Encyclopedia > Long s

  Article Content

Long s

The long or medial s (ſ) is a form of the minuscule letter s that was formerly used when the s occurred within or at the beginning of the word, for example ſinfulneſs ("sinfulness"). The modern letterform was called the terminal or short s.

The medial s was subject to confusion with the minuscule f, sometimes even having an f-like nub appended to its middle. The practice later died out in Roman and Italic faces by the end of the 19th century. It survived longer in the German Fraktur; the modern German letter (ess-tsett) is a ligature representing ſs, a fact more obvious in some typefaces than in others.

The medial s is represented in Unicode by the hexadecimal value 17F, and may be represented in HTML as ſ.

The confusion between the medial s and f has been the subject of some intentional humour, much of it involving phrases like "sucking pig", and forms the basis of Benny Hill's song "Fad-Eyed Fal" (i.e., Sad-Eyed Sal)

External Links

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... Missouri (In Detail) (Full size) State motto: Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law (In Detail) Capital ...