Interesting Facts About The Letter V

For those of us who are looking to improve our vocabulary for the sake of winning a Scrabble game or two, learning new words can definitely become a boring and even frustrating activity. Despite the obvious benefit of becoming a serious player to be reckoned with, committing words to memory can still be an arduous task for some of us. When it comes to learning words that start with V, discovering some interesting facts about the letter can vivify us whenever we feel like quitting.

In the English language, the letter V is the 22nd letter of the alphabet. It originated from the Semitic word "waw." It was first used in the Latin language to represent the /u/ and /w/ sound. It was only during the late Middle Ages when the pronunciation of the letter slowly started to change to "vee." The letter V, aside from being a consonant, also serves as a Roman numeral (V = 5), one of the few letters that do so. Another interesting fact about it is that it has been used as a title of two movies: V for Vendetta and V (referring to the 5th Roman numeral).

In the game of Scrabble, the letter V has the potential to help form high scoring words because it is worth 4 points. It is also one of the less occurring letters in the game with only 2 V tiles. Uninteresting facts, to be sure. But when it comes to words that start with V, things begin to look interesting. Some of the 3-letter V words include DEV, GUV, and TAV. These three mean a Hindu deity, the British slang for governor, and the 23rd letter of the Hebrew alphabet, respectively. While some may feel that these are not really English words, they have been deemed acceptable because a large part of the English-speaking community is aware of what they mean. One of the words starting with V that is sure to raise your eyebrows is VROW (also spelled VROUW) which means a Dutch woman. Other non-English V words are GANEV (Yiddish) and SCHAV (also Yiddish). The former means a thief and the latter is a type of chilled soup.

Something that will definitely peak your interest in the letter is that none of the words that start with V are considered part of the 100 most commonly used words in the English language. In fact, only 10 words starting with V made it to the top 1000 most commonly used words. These are VERY, VERB, VOWEL, VOICE, VARY, VISIT, VILLAGE, VALUE, VIEW, and VALLEY. Words that have a V in them, on the other hand, are considerably more popularly used. In the same top 1000 list, this group of words appeared more than 50 times. It does make one wonder why VICTORY didn't make the list.

With such interesting facts to keep you occupied, you won't veer off course learning those ever so important words that start with V.