What Are Some Words That Start With the Letter "J"?

Many words start with the letter “J,” such as "jet," "jig," "junk," "jaded" and "jurors." The shortest word that starts with the letter “J” in the English language is "jo," which has just two letters, and the longest words that start with the letter “J” are "journalistically" and "jurisdictionally," with 16 letters each. Many verbs begin with the letter “J,” such as "jump," "juggle," "joust" and "jumble," as do the names of several countries, including Japan, Jersey, Jamaica and Jordan.

The phonetic spelling of “J” in the English language is "jay," and another use is "yod," its palatal approximant. The letter “J” is the 10th letter in both the modern English and ISO basic Latin alphabets. The letter “J” comes from the swash letter "i," which Romans used following another “i” at the end of Roman numerals. While Middle High German speakers used the letter “J,” it was Gian Giorgio Trissino who first distinguished it from the letter “I” in his 1524 work “Trissino’s Epistle about the Letters Recently Added in the Italian Language.”

While “I” and “J” were once different shapes for the same letter, new sounds developed in Romance languages that further separated them. While many words begin with the letter “J,” it is the letter found fourth-least frequently in the English language, ahead of only “Z,” “G” and “X.” It is more common to find the letter “J” in proper nouns such as personal names.