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The modern lowercase 'b' derives from later Roman times, when scribes began omitting the upper loop of the capital.
|Blackletter B||Uncial B||Modern Roman B||Modern Italic B||Modern Script B|
In English, most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, and the International Phonetic Alphabet, 'b' denotes the voiced bilabial plosive /b/, as in 'bib'. In English it is sometimes silent; most instances are derived from old monosyllablic words with the 'b' final and immediately preceded by an 'm', such as 'lamb' and 'bomb'; a few are examples of etymological spelling to make the word more like its Latin original, such as 'debt' or 'doubt'.
In Estonian, Icelandic, and Chinese pinyin, 'b' does not denote a voiced consonant; instead, it represents a voiceless /p/ that contrasts with either a geminated /pp/ (in Estonian) or an aspirated /pʰ/ (in Chinese, Danish and Icelandic), represented by 'p'. In Fijian 'b' represents a prenasalized /mb/, whereas in Zulu and Xhosa it represents an implosive /ɓ/, in contrast to the digraph 'bh' which represents /b/.
'B' is also a musical note. Its value varies depending on the region; a 'b' in Anglophone countries represents a note that is a semitone higher than the B note in Northern Continental Europe. (Anglophone B is represented in Northern Europe with 'H'.) Archaic forms of 'b', the b quadratum (square b, ♮) and b rotundum (round b, ♭) remain in use for musical notation as the symbols for natural and flat, respectively.
In Contracted (grade 2) English braille, 'b' stands for "but" when in isolation.
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B||LATIN SMALL LETTER B|
|Numeric character reference||B||B||b||b|