By Jeff A. Benner


Ancient Modern
Image Mouth  
Meaning Blow, Scatter, Edge  
Name Pey Pey
Sound p, ph (f) p, ph (f)

History & Reconstruction

The Semitic word "pey" means a "mouth" and there are several ancient Semitic pictographs believed to be this letter, none of which resemble a mouth. The only exception is the South Arabian pictograph . This pictograph closely resembles a mouth and is similar to the later Semitic letters for the letter "pey".

This pictograph has the meanings of speak and blow from the functions of the mouth as well as the edge of something, as the lips are at the edge of the mouth.

The modern Hebrew name for this letter is "pey" and as previously identified it is the Hebrew word for mouth. There are two sounds for this letter, the stop "P" and the spirant "Ph" or "f".

The early Semitic evolved to the letter in the middle Semitic scripts. The letter continued to evolved into the in the late Semitic script. This letter evolved into the פ and ף (final pey) in the modern Hebrew script. The middle Semitic became the Greek P and the Latin P.

Semitic Script Charts