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W the twenty-third letter of the English alphabet, is usually a consonant, but sometimes it is a vowel, forming the second element of certain diphthongs, as in few, how. It takes its written form and its name from the repetition of a V, this being the original form of the Roman capital letter which we call U. Etymologically it is most related to v and u.  See V, and U. Some of the uneducated classes in England, especially in London, confuse w and v, substituting the one for the other, as weal for veal, and veal for weal; wine for vine, and vine for wine, etc.  See Guide to Pronunciation, // 266-268.