Alphabetic symbols

From CODECS: Online Database and e-Resources for Celtic Studies
Alphabetic symbols and their allographs
This page is intended as a reference sheet of alphabetic letter symbols in Irish manuscripts. One column holds the minuscules together with some of their allograph forms (e.g. rounded a, tall e and long s), while adjacent columns show their majuscule, subscript and superscript counterparts in parallel. There are a number of peculiar items in this list: (1) letters which are uncommon in Irish writing, or common only in specific usages, such as k, p, q, x and z; and (2) the symbol for ar and the mirrored c for con.

An Irish and/or Latin transcription is provided under each image. Collapsible boxes can be expanded to show a glimpse of special contexts in which these symbols may occur, including digraphs and other combinations. To see further details about a particular symbol, such as a fuller description, other images, related entries and manuscript sources, click on the image or its accompanying transcription. This will send you to the relevant entry in the collection.


minuscule majuscule superscript subscript
a A-(pointed)-1.png
a > pointed (most common variant)
A1(23P2f81r)2.png
A >
A-superscript.png
□ra >
A-subscript.png
□a >
A-rounded.png
a > rounded
A-super-23P12f249r.png
□ra >
A-23P12f234v.png A-open.png
a > open allograph, not to be confused with minuscule u below
A-variant.png
a > yet another variant
> Ar.png Ar-23P12f232v.png
ar; qu() >
b B2a.png
b >
c C-regular3.png C-23P12f234v.png
c >
C-superscript-2.png
□ac / □()c >
Con-reversed-c.png
con >
d D-(regular)-1.png Dii1f121v.png
d >
e E-2.png
e >
E-super-23P12f250r.png
□er / □re >
E-allograph.png
e > also a common constituent of digraphs
f F-regular3.png
f >
g G2a.png
g >
h H2a.png
h >
i I2a.png
i >
I-superscript-ang.png
□ri / □ir > angular
I-subscript-1.png I-subscript-2.png
□i >
Ri-rounded-2.png
□ri / □ir > rounded
k K-Cath-Div2f87ra.png K-23O48af26ra.png
k > Rare
l L2c.png
l >
m M2a.png
m >
M1(23P2f79v)2.png
M >
Cf. m stroke
M-vertical-23E29p159b.png
m >
n N2a.png
n >
N1(23P2f99v)2.png N2(23P2f219r)2.png 23O48(a)f26r(N3)2.png
N >
o O2a.png
o >
O-superscript.png
□ro / □or / □oir >
p P2a.png
p >
q Q cu.png
q > also cu in Irish. Cf. the ar symbol
r R2a.png
r >
R (rotunda).png
r >
s S2c.png
s > insular s
S23E25p81.png
S >
A12p37-s-super.png
□s >
S-long-2.png
s > long s
t T2b.png
t >
Tsuper-LUp5a.png
□t / □()t >
u U2a.png 23O48(a)f26r(u briste)2.png
u >
U-super-23P12f249r.png
□ru / □ur / □uir >
U-v-shaped.png
u > v-shaped allograph
Uv-super-Dv2a13r.png
□ru / □ur / □uir >
x X1-23P12f249v.png
x > used in Roman numerals and the nomen sacrum for Christ
z Z-RawlB502f2ra.png Zraif-23P12f168rb.png
z > Rare



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CODECS is published online by Stichting A. G. van Hamel voor Keltische Studies (A. G. van Hamel Foundation for Celtic Studies) under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) licence. Designed, directed and maintained by Dennis Groenewegen.