Sh (digraph)

Sh is a digraph of the Latin alphabet, a combination of S and H.

European languages


In English, sh usually represents a voiceless postalveolar fricative (IPA: /ʃ/). The exception is compound words, where the s and h are not a digraph, but pronounced separately, e.g. hogshead is hogs-head /hɒgzhɛd/, not hog-shead /hɒgʃɛd/. It is not considered a distinct letter.


In Albanian, sh represents a voiceless postalveolar fricative (IPA: /ʃ/). It is considered a distinct letter, named shë (/ʃə/), and placed between S and T in alphabetical order.


In Irish sh is pronounced [h] and represents the lenition of s; for example mo shaol "my life" (cf. saol [sˠiːɫ] "life").


In Occitan, sh represents a voiceless postalveolar fricative (IPA: /ʃ/). It mostly occurs in the Gascon dialect of Occitan and corresponds with s or ss in other Occitan dialects: peish = peis "fish", naishença = naissença "birth", sheis = sièis "six". A i before sh is silent: peish, naishença are pronounced . Some words have sh in all Occitan dialects: they are Gascon words adopted in all the Occitan language (Aush "Auch", Arcaishon "Arcachon") or foreign borrowings (shampó "shampoo").

For s·h, see Interpunct#Occitan.

Asian languages


In the Pinyin, Wade-Giles, and Yale romanizations of Chinese, sh represents a voiceless retroflex fricative (IPA: [ʂ]). It contrasts with a voiceless alveopalatal fricative (IPA: [ɕ]), which is written x in Pinyin, hs in Wade-Giles, and sy in Yale.


In the Hepburn romanization of Japanese, sh represents a voiceless alveopalatal fricative (IPA: [ɕ]). Other romanizations write [ɕ] as s before i and sy before other vowels.

International auxiliary languages


In Interlingua, sh represents a voiceless postalveolar fricative (IPA: /ʃ/). Sh is rare in Interlingua, but it occurs in several English loanwords, such as shocking! and shampoo. Other loanwords include the Japanese shogun and the Arabic sheik.


In Ido, sh represents a voiceless postalveolar fricative (IPA: /ʃ/).

Search another word or see Sh_(digraph)on Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature