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C, 3rd letter the the alphabet, equivalent to Semitic gimel (which probably derived from very early sign because that "camel") and also Greek gamma (Γ). A rounded form occurs at Corinth and in the Chalcidic alphabet, and also both one angular and also a rounded form are found in the at an early stage Latin alphabet, as well as in Etruscan. The rounded type survived and became general, and also the form of the letter has because altered little.

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The sound represented by the letter in Semitic and in Greek to be the voiced membranous stop, stood for in English through the "hard" g. In the Latin alphabet it involved represent the unvoiced velar protect against (indicated in English through k and c) and also was for some time, that appears, provided for both the voiced and also unvoiced sounds. This adjust is in every probability as result of the Etruscan alphabet native which the Latin alphabet to be derived, because that a phonemic difference between voiced and voiceless stops supposedly did not exist in the Etruscan language. An early Latin inscription exists in which words RECEI (probably very early dative kind of rex, "king") occurs, the letter C being still employed to represent the voiced sound. Lastly a brand-new symbol G was supplied for the voiced sound, and also C displaced K as the representative of the unvoiced stop.

In modern English the letter represents two different sounds: (1) the unvoiced velar avoid as in the Latin alphabet and (2) the unvoiced sibilant, the same with the sound represented by s in specific positions. The letter represents the sibilant when complied with by any kind of of the former vowels, e, i, and also y (e.g., in "receive," "cider," "cycle"), and in every other cases (except before h) the velar (e.g., "call," "come," "clear," "crumb," "epic"). This is because of the palatalization of the velar in beforehand medieval times prior to the prior vowel, the stages of sound adjust being k > ki > > ts > s. The letter c was applied by French orthographists in the 12th century to stand for the sound ts in English, and also this sound developed into the simpler sibilant s. Gradually the use of the letter c to stand for the velar prior to front collection (for example, in the center English cyng) gave method to the of k, ambiguity being thus as much as possible avoided.

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The c bring away the location of s in native such together "mice” and also "advice," in which s would stand for a voiced sibilant (identical with the sound of z), and also in indigenous such together "practice" simply as a way of grammatical distinction.

Before k the letter is often redundant (e.g., in "thick," "clock," etc.). The mix ch represents an unvoiced palatal affricate (), as in "church," except that in words of Greek origin it usually has the sound the k—e.g., in "chorus."