L is the twelft letter o the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

ISO basic Laitin alphabet
D'Nealian Cursive.svg
Circle sheer blue 29.png
Circle sheer blue 29.png
Cursive script 'l' and capital 'L' in the U.S. D'Nealian script style

L (named el[1] /ˈɛl/)[2] is the twelft letter o the ISO basic Latin alphabet. In Roman numerals it represents 50.


Egyptian hieroglyphPhoenician
Etruscan LGreek

Lamedh mey hae come frae a pictogram o an ox goad or cattle prod. Some hae suggestit a shepherd's staff.


In Inglis, L can hae several soond values, dependin on whether it occurs afore or efter a vowel. The alveolar lateral approximant (the soond representit in IPA bi lawercase [l]) occurs afore a vowel, as in 'lip' or 'please', while the velarized alveolar lateral approximant (IPA [ɫ]) occurs in 'bell' an 'milk'. This velarization daes nae occur in mony European leid that uise L; it is an aa a factor makin the pronunciation o L difficult for uisers o leids that lack L or hae different values for it, sic as Japanese or some soothren dialects o Cheenese.

L can occur afore almaist ony obstruent (stap, fricative, or affricate) in Inglis. Common digraphs include LL, which haes a value identical tae L in Inglish, but haes the separate value voiceless alveolar lateral fricative (IPA /ɬ/) in Welsh, whaur it can appear in an ineetial poseetion.

A palatal lateral approximant or palatal 'L' (IPA /ʎ/) occurs in mony leids, an is representit bi 'GL' in Italian, 'LL' in Spainyie an Catalan, 'LH' in Portuguese, an 'Ļ' in Latvie.

In Inglis writin, L is eften silent in sic wirds as 'walk' or 'coud' (its presence can modify the precedin vowel letter's soond; e.g. 'wak' micht be pronoonced tae rhyme wi 'back').

Siller signs

The caipital letter 'L' is uised as the currency sign for the Albanian lek an the Honduran lempira. It wis eften uised, especially in haundwritin, as the siller sign for the Italian lira. It is an aa infrequently uised as a substitute for the poond sign (£), which is based on it.


In some fonts, the lawercase letter L, 'l' mey be difficult tae distinguish frae the deegit ane, '1' or an uppercase letter I, 'I'. In recent times, mony new fonts hae curved the lawercase fairm tae the richt, an it is increasingly common, especially on European road signs an advertisements. A mair stylized version based on the haundwritten letterlike 'ℓ' is whiles uised in mathematics an elsewhaur. Its LaTeX command is \ell, its codepynt is U+2113, an its numeric character reference is "".

Relatit letters an ither similar characters

  • Ł ł : Latin letter L wi stroke
  • LL Ll ll : Latin digraph Ll
  • ℒ ℓ : Script letter L
  • £ : poond sign
  • ₤ : lira sign
  • Λ λ : Greek letter Lambda
  • Л л : Cyrillic letter El

Computin codes

Numeric chairacter referenceLLll
EBCDIC faimily211D314793
ASCII 1764C1086C
    1 An aa for encodings based on ASCII, includin the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 an Macintosh faimilies o encodins.

Ither representations

NATO phoneticMorse code
  [[File:Sign language {{{fingerspelling}}}.svg|90px]] 
Seegnal bannerBanner semaphoreAmerican manual alphabet (ASL fingerspellin)Braille


  1. Sometimes spelled ell
  2. "L" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989) Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. (1993); "el", "ells", op. cit.

Freemit airtins

  •   Media relatit tae L at Wikimedia Commons
  •   The dictionar defineetion o L at Wiktionary
  •   The dictionar defineetion o l at Wiktionary
  •   The dictionar defineetion o at Wiktionary

The ISO basic Laitin alphabet
Letter L with diacritics
  • Derivations
  • Diacritics
  • History
  • ISO/IEC 646
  • Leet o letters
  • Numerals
  • Palaeography
  • Punctuation
  • Unicode

This article uses material from the Wikipedia Scots article L, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license ("CC BY-SA 3.0"); additional terms may apply. (view authors). Content is available unner CC BY-SA 3.0 unless itherwise notit. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.
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