Word Origin & History
not in the Roman alphabet, but the Mod.Eng. sound it represents is close to the devocalized consonant expressed by Roman -U- or -V-. In O.E., this originally was written -uu-, but by 8c. began to be expressed by the runic character wyn (Kentish wen), which looked something like a cross between lower-case
-p- and -y-. In 11c., Norman scribes introduced -w-, a ligatured doubling of Roman -u- which had been used on the continent for the Gmc. "w" sound, and wyn disappeared c.1300.