Sami, Veps, Sorbian and some forms of Bulgarian. Some languages such as Macedonian and Serbian use the Cyrillic script where the "ш" represents the "š" in the Latin alphabet.[11]

Also, š occurs in Finnish and Estonian, but only in loanwords. On occasion, it is possible to replace š with sh but only when it is technically impossible to typeset the accented character.[12]

Outside of Europe, the "š" is also used in Lakota,[13] Cheyenne, and Cree (in dialects such as Moose Cree),[14] Classical Malay (until end of 19th century) and some African languages such as Northern Sotho and Songhay. It is used in the Persian Latin alphabet, equivalent to ش.


The symbol is also used as the romanisation of Cyrillic ш in ISO 9 and scientific transliteration and deployed in the Latinic writing systems of Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Bashkir. It is also used in some systems of transliterating Georgian to represent ⟨შ⟩ (/ʃ/).

In addition, the grapheme transliterates cuneiform orthography of Sumerian and Akkadian /ʃ/ or /t͡ʃ/, and (based on Akkadian orthography) the Hittite /s/ phoneme, as well as the /ʃ/ phoneme of Semitic languages, transliterating shin (Phoenician   and its descendants), the direct predecessor of Cyrillic ш.

Computing codeEdit

Character information
Preview Š š
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 352 U+0160 353 U+0161
UTF-8 197 160 C5 A0 197 161 C5 A1
Numeric character reference Š Š š š
Named character reference Š š

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Tošović, Branko (2010). Korrelative Grammatik des Bosni(aki)schen, Kroatischen und Serbischen: Dio 1. Phonetik, Phonologie, Prosodie (in German). LIT Verlag Münster. p. 100. ISBN 978-3-6435-0100-4.
  2. ^ Kempgen et al. 2014, p. 1518.
  3. ^ Kempgen et al. 2014, p. 1523.
  4. ^ "A Cuneiform Correspondence to Alphabetic ש in West Semitic Names of the I Millennium B.C". Orientalia. Gregorian Biblical Press. 7 (1): 91. 1978. ISSN 0030-5367.
  5. ^ Kamusella, Tomasz (2008). The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe. Springer. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-2305-8347-4.
  6. ^ Rūk̦e-Dravin̦a, Velta (1977). The Standardization Process in Latvian: 16th Century to the Present. Almqvist & Wiksell international. p. 56. ISBN 978-9-1220-0109-6.
  7. ^ Baldi, Philip; Dini, Pietro U. (2004). Studies in Baltic and Indo-European Linguistics: In Honor of William R. Schmalstieg. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-5881-1584-3.
  8. ^ Rhem, Georg; Uszkoreit, Hans (2012). The Serbian Language in the Digital Age. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 53. ISBN 978-3-6423-0755-3.
  9. ^ Greenberg, Robert D. (2004). Language and Identity in the Balkans: Serbo-Croatian and Its Disintegration. Oxford University Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-1992-5815-4.
  10. ^ Krajčovič, Rudolf (1975). A historical phonology of the Slovak language. Winter. p. 17. ISBN 978-3-5330-2329-6.
  11. ^ Daskalov, Roumen; Vezenkov, Alexander (2015). Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume Three:Shared Pasts, Disputed Legacies. BRILL. p. 7. ISBN 978-9-0042-9036-5.
  12. ^ Finnish orthography and the characters š and ž
  13. ^ Andersson, Rani-Henrik (2020). The Lakota Ghost Dance Of 1890. University of Nebraska Press. p. 402. ISBN 978-1-4962-1107-1.
  14. ^ Pentland, David H. (2004). "Papers of the Thirtieth Algonquian Conference". Anthropological Linguistics. 46 (1). ISSN 0003-5483.