Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Alphabet Family Tree

Happy Thanksgiving! I know not all of you celebrate it (or you celebrated it last month) but it’s my favorite holiday and I hope you all feel as happy as I do today.

It’s Thursday, the day I traditionally do etymology, but because it’s also a special day, I thought it deserved a special post. Here’s the basic line of decent of the Latin alphabet, which English and many other languages use.

Note 1: I’m not getting into all the details of the different offshoots. This is just straight from the alphabet we use to its earliest ancestor.
Note 2: The letters are approximate. Over the years, many were added and dropped.
Note 3: Times are also approximate. Honestly, when you get back to about two thousand years ago, there’s only so much that’s recorded. The further back, the wider the margin of error. When you get to the bottom, it’s about five centuries.



  1. Wow this was a dessert for an etymology junkie like me!

  2. Now that's going back into the proverbial mists of time!


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