ⓘ K

                                     

ⓘ K

K is the eleventh letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is kay, plural kays. The letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive.

                                     

1. History

The letter K comes from the Greek letter Κ kappa, which was taken from the Semitic kaph, the symbol for an open hand. This, in turn, was likely adapted by Semitic tribes who had lived in Egypt from the hieroglyph for "hand" representing D in the Egyptian word for hand, d-r-t. The Semites evidently assigned it the sound value /k/ instead, because their word for hand started with that sound.

In the earliest Latin inscriptions, the letters C, K and Q were all used to represent the sounds /k/ and /ɡ/ which were not differentiated in writing. Of these, Q was used before a rounded vowel e.g. ⟨EQO⟩ ego, K before /a/ e.g. ⟨KALENDIS⟩ calendis, and C elsewhere. Later, the use of C and its variant G replaced most usages of K and Q. K survived only in a few fossilized forms such as Kalendae, "the calends".

After Greek words were taken into Latin, the Kappa was transliterated as a C. Loanwords from other alphabets with the sound /k/ were also transliterated with C. Hence, the Romance languages generally use C, in imitating Classical Latins practice, and have K only in later loanwords from other language groups. The Celtic languages also tended to use C instead of K, and this influence carried over into Old English.

                                     

2. Use in modern writing systems

Other languages

In most languages where it is employed, this letter represents the sound /k/ with or without aspiration or some similar sound.

Other systems

The International Phonetic Alphabet uses ⟨ k ⟩ for the voiceless velar plosive.

                                     

2.1. Use in modern writing systems English

Today, English is the only Germanic language to productively use "hard" ⟨c⟩ outside the digraph ⟨ck⟩ rather than ⟨k⟩ although Dutch uses it in loan words of Latin origin, and the pronunciation of these words follows the same hard/soft distinction as in English.

The letter ⟨k⟩ is silent at the start of an English word when it comes before the letter ⟨n⟩, as in the words "knight," "knife," "knot," "know," and "knee".

Like J, X, Q, and Z, the letter K is not used very frequently in English. It is the fifth least frequently used letter in the English language, with a frequency in words of about 0.8%.

                                     

2.2. Use in modern writing systems Other languages

In most languages where it is employed, this letter represents the sound /k/ with or without aspiration or some similar sound.

                                     

2.3. Use in modern writing systems Other systems

The International Phonetic Alphabet uses ⟨ k ⟩ for the voiceless velar plosive.

                                     

3. Related characters

Ancestors, descendants and siblings

  • Κ κ/ϰ: Greek letter Kappa, from which K derives
  • К к: Cyrillic letter Ka, also derived from Kappa
  • : Semitic letter Kaph, from which the following symbols originally derive
  • Ꞣ and ꞣ were used in Latvian orthography before 1921
  • K with diacritics: ƙ ꝁ ḱ ǩ k ķ ᶄ ⱪ ḵ
  • U+1D4F ᵏ MODIFIER LETTER SMALL K
  • U+1D37 ᴷ MODIFIER LETTER CAPITAL K
  • U+1D0B ᴋ LATIN LETTER SMALL CAPITAL K
  • The Uralic Phonetic Alphabet uses various forms of the letter K
  • Ʞ ʞ: Turned capital and small k were used in transcriptions of the Dakota language in publications of the American Board of Ethnology in the late 19th century. Turned small k was also used for a velar click in the International Phonetic Alphabet but its use was withdrawn in 1970.
  • ₖ: Subscript small k was used in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet prior to its formal standardization in 1902

Ligatures and abbreviations

  • Ꝃ ꝃ, Ꝅ ꝅ, Ꞣ ꞣ: Various forms of K were used for medieval scribal abbreviations
  • ₭: Lao kip


                                     

4. Other usage

  • Josef K is the name of the principal character in Franz Kafkas novel The Trial.
  • "K" replacing "C" in satiric misspelling.
  • In baseball scoring, the letter K is used to represent a strikeout. A forwards oriented K represents a "strikeout swinging"; a backwards oriented K represents a "strikeout looking".
  • When expressing amounts of money, $20K means twenty thousand dollars.
  • K is used colloquially to mean kilometre as in "a 10K run".
  • In chess notation, the letter K represents the King WK for White King, BK for Black King.
  • K logic.
  • In physics, k usually stands for Boltzmanns constant
  • In fracture mechanics, K is used to represent the stress intensity factor.
  • As abbreviation for OK, often used in emails and short text messages.
  • Triangle K.
  • Unit prefix k, meaning 1000 times.
  • In the United Kingdom under the old system before 2001, a licence plate that begins with "K" for example "K123 XYZ" would correspond to a vehicle registered between August 1, 1992 and July 31, 1993. Again under the old system, a licence plate that ends with "K" for example "ABC 123K" would correspond to a vehicle that was registered between August 1, 1971 and July 31, 1972.
  • In International Morse code it is used to mean "over".
  • K is the unit symbol for the kelvin, used to measure thermodynamic temperature.
  • K is used as a slang term for Ketamine among recreational drug users.
  • In the CMYK color model, K represents black ink.
  • K is the chemical symbol for the element potassium K is an abbreviation of kalium, the Latin name for potassium.


                                     
  • Ķ ķ iy k - cedilla is the 17th letter of the Latvian language. In ISO 9, Ķ is the official Latin transliteration of the cyrillic letter К. Omniglot
  • K Dash Japanese: ケイ ダッシュ, Hepburn: Kei Dasshu, commonly stylized as K and also known as K Prime in certain English language materials is a video game
  • symbols:
  • K with stroke Ꝁ ꝁ is a letter of the Latin alphabet, derived from K with the addition of a bar through the letter. It was used in Latin as an abbreviation
  • K with diagonal stroke Ꝃ ꝃ is a letter of the Latin alphabet, derived from K with the addition of a diagonal bar through the leg. This letter is used
  • K with stroke and diagonal stroke Ꝅ ꝅ is a letter of the Latin alphabet, derived from K with the addition of bars through the ascender and the leg.
  • The Latin letter K with descender capital: Ⱪ minuscule: ⱪ sometimes falsely rendered as k or ķ is a Latin letter. The letter is very easily confused
  • letters and symbols: Latin IPA ᴬ ᴭ ᴮ ᴯ ᴰ ᴱ ᴲ ᴳ ᴴ ᴵ ᴶ ᴷ ᴸ ᴹ ᴺ ᴻ ᴼ ᴽ ᴾ ᴿ ᵀ ᵁ ᵂ ᵃ ᵄ ᵅ ᵆ ᵇ ᵈ ᵉ ᵊ ᵋ ᵌ ᵍ ᵏ ᵐ ᵑ ᵒ ᵓ ᵖ ᵗ ᵘ ᵚ ᵛ ᵢ ᵣ ᵤ ᵥ, Greek ᵝ ᵞ ᵟ ᵠ ᵡ ᵦ ᵧ ᵨ ᵩ
  • Ḱ ḱ K with acute accent is used in the following sense: transliteration of Cyrillic Kje that is used in the Macedonian language. qʷ in the Saanich
  • International Phonetic Association IPA recommended the symbol ʞ a turned lowercase K for clicks at this place of articulation. At the time, little
  • U 24Bx U 24Cx U 24Dx U 24Ex ⓪ ⓫ ⓬ ⓭