The Early Semitic pictograph of this letter is , an arm and hand. The meaning of this letter is work, make and throw, the functions of the hand. The Modern Hebrew name “yud” is a derivative of the two letter word “yad” meaning "hand", the original name for the letter.
The ancient and modern pronunciation of this letter is a "y". In Ancient Hebrew this letter also doubled as a vowel with an “i” sound. The Greek language adopted this letter as the “iota”, carrying over the “i” sound.
The ancient pictograph , was turned 90 degrees to become the in the Middle Semitic script. The letter continued to evolve into the simpler form in the Late Semitic script. The Middle Semitic form became the Greek and Roman I. The Late Semitic form became the Modern Hebrew י.