See also: [U+2320 TOP HALF INTEGRAL], [U+222B INTEGRAL], ʃ [U+0283 LATIN SMALL LETTER ESH], [U+1E9B LATIN SMALL LETTER LONG S WITH DOT ABOVE], [U+A785 LATIN SMALL LETTER INSULAR S], and Appendix:Variations of "s"

ſ U+017F, ſ
LATIN SMALL LETTER LONG S
ž
[U+017E]
Latin Extended-A ƀ
[U+0180]

Translingual edit

 
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Proper use of the long s is demonstrated by the words Bürgerſaal and Ratsſäle on a German sign, but incorrect use can be seen in the third word, Trausaal, causing it to be parsed as ‘Trausaal’.

Letter edit

ſ (upper case S)

  1. (obsolete or archaic) The long s, a form of the letter ess (S).

Derived terms edit

See also edit

English edit

Letter edit

ſ (lower case, upper case S, plural ſs or ſ's)

  1. (archaic) The nineteenth letter of the English alphabet, called long s, medial s, or descending s and written in the Latin script.
    • 1574, Iohn Caluine, translated by Thomas Norton, The Institution of Christian Religion, London: [] [T]he widowe of Reginalde Wolffe, title page and Table page:
      VVritten in Latine by M.Iohn Caluine, and tranſlated into Engliſ he according to the authors laſt edition, By thomas norton. [] And the redemptor ſ hall come to Sion,and vnto thẽ that turne frõ their vvickednes in Iacob.
    • 1595, William Perkins, A Golden Chaine, or The Description Oe Theologie, page 16:
      God is not onely a bare permiſsiue agent in an euill worke, but a powerfull effectour of the ſame []
    • 1640, The Proceedings of the Commissioners Sent from the Parliament of Scotland to the King, page 52:
      The Lord Commiſsioner ſheweth, that it is his Majeſties will that the Parliament be prorogated to the 2. of June, and that by his Majeſties authority only: of the prorogation, the prætenſion is pag. 30.
    • 1669, An Embassy from the East-India Company on the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China, pages 20–21:
      So upon the 20. of August Mr. Frederick Schzdel a Merchant, ſet ſail in the good Ship called the Brown Fiſh, very richly freighted with all ſorts of Merchandizes from Taiwan to Canton; and after nine days ſail, landed in the Canton River, at a place called Heytamon.
    • 1702, Francisco de Quevedo-Villegas, translated by Roger Lestrange, The Visions of Dom Francisco de Quevedo-Villegas. Knight of the Order of St. James., London: [] B. Harris, page 1:
      THE FIRST VISION OF THE Algouazil (or Catchpole) Poſſest.
    • 1767, Henry Fielding, The Works of Henry Fielding: In Twelve Volumes, with the Life of the Author, volume 3, page 273:
      Dor. I have been told, noble Squire, that you once impos’d a certain lady for Dulcinea on your maſter; now what think you if this young lady here ſhould perſonate that incomparable princeſs? / Jez. Who, I? / San. Adod! your princeſsſhip has hit it; for he has never ſeen this Dulcinea, nor has any body elſe, that I can hear of;
    • 1783, Joseph Ritson, Remarks, Critical and Illustrative, on the Text and Notes of the Last Edition of Shakspeare, page 223:
      But he does not ſtab him for his treachery toward hisſelf []
    • 1785, Vicesimus Knox, Liberal Education: Or, a Practical Treatiſe on the Methods of Acquiring Uſeful and Polite Learning, vol. II, pp. 1 & 3, section XXXI: On the regulation of puerile diverſions:
      Many fanciful methods have been invented by thoſe who wiſhed to render puerile ſports conducive to improvement. I never found that they were ſucceſsful.
      I muſt own myſelf an advocate for puerile liberty*, during the alloted hours of relaxation. Boys have much reſtraint and confinement in the time of ſtudy.
      Thoſe of the effeminate kind ſuperinduce effeminacy; weakneſs of mind, no leſs than imbecility of body. Something ſimilar happens in puerile diverſions. The boy who has been kept in leading-ſtrings too long, and reſtrained from hardy ſports by the fondneſs of his mother, will ſcarcely ever become a man; or poſſeſs that becoming ſpirit which can enable him to act his part with propriety.
    • 1796, John Hatsell, Precedents of Proceedings in the House of Commons: With Observations, page 102:
      75. On the 11th of May, 1759, the Lords amend a turnpike road Bill, by inſerting a clauſe, “That no gate ſhall be erected within a mile of Enſham Ferry”. The conſideration of this amendment is reſolved, nemine contradicente, to be put off for a month.
    • 1892, Richard Le Gallienne, English Poems, London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane at The Bodley Head; New York: The Cassell Publishing Company, [], page [iii]:
      Engliſh Poems / [] / New York: The Caſsell Publiſhing Company, 104, Fourth Avene.
    • 2018, “Do you deem it to be ſenſible to bring back the long ‘s’?”, in Quora[1], archived from the original on 06 June 2023:
      Do you deem it to be ſenſible to bring back the long ‘s’? []
      It would ſuck.

Usage notes edit

  • This is the long, medial, or descending s, as distinct from the short or terminal s (s).
  • In Roman and Fraktur script, the long S was typically used everywhere except at the end of words, where the short S was used, with exceptions:
    • The use of short S at the end of words was sometimes maintained even in derivative or compound words, as for example hisſelf (his + (-)ſelf), ſucceſsful (ſucceſs + -ful), princeſsſhip (see the 1767 quotation).
    • Short S was sometimes used before letters with left-side ascenders, like b, f, or long ſ, which the top curl of a long S would overlap, making the sequence either difficult to print or unaesthetic, hence e.g. whisker instead of whiſker. An alternative was to insert a space between the long S and the ascender (whiſ ker), or use a ligature.[1]
    • Some documents wrote or typeset ss as ſs, e.g. in neceſsary, either as a deviation from all nonfinal s being ſ (especially in handwriting), or as a deviation from all s being s (as in the US Declaration of Independence: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes neceſsary for one people to diſsolve...", or US Constitution: "the first Claſs shall...").
  • This distinction occurred only in minuscule (lowercase); the single majuscule (uppercase) form S was used regardless of word-position.
  • Sometimes “st” was used instead of “ſt”.

References edit

  1. ^ Joanna Gondris (1998) Reading Readings: Essays on Shakespeare Editing in the Eighteenth Century, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, →ISBN, page 64:
    As there were no ligatures at this time in long-s + k ( and very few in long-s + b), setting a long-s before a letter with an ascender at its left side (like k or b — or like f, for which there likely never was an English ligature with long-s) would break its kern against the ascender. Hence, to avoid fouling, a round-s was often used in this environment (though sometimes a long-s was set, along with a protective space under its fore-kern, which created a "pigeon hole" in the word in which it appeared, [...])

Finnish edit

Letter edit

ſ (archaic)

  1. The long s, a form of the (lowercase) letter s.
    • 1543, Mikael Agricola, Abckiria, Stockholm: Amund Laurentsson:
      Mengette ſijs / opetaca caici pacanat / ette he piteuet caici mite mine olen teille keſkenyt / kaſtaden heite nimen Iſen / ia poian / ia pyhen hengen.
      [Menkäätte siis, opettakaa kaikki pakanat, että he pitävät kaikki, mitä minä olen teille käskenyt, kastaen heitä nimeen Isän, ja pojan, ja Pyhän Hengen.]
      Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
    • 1908 [1870], Aleksis Kivi, chapter 1, in Seitsemän veljestä, Helsinki: Yrjö Weilin:
      Sen läheiſin ympäristö on kiwinen tanner; mutta alempana alkaa pellot, joisſa, ennenkuin talo oli häwiöön mennyt, aaltoili teräinen wilja.
      Next to it stood a rocky field; but further down are the fields, where fertile grain once waved, before the house had fallen on hard times.

Usage notes edit

  • The long s was in regular use in Finnish texts written in fraktur (blackletter), which was the most common type until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When Finnish texts began using Roman type, the long s also fell out of use.
  • At first, the short s was only used at the end of a word and long s in other positions (with some exceptions). Over time, short s became more common, and during the 19th century, the short s was generally used at the end of a syllable and the long s at the beginning of a syllable.

Lower Sorbian edit

Letter edit

ſ

  1. (obsolete) A letter formerly used to represent the sound /z/, now replaced by z, and in the trigraph ſch, corresponding to modern ś; used primarily in texts written in Fraktur.

See also edit

Middle French edit

Letter edit

ſ

  1. typographical variant of s, typically used for all instances except a final -s