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U (Cyrillic)

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Historically, Cyrillic U evolved as a specifically East Slavic short form of the digraph ⟨оу⟩ used in ancient Slavic texts to represent /u/. The digraph was itself a direct loan from the Greek alphabet, where the combination ⟨ου⟩ (omicron-upsilon) was also used to represent /u/. Later, the o was removed, leaving the modern upsilon-only form.

Consequently, the form of the letter is derived from Greek upsilon ⟨Υ υ⟩, which was parallelly also taken over into the Cyrillic alphabet in another form, as Izhitsa ⟨Ѵ⟩. (The letter Izhitsa was removed from the Russian alphabet in the orthography reform of 1917/19.)

It is normally romanised as "u", but in Kazakh, it is romanised as "w".

In other languagesEdit

In Tuvan the Cyrillic letter can be written as a double vowel.[1][2]

Related letters and other similar charactersEdit

Similarity with Y (uppercase): The grapheme on the left is clearly a Cyrillic U, the one in the middle may represent both letters, the one on the right is clearly a Greek or Latin Y.

Computing codesEdit

Character У у
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1059 U+0423 1091 U+0443
UTF-8 208 163 D0 A3 209 131 D1 83
Numeric character reference У У у у
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 245 F5 213 D5
Code page 855 232 E8 231 E7
Code page 866 147 93 227 E3
Windows-1251 211 D3 243 F3
ISO-8859-5 195 C3 227 E3
Macintosh Cyrillic 147 93 243 F3


  1. ^ "Tuvan language, alphabet and pronunciation". Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  2. ^ Campbell, George L.; King, Gareth (24 July 2013). "Compendium of the World's Languages". Routledge. Retrieved 14 June 2016 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ However, many Dungan books are set using Ӯ, with macron, instead of Ў, with breve, like the Dungan-Russian dictionary (1968). There is no ambiguity since it is the only У-with-a-diacritic in Dungan. It is used in Dungan syllables for which pinyin would use -u except in those with labial consonants (in du, ' nu, lu, gu, hu, zu, ru, etc. but not bu or mu)

External linksEdit

  •   The dictionary definition of У at Wiktionary
  •   The dictionary definition of у at Wiktionary