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Zhe (Ж ж; italics:Ж ж) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.

Cyrillic letter Zhe
Phonetic usage:[ʐ],[ʒ]
Name:живѣтє
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
Non-Slavic letters
Archaic letters

It commonly represents the voiced retroflex sibilant/ʐ/ (). It is also often used with D (Д) to approximate the sound in English of the Latin letter J with a ДЖ combo.

Zhe is romanized as ⟨zh⟩ or ⟨ž⟩.

Contents

It is not known how the character for Zhe was derived. No similar letter exists in Greek, Latin or any other alphabet of the time, though there is some graphic similarity with its Glagolitic counterpart Zhivete ⟨Ⰶ⟩ (Image: ) which represents the same sound. However, the origin of Zhivete, like that of most Glagolitic letters, is unclear. One possibility is that it was formed from two connecting Hebrew letters Shin ⟨ש⟩, the bottom one inverted.[citation needed] Zhe may also be derived from the Coptic letterjanjia ⟨Ϫϫ⟩, supported by the phonetic value (janjia represents the sound /d͡ʒ/ in Coptic) and shape of the letter, which the Glagolitic counterpart Zhivete ⟨Ⰶ⟩ resembles even more closely.

It may be a ligature, formed from combining two "K" letters (one backward form) sharing a common stem.[citation needed]

In the Early Cyrillic alphabet the name of Zhe was живѣтє (živěte), meaning "live" (imperative).

Zhe was not used in the Cyrillic numeral system.

Zhe is used in the alphabets of all Slavic languages using a Cyrillic alphabet, and of most non-Slavic languages which use a Cyrillic alphabet. The position in the alphabet and the sound represented by the letter vary from language to language.

Zhe can also be used in Leet speak or faux Cyrillic in place of the letter ⟨x⟩, or to represent the symbol of the rap duo Kris Kross (a ligature of two back-to-back letter K's).

Ж is most often transliterated as the digraph ⟨zh⟩ for English-language readers (as in Doctor Zhivago, Доктор Живаго, or Georgy Zhukov, Георгий Жуков). In linguistics and for Central European readers, it is most often transliterated as ⟨ž⟩, with a háček. The scientific transliteration convention comes from Czech spelling and is also used in the Latin alphabets of several other Slavic languages (Slovak, Sorbian, Serbo-Croatian and Slovene). Thus, Leonid Brezhnev's surname (Леонид Брежнев) could be transliterated as "Brežnev", as it is spelled in a number of Slavic languages. Polish uses its own convention for transliteration of Cyrillic according to which ж is transliterated with the Polish letter ż (which is pronounced/ʐ/ in Polish) or the digraph ⟨rz⟩. Ж is often transliterated ⟨j⟩ in Mongolian because of its pronunciation as IPA: .

Character information
Preview Ж ж
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER ZHE CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER ZHE
Encodings decimal hex dec hex
Unicode 1046 U+0416 1078 U+0436
UTF-8 208 150 D0 96 208 182 D0 B6
Numeric character reference Ж Ж ж ж
Named character reference Ж ж
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 246 F6 214 D6
Code page 855 234 EA 233 E9
Code page 866 134 86 166 A6
Windows-1251 198 C6 230 E6
ISO-8859-5 182 B6 214 D6
Macintosh Cyrillic 134 86 230 E6
  • The dictionary definition of Ж at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ж at Wiktionary

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