Does Middle English "w" relate to "uȝ"?

enter image description here

plow plouȝ
enow enouȝ
raw rouȝ

draw drouȝ
tow touȝ

  • 4
    I think you could really benefit from reading up on the history of the English language and how spelling and pronunciation have evolved since the Middle Ages (the Wikipedia articles are quite good, overall). Most of the questions you’ve asked about yogh would become quite easy for you to answer then. (Plough and enough are still spelt like that; plow is American, and enow is now completely archaic. I don’t think rou3 and tou3 would ever have represented raw, but rough and tough.) Jul 8, 2019 at 9:39
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Just because a large set of facts is easily found in documentation/reference doesn't mean it's inappropriate for ELU. Asking for a definition: totally 'do your own research'. Asking for a definition in Middle English: questionable (I just found an online Middle English dictionary yesterday that the OP could have found too but... maybe it wasn't obvious to a non-native speaker. Asking for the historical development of a sound from OE to ME to ModE? Wikipedia isn't perfect or explanatory, and explanation is what ELU should be good at.
    – Mitch
    Jul 8, 2019 at 14:21
  • 4
    @Mitch I quite agree – I only made the comment because this is the fifth or sixth question relating to yogh I’ve seen from this user. I haven’t seen any evidence of prior research in any of them (which is why I’ve close-voted several), but I don’t think they’re bad questions as such. I just think the asker and the questions would benefit from reading up on the background material; that would make things less vague and more focussed. Jul 8, 2019 at 14:27
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Agreed
    – Mitch
    Jul 8, 2019 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


What you have underlined in the image is just a letter "w". In old handwriting, "w" is sometimes rather elaborate, with curls or twists. See the examples at the bottom left of page 5 in this document for other similar ws: Old English Paleography", by Helen E. "Jean" Cruickshank: enter image description here or the example on this page: 16th Century Document Hand.

The curl on the right of this w has nothing to do with the letter ȝ (yogh). It's just a coincidence that w in this hand somewhat resembles uȝ. The word shown is definitely written what, not uȝat.

Because of sound changes, some words such as plow did show variation between w and (also uh, ugh, wȝ, wh, wgh) but that variation is seen after vowels, not at the start of words.

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