Y is the twenty-fifth (number 25) letter in the English alphabet. It is sometimes considered a vowel. In words like  year, yell, and yes, the Y is a consonant. In words like cry, fly, and sky, the Y is a vowel. In Afrikaans, Dutch and French, the letter Y also has a kind with a diaeresis (Ÿ, ÿ).
Semitic, Phoenician, Greek and Latin [ change | change source ]
An early Semitic version of the letter
The later Phoenician version of waw.
"Y" has appeared as the
Semitic letter "waw". This was the first time it appeared in an alphabet. F, U, V, and W also come from the Semitic alphabet. The Greek and Latin alphabets used the Phoenician form of this early alphabet. There are similarities to the old English letter yogh (Ȝȝ). The table shows where the letter "y" came from.
English letter "Y" came from
English ( times of changes)
→ U →
/U/UU → /U/
→ (vowel /y/)
→ (vowel /i/)
consonantal → /j/
chemistry, Y is the symbol for yttrium. In Mathematics, y is another unknown variable, used as a second unknown variable ("x" is used as the first unknown variable)
Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "wy," op. cit.
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