F, f, indecl. n. or (sc. littera) f. The sign ϝ is the Aeolic digamma, adopted by the Latins instead of 8, the form used by the Etruscans, Oscans, and Umbrians for this letter; in inscriptions, before A.U.C. 500, it is sometimes written [??]. The ancient grammarians, misled by the shape, ascribed to F the power of the digamma; thus: ϝ Aeolicum digamma, quod apud antiquissimos Latinorum eandem vim quam apud Aeolis habuit, eum autem prope sonum quem nunc habet, significabat p cum aspiratione; sicut etiam apud veteres Graecos pro φ, p, et h, Prisc. 1, 4, p. 12. But it is certain that Lat. F never represents the sound of digamma, and etymologically corresponds to it in but a single root (frango; Gr. ῤήγνυμι, Curt. Gr. Etym. p. 531; Corss. Ausspr. 1, 397 sq. Fick, however, denies any connection between these words, Vergl. Wört. p. 182; cf. Curt. Gr. Etym. p. 511; ῤῖγος, Lat. frigus, was never digammated). The sound of F was nearly that of the Gr. φ, but rougher, Quint. 1, 4, 14; 12, 10, 29; cf. Prisc. 1, 4, p. 14; Mar. Vict. p. 2455 P. Initial F in Latin corresponds to an original Indo-European bh, dh, and gh: 1. To bh, as in fari, fama, Sanscr. root bha-; Gr. φα-, φημί: ferre, Sanscr. bhar-; Gr. φέρω: fuga, Sanscr. bhug-, to bend; Gr. φυγή; 2. To dh, as in firmus, Sanscr. dhar-, to support: ferus, Sanscr. dhvar-, to destroy; Gr. θήρ (φήρ): fumus, Sanscr. dhumas, smoke; Gr. θύειν; 3. To gh, as in far, farina, Sanscr. gharsh-, to rub: formus, Sanscr. ghar-, to burn; Gr. θερμός, etc. In situations not initial these original sounds commonly gave place in Latin to b, or were weakened to h (v. Corss. Ausspr. 1, 140 sqq.). In writing Greek words, φ was represented by p or b, the Latins having no means of expressing the aspiration (p-h, not like Engl. ph or f) until the post-Aug. period; but in the later writings and inscr. φ is generally represented by f (Corss. Ausspr. 1, 173; Roby, Lat. Gram. 1, p. 33). Respecting the use of the reversed F
(Note:) for V, see under that letter. As an abbreviation, F stands for fili, functus, faciundum. F. C., faciundum curavit. FF., fecerunt. F. I., fieri jussit. FL. P., flamen perpetuus. F. P. C., filius ponendum curavit. F. M., fecit monumentum. F.A., filio amantissimo. F. C. H., fieri curavit heres. FR. or FRU., frumentum, frumentarius.