- for the town in Nepal see Resh, Nepal
is the twentieth letter of many Semitic alphabets
, including Phoenician
and Arabic alphabet
ﺭ. Its sound value is one of a number of rhotic consonants
: usually r or /ɾ/ but also /ʁ/ or /ʀ/ in Hebrew.
In most Semitic alphabets, the letter resh (and its equivalents) is quite similar to the letter dalet (and its equivalents). In the Syriac alphabet, the letters became so similar that now they are only distinguished by a dot: resh has a dot above the letter, and the otherwise identical dalet has a dot below the letter. In the Arabic alphabet, has a longer tail than . In the Aramaic and Hebrew square alphabet, resh is a rounded single stroke while dalet is a right-angle of two strokes. The similarity led to the variant spellings of the name Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuchadrezzar.
The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Rho (Ρ), Etruscan r , Latin R, and Cyrillic Р.
Origins of Resh
The word resh
is usually assumed to have come from a pictogram of a head, ultimately reflecting Proto-Semitic Appendix:Proto-Semitic *raʾš-
. The word's East Semitic
, was one possible phonetic reading of the Sumerian cuneiform
sign for "head" (SAG 𒊕
, ) in Akkadian
Resh in Hebrew
In Hebrew, Resh represents a rhotic consonant that has different realizations for different dialects:
Resh, along with Ayin, Aleph, Hei, and Het, cannot receive a dagesh.
Resh in gematria represents the number 200.
As an abbreviation
Resh as an abbreviation can stand for Rabbi
, Rabban, Rabbenu, and other similar constructions).
Resh may be found after a person's name on a gravestone to indicate that they were a Rabbi or to indicate the other use of Rav, as a generic term for a teacher or a personal spiritual guide.
Resh is used in an Israeli phrase; after a child will say something false, one might say "B'Shin Kuf
, Resh" (With Shin, Kuf, Resh). These letters spell Sheqer, which is the Hebrew word for a lie. It would be akin to an English speaker saying "That's an L
The letter is named , and is written is several ways depending in its position in the word: