I am looking for an alphabet containing exactly 25 letters. As we all know, the standard Latin alphabet contains some more letters than 25. As I would like the alphabet to contain exactly 25 letters, it would not suit me to simply remove a handful of letters from the standard Latin alphabet.

Up to this point, I have been attempting to find such an alphabet on my own using the list of writing systems available on Wikipedia, but to no luck. Therefore I am hoping there is a kind soul out there who could provide me with such a thing.

Kind regards,

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    What do you want it for, btw? – michau Dec 6 '16 at 20:27
  • A personal project of mine. – D. Ataro Dec 6 '16 at 20:27
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    I'm often asked on SE why I want to know a thing. I think this wastes everyone's time, since you could ask this of any question at all. – daisy Mar 6 '19 at 14:18

The Ogham alphabet contains 25 letters:

Number of letters: 25, which are grouped into five aicmí (sing. aicme = group, class). Each aicme is named after its first letter. Originally Ogham consisted of 20 letters or four aicmí; the fifth acime, or Forfeda, was added for use in manuscripts.

  • As your answer is highly correct, you will get the accepted answer for this. I would, however, like to see if there are any more alphabets containing 25 letters. Your answer will be accepted, if not earlier, tomorrow. – D. Ataro Dec 6 '16 at 20:28
  • I know very little about Ogham, but that website you linked actually shows 26 letters (not counting the start-of-text, space, and end-of-text marks). Is peith not considered part of the alphabet? – Draconis Dec 7 '16 at 1:38

The Medieval (Latinised) Futhark had 25 letters.

The Gothic alphabet had 27 letters, but two of them had no phonetic value and were never used to write any words, they were used only as numbers. Every Gothic letter had a numeric value, that is why 27 letters were needed — 9 units, 9 tens, and 9 hundreds, 9×3=27. Still, only 25 of them were used to write words of the Gothic language.

  • Interesting that they had 27 letters, although only 25 were used. But there still had to be pronunciations for the numerical values without sound, correct? – D. Ataro Dec 6 '16 at 22:22
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    @D.Ataro - Yes, like we pronounce digits. These digit-letters were actually copied from the Greek alphabet which also had digit-letters with no phonetic value, but there were three of them in the Greek alpabet, again to make it 27 letters total, 24 letters with sound + 3 digit-letters. Most of the Gothic letters were also copied from the Greek alphabet. – Yellow Sky Dec 6 '16 at 22:34
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    @D.Ataro In other words, the two unused letters were more like "3" or "7" in English: symbols used for writing numbers, never words. (Of course, if Gothic had survived to the Internet age, that might have changed...) – Draconis Dec 7 '16 at 1:41

The modern Greek alphabet contains only 24 distinct letters. But in lowercase there are 25 glyps: sigma is written ς at the end of a word and σ otherwise.

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ ς τ υ φ χ ψ ω

Before the Greek alphabet was standardized for political reasons in the fifth century BC, several regional variants also had 25 letters, including glyphs such as Aeolian digamma (Ϝ, pronounced /w/) or Ionian sampi (ϡ, probably pronounced /ts/).

Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω Ϝ/ϡ

The English alphabet has had 25 letters at some points in its history. J and V separated from I and U in the mid-1500s, but W was still considered a digraph (like TH) rather than its own letter.


Several languages also use a Latin alphabet with fewer than 26 letters. In Classical times* Latin itself had only 23 (lacking J, V, W), and two of those (K, Y) appeared only in foreign words. The 26-letter convention comes from English, since early computer encodings such as 7-bit ASCII were designed only for English usage.

*excluding the reign of Claudius, because nobody liked his new letters

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