|Writing system||Latin script|
|Type||Alphabetic and Logographic|
|Language of origin||Old English language|
|Time period||~700 to ~1100|
|Other letters commonly used with||w|
Wynn or wyn (Ƿ ƿ; also spelled wen, ƿynn, and ƿen) is a letter of the Old English alphabet, where it is used to represent the sound /w/.
While the earliest Old English texts represent this phoneme with the digraph ⟨uu⟩, scribes soon borrowed the rune wynn ᚹ for this purpose. It remained a standard letter throughout the Anglo-Saxon era, eventually falling out of use (perhaps under the influence of French orthography) during the Middle English period, circa 1300. It was replaced with ⟨uu⟩ once again, from which the modern ⟨w⟩ developed.
The denotation of the rune is "joy, bliss" known from the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poems:
ᚹ Ƿenne brūceþ, þe can ƿēana lyt
sāres and sorge and him sylfa hæf
blǣd and blysse and eac byrga geniht.— Lines 22–24 in The Anglo-Saxon Runic Poem
Who uses it knows no pain,
sorrow nor anxiety, and he himself has
prosperity and bliss, and also enough shelter— Translation slightly modified from Dickins (1915)
It is not continued in the Younger Futhark, but in the Gothic alphabet the letter 𐍅 w is called winja, allowing a Proto-Germanic reconstruction of the rune's name as *wunjô "joy".
It is one of the two runes (along with þ) to have been borrowed into the English alphabet (or any extension of the Latin alphabet). A modified version of the letter wynn called vend was used briefly in Old Norse for the sounds /u/, /v/, and /w/.
As with þ, the letter wynn was revived in modern times for the printing of Old English texts, but since the early 20th century the usual practice has been to substitute the modern ⟨w⟩.
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER WYNN||LATIN SMALL LETTER WYNN|
|UTF-8||199 183||C7 B7||198 191||C6 BF|
|Numeric character reference||Ƿ