Monkey see, monkey Q*

The ABC Wednesday meme was started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt. Each week word(s) beginning with the designated letter are selected and illustrate through a photo, poem or prose. My twist on the meme is selecting unusual words from The Phrontistery and pairing them with photos of familiar things in my world. This week is the letter Q. The 17th letter of the alphabet. Such a strange letter, with stranger words associated with it. But first, a little history.

Designers have been having fun with the letter’s tail since the written word began. The original ancestor of our Q was the sound “ooph,” the Phoenician word for monkey. The ooph represented a strong, guttural sound not found in what would become our modern-day English, or in any other primitive, Indo-European language. Most historians believe the Phoenician language was the first to use the ooph sound/symbol. There isn’t any lineage to other written forms dating earlier.

The Greeks abandoned this letter in their alphabet but the Etruscans decided to change it up a little and keep it in their alphabet. The Romans adopted most of the Etruscans’ alphabet, and the first Roman Q had the same vertical tail. Eventually, the tail evolved into the curve we associate with the letter Q today.
(*information stolen taken borrowed from

As for my Q words, there are only two this week.

quatrefoil: four-petaled flower; design or ornament with four flowers or leaves.
Army Guy finds these when he’s working a job site. He must be the luckiest guy in town since he already has three of them!

quinquagenarian: person between the ages of 50 and 59.
Not too shabby for a couple of persons a half century old.

This is Round 6 of ABC Wednesday. It’s great fun and anyone can join in at anytime. To peek at previous weeks or check out this week’s entries, click on the ABC Wednesday logo in my sidebar.

16 thoughts on “Monkey see, monkey Q*

  1. Quinquangenarian is a new word for me but one that I will definitely remember now as *I* am one. And may I say, you both look more like young quadrigenarians. (?!)


    • If I’m going to remember it I have to spell it right… quin quag e narian…there is no extra ‘n’ in there Jayne. 🙂


  2. It would be caligraphies loss if there were no pretty curly Q. Interesting history. Quinquagenarian, a word that may be easier to write than say, probably as well I have missed it by a few months.


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