Quart, queen, quotient, and question are some common words that begin with the letter Q. In the English language, the letter Q tends to be followed by the letter U, but there are notable exceptions. Some examples include qabalah, qanun, qat and qi.
The letter Q is the 17th letter of the modern English alphabet. It is the second least-common letter in the language, with only the letter Z occurring less often. The letter Q has a frequency of 0.09 percent in all English words.
The origin of the letter Q's usage can be dated back to the Phoenicians. The original name for it was "qoph" or "gogh," the Phoenician word for "monkey." The ancient Greeks then adopted the qoph but altered it to "koppa" because they found the former term difficult to pronounce. The Greeks later discarded the "koppa" because of the similarities with another letter, "kappa"; however, the Etruscans continued to use it. When the Romans adopted the Etruscan alphabet, it slowly evolved into the letter being used today.
The letter Q’s design is said to have its origin in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for a cord of wood. When the Greeks adopted the letter, they drew it as a circle with a descending line, similar to its modern counterpart.