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Lamedh

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Lamedh
PhoenicianLamedh
Hebrew
ל
AramaicLamedh
Syriac
ܠ
Arabic
ل
Phonemic representationl, ɫ
Position in alphabet12
Numerical value30
Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician
GreekΛ
LatinL
CyrillicЛ

Lamedh or lamed is the twelfth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Hebrew lāmeḏ ל, Aramaic lāmaḏ 𐡋, Syriac lāmaḏ ܠ, Arabic lām ل, and Phoenician lāmd 𐤋. Its sound value is [l].

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Lambda (Λ), Latin L, and Cyrillic El (Л).

Origin

An iron cow-goad in the Israel Museum (lower right, 9th-7th century BC)

The letter is usually considered to have originated from the representation of an ox-goad, i.e. a cattle prod, or a shepherd's crook, i.e. a pastoral staff. In Proto-Semitic a goad was called *lamed-.[1][2]

Hebrew lamed

Orthographic variants
Various print fonts Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
script
Serif Sans-serif Monospaced
ל ל ל

Hebrew spelling: לָמֶד

Pronunciation

Lamed transcribes as an alveolar lateral approximant /l/.

Significance

Lamed in gematria represents the number 30.

With the letter Vav it refers to the Lamedvavniks, the 36 righteous people who save the world from destruction.

As an abbreviation, it can stand for litre. Also, a sign on a car with a Lamed on it means that the driver is a student of driving (the Lamed stands for lomed, learner). It is also used as the Electoral symbol for the Yisrael Beiteinu party.

As a prefix, it can have two purposes:

  • It can be attached to verb roots, designating the infinitive (Daber means "speak", Ledaber means to speak).
  • It can also act as a preposition meaning "to" or "for".

Arabic lām

The letter is named lām, and is written in several ways depending on its position in the word:

Position in word Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form:
(Help)
ل ـل ـلـ لـ

Some examples on its uses in Modern Standard Arabic. (Normally, diacritics are not written):

Lām is used as a prefix in two different ways. Lām-kasra (لـِ, /li/) is essentially a preposition meaning 'to' or 'for', as in لِوالدي liwālidī, 'for my father'. In this usage, it has become concatenated with other words to form new constructions often treated as independent words: for instance, لِماذا limāḏā, meaning 'why?', is derived from لـِ li and ماذا māḏā, meaning 'what?' thus getting 'for what?'. A semantically equivalent construction is found in most Romance languages, e.g. French pourquoi, Spanish por qué, and Italian perché (though ché is an archaism and not in current use).

The other construction, lām-fatḥa (لَـ /la/) is used as an emphatic particle in very formal Arabic and in certain fixed constructions, such as لَقد laqad (itself an emphatic particle for past-tense verbs) and in the conditional structure لو...لَـ law...la, effectively one of the forms of 'if...then...'.

Character encodings

Character information
Preview ל ل ܠ
Unicode name HEBREW LETTER LAMED ARABIC LETTER LAM SYRIAC LETTER LAMADH SAMARITAN LETTER LABAT
Encodings decimal hex dec hex dec hex dec hex
Unicode 1500 U+05DC 1604 U+0644 1824 U+0720 2059 U+080B
UTF-8 215 156 D7 9C 217 132 D9 84 220 160 DC A0 224 160 139 E0 A0 8B
Numeric character reference ל ל ل ل ܠ ܠ ࠋ ࠋ


Character information
Preview 𐎍 𐡋 𐤋
Unicode name UGARITIC LETTER LAMDA IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER LAMEDH PHOENICIAN LETTER LEMDA
Encodings decimal hex dec hex dec hex
Unicode 66445 U+1038D 67659 U+1084B 67851 U+1090B
UTF-8 240 144 142 141 F0 90 8E 8D 240 144 161 139 F0 90 A1 8B 240 144 164 139 F0 90 A4 8B
UTF-16 55296 57229 D800 DF8D 55298 56395 D802 DC4B 55298 56587 D802 DD0B
Numeric character reference 𐎍 𐎍 𐡋 𐡋 𐤋 𐤋

Variants:

  • U+08A6 ARABIC LETTER LAM WITH DOUBLE BAR

References

  1. ^ "The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology". Egypt Exploration Society. March 3, 1916 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Martin, Man (April 17, 2017). The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome. Unbridled Books. ISBN 9781609531423 – via Google Books.
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Lamedh
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