Thorn or þorn (Þ, þ) is a letter in the Old English, Old Norse, Old Swedish and modern Icelandic alphabets, as well as modern transliterations of the Gothic alphabet, Middle Scots, and some dialects of Middle English.


Alexa play good 4 u by olivia rodrigo ••• Me talking about the word “went”: @Tan | failedviner Me talking about phrases like “done my coffee”: @Tan | failedviner Me talking about the suffix-eth: @Tan | failedviner #language #linguistics #english #lingtok #etymology #history #icelandic #thorn #orthography #grammar #yeolde #morphology #texting #internet #tech #smslanguage #text #technology #slinky #phone

♬ original sound – Tan | failedviner

Middle and Early Modern English

“… hir the grace that god put …” (Extract from the The Boke of Margery Kempe)

The modern digraph th began to grow in popularity during the 14th century; at the same time, the shape of ⟨Þ⟩ grew less distinctive, with the letter losing its ascender (becoming similar in appearance to the old wynn (⟨Ƿ⟩, ⟨ƿ⟩), which had fallen out of use by 1300, and to ancient through modern ⟨P⟩, ⟨p⟩). By this stage, th was predominant and the use of ⟨Þ⟩ was largely restricted to certain common words and abbreviations. This was the longest-lived use, though with the arrival of movable type printing, the substitution of ⟨y⟩ for ⟨Þ⟩ became ubiquitous, leading to the common “ye“, as in ‘Ye Olde Curiositie Shoppe’. One major reason for this was that ⟨Y⟩ existed in the printer’s types that were imported from Belgium and the Netherlands, while ⟨Þ⟩ did not.[5] The word was never pronounced as /j/, as in ⟨yes⟩, though, even when so written.[6] The first printing of the King James Version of the Bible in 1611 used ye for “the” in places such as Job 1:9, John 15:1, and Romans 15:29.[7] It also used yt as an abbreviation for “that“, in places such as 2 Corinthians 13:7. All were replaced in later printings by the or that, respectively.