This letter, Å (å in lower case) represents various (although often very similar) sounds in several languages. It is a separate letter in the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, North Frisian, Walloon, Chamorro, Lule Sami, Skolt Sami, Southern Sami, and Greenlandic alphabets. Additionally, it is part of the alphabets used for the Alemannic and the Bavarian-Austrian dialects of German.

Though Å is derived from an A, with an overring it is considered a separate letter. It developed as a form of semi-ligature of an A with a smaller o above it to denote a long and darker A, similar to how the umlaut mark that distinguishes Ä from A, and Ö/Ø from O, developed from a small e written above the letter in question.

Latin alphabet Åå
Å in Helvetica and Bodoni
A with Ring in Doulos SIL.
Glyphs Å and å in Doulos SIL

Scandinavian languages

Swedish keyboard 20050614
Swedish keyboard showing Å, Ä, and Ö

The å in Scandinavian alphabets represents two sounds, one short and one long.

  • The short version represents IPA /ɔ/.
  • In Swedish, the long version represents IPA /oː/. In Danish and Norwegian, the long version is pronounced IPA /ɔː/.


The Å-sound originally had the same origin as the long /aː/ sound in German Aal and Haar (Scandinavian ål, hår, English eel, hair).

Historically, the å derives from the Old Norse long /aː/ vowel (spelled with the letter á), but over time, it developed to an [ɔː] sound in most Scandinavian language varieties (in Swedish and Norwegian, it has eventually reached the pronunciation []). Medieval writing often used doubled letters for long vowels, and the vowel continued to be written Aa. In Old Swedish the use of the ligature Æ and of Ø (originally also a variant of the ligature Œ) that represented the sounds [æ] and [ø] respectively were gradually replaced by new letters. Instead of using ligatures, a minuscule E was placed above the letters A and O to create new graphemes. They later evolved into the modern letters Ä and Ö, where the E was simplified into the two dots now referred to as umlaut. This construction was also applied to construct a new grapheme where an "aa" previously had been used. A minuscule O was placed on top of an A to create a new letter. It was first used in print in the Gustav Vasa Bible that was published in 1541 and replaced Aa in the 16th century.[1]

In an attempt to modernize the orthography, linguists tried to introduce the Å to Danish and Norwegian writing in the 19th century. Most people felt no need for the new letter, although the letter group Aa had already been pronounced like Å for centuries in Denmark and Norway. Aa was usually treated as a single letter, spoken like the present Å when spelling out names or words. Orthography reforms making Å official were carried out in Norway in 1917 and in Denmark in 1948. It has been argued that the Å only made its way to official Danish spelling due to anti-German and pro-Scandinavian sentiment after World War II. Danish had been the only language apart from German and Luxembourgish to use capitalized nouns in the last decades, but abolished them at the same occasion.

In a few names of Danish cities or towns, the old spelling has been retained as an option due to local resistance, e.g. Aalborg and Aabenraa; however, Ålborg and Åbenrå are the spellings recommended by the Danish Language Board.[2] Between 1948 and 2010, the city of Aarhus was officially spelled Århus. However, the city has changed to the Aa spelling starting 2011, in a controversial decision citing internationalization and web compatibility advantages.

Icelandic and Faroese are the only North Germanic languages not to use the å. The Old Norse letter á is retained, but the sound it now expresses is a diphthong, pronounced [au] in Icelandic and [ɔa] in Faroese. The short variation of Faroese á is pronounced [ɔ], though.

Use in names

In some place names, the old Aa spelling dominates, more often in Denmark than in Norway (where it has been abolished in official use since 1917). Locals of Aalborg and Aabenraa resist the Å, whereas Ålesund is rarely seen with Aa spelling. Official rules allow both forms in the most common cases, but Å is always correct.

Before 1917, when spelling with the double A was common, some Norwegian place names contained three or four consecutive A letters: for instance Haaa (now Håa, a river) and Blaaaasen (Blååsen, 'the blue ("blå") ridge ("ås")').

In family names, the bearer of the name uses Aa or Å according to their choice, but since family names are inherited they are resistant to change and the traditional Aa style is often kept. For instance, the last name Aagaard is much more common than Ågård. The surname Aa is always spelled with double A, never with the single å. However, given names - which are less commonly inherited - have largely changed to the use of the Å. For instance, in Norway more than 12,000 male citizens spell their name Håkon, while only around 2,500 are named Haakon.

Company names are sometimes spelled with the double A by choice, usually in order to convey an impression of old-fashionedness or traditionality. The double A, representing a single sound, is usually kept in initials e.g. for people whose first, middle, and/or last name begins with the double A. Accordingly, a man named "Hans Aagard Hauge" would spell his initials "H. Aa. H." (not "H. A. H." or "H. Å. H."), while a woman named Aase Vestergaard would spell her initials "Aa. V." (not "A. V." or "Å. V.").

Place in alphabet

Pois pakkoruotsi
The fact that Å is a common letter in Swedish while having no native use in Finnish has led to it being used as a concise symbol for the Swedish language in Finland, as in this campaign to rid Finnish schools of Mandatory Swedish. The phrase reads "Away with enforced Swedish".

Danish and Norwegian

Correct alphabetization in Danish and Norwegian places Å as the last letter in the alphabet, the sequence being Æ, Ø, Å. This is also true for the alternative spelling "Aa". Unless manually corrected, sorting algorithms of programs localised for Danish or Norwegian will place e.g., Aaron after Zorro.

In Danish the correct sorting of aa depends on pronunciation - if the sound is pronounced as one sound it is sorted as Å regardless of the sound is 'a' or 'å'; thus, for example, the German city Aachen is listed under Å, as well as the Danish city Aabenraa. This is § 3 in the Danish Retskrivningsreglerne.


In the Swedish and Finnish alphabets, Å is sorted after Z, as the third letter from the end, the sequence being Å, Ä, Ö.

International transcription

Alternative spellings of the Scandinavian Å have become a concern because of globalization, and particularly because of the popularization of the World Wide Web. This is to a large extent due to the fact that prior to the creation of IDNA system around 2005, internet domains containing Scandinavian letters were not recognized by the DNS system, and anyway do not feature on keyboards adapted for other languages. While it is recommended to keep the Å intact wherever possible, the next best thing is to use the older, double A spelling (e.g. "www.raade.com" instead of "www.råde.com"). This is because, as previously discussed, the Å/Aa indicates a separate sound. If the Å is represented as a common A without the overring (e.g. "www.rade.com") there is no indication that the A is supposed to represent another sound entirely. Even so, representing the Å as just an A is particularly common in Sweden, as compared to Norway and Denmark, because the spelling Aa has no traditional use there.


Because the Finnish alphabet is derived from the Swedish alphabet, Å is carried over, but it has no native Finnish use and is treated as in Swedish. Its usage is limited to names of Swedish, Danish or Norwegian origin. In Finland there are many Swedish-speaking as well as many Finnish-speaking people with Swedish surnames, and many Swedish surnames include Å. In addition, there are many geographical places in the Finnish coastal areas that have å in their names, such as Kråkö and Långnäs. The Finnish name for Å is ruotsalainen O ("Swedish O"), and is pronounced identically to O, which has the value [o̞].

It is not advised to substitute aa for å in Finnish, as aa is already a common letter combination with the value [ɑː].


In Emilian-Romagnol, å is used in words such as frått (fruit), brått (ugly), tåt (everything), såppa (soup), ståpid (stupid), dåppi (double). It is also used to represent the open-mid back unrounded vowel [ʌ], e.g. Modenese dialect åmm, dånna [ˈʌmː, ˈdʌnːa] "man, woman".

Walloon writing

Å was introduced to some eastern local variants of Walloon at the beginning of the 16th century and initially noted the same sound as in Danish. Its use quickly spread to all eastern dialects, but the cultural influence Liège and covered three sounds, a long open o, a long close o or a long a, depending on the local varieties. The use of a single å letter to cover such pronunciations has been embraced by the new pan-Walloon orthography, with one orthography for words regardless of the local phonetic variations. The Waloon use of Å became the most popular use outside a Scandinavian language, even being used in the International Phonetic Alphabet drafted by Otto Jespersen.

In standardized writings outside the Liège area, words containing å are written with uh, â or ô. For example, the word måjhon (house), in the standardized orthography is written môjo, mâhon, mohone, maujon in dialectal writings.


The Istro-Romanian alphabet is based on the standard Romanian alphabet with three additional letters used to mark sounds specific only to this language: å, ľ and ń.


Å and å are also used in the practical orthography of Chamorro, a language indigenous to the people of Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. The capital of Guam is also called "Hagåtña".

Symbol for ångström

The letter "Å" (U+00C5) is also used throughout the world as the international symbol for the non-SI unit ångström, a physical unit of length named after the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström. It is always upper case in this context (symbols for units named after persons are generally upper-case). The ångström is a unit of length equal to 10−10 m (one ten-billionth of a meter) or 0.1 nm.

Unicode also has encoded U+212B ANGSTROM SIGN. However, that is canonically equivalent to the ordinary letter Å. The duplicate encoding at U+212B is due to round-trip mapping compatibility with an East-Asian character encoding, but is otherwise not to be used.[3]

On computers

Illuminated keyboard 2
Danish keyboard with keys for Æ, Ø and Å.
On Norwegian keyboards the Æ and Ø trade places.
Character Å å
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 197 U+00C5 229 U+00E5 8491 U+212B
UTF-8 195 133 C3 85 195 165 C3 A5 226 132 171 E2 84 AB
Numeric character reference Å Å å å Å Å
Named character reference Å å
EBCDIC family 103 67 71 47
ISO 8859-1/9/10/13/14/15 197 C5 229 E5
alt code Alt+143 Alt+134
Mac keycode Option+⇧ Shift+a Option+a
TeX \AA \aa

Other uses

The logo of the Major League Baseball team now known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is a capital "A" with a halo. Due to the resemblance, Angels fans are known to stylize the name as "Ångels". The logo of the Stargate series similarly features a stylized A with a circle above it, making it resemble an Å as in Stargåte; in Norwegian, "gåte" means "riddle". Similarly, Cirque du Soleil's Koozå production also uses this character in its logo, although it is pronounced by the main singer as a regular "a".

British producer and singer Låpsley uses å in her stage name.

A related phenomenon is the metal umlaut, which unlike the previous examples is intentional use of diacritics.

See also


  1. ^ Pettersson (1996), p. 139
  2. ^ Orthography rules, §3.2 Archived 2010-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, sproget.dk (in Danish)
  3. ^ Gillam, Richard (2003). Unicode Demystified: A Practical Programmer's Guide to the Encoding Standard. Addison-Wesley Professional. p. 74. ISBN 9780201700527.


  • Pettersson, Gertrud (1996), Svenska språket under sjuhundra år: en historia om svenskan och dess utforskande, Lund: Studentlitteratur, ISBN 91-44-48221-3

External links

A with ring above (Cyrillic)

A with ring above (А̊ а̊; italics: А̊ а̊) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In all its forms it looks exactly like the Latin letter A with ring above (Å å Å å).

A with ring above is used only in the alphabet of the Selkup language where it represents the open-mid back rounded vowel /ɔ/ or the open back rounded vowel /ɒ/.

Allmänna Idrottsklubben

Allmänna Idrottsklubben (English: the public sports club), usually referred to as just AIK, is a professional sports club from Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 1891, at the downtown address of Biblioteksgatan 8 in the district of Norrmalm, the club is the largest in Scandinavia. The club's achievements include Swedish championship titles in a slew of sports: football, ice hockey, bandy, handball, floorball, bowling, badminton, athletics and many other sports as well as Wimbledon championships and French Open in tennis (through Sven Davidson, Lennart Bergelin and Ulf Schmidt).


The angstrom (, ; ANG-strəm, ANG-strum) or ångström is a unit of length equal to 10−10 m; that is, one ten-billionth of a metre, 0.1 nanometre, or 100 picometres. Its symbol is Å, a letter of the Swedish alphabet.

The angstrom is not a part of the SI system of units, but it can be considered part of the metric system. While deprecated by the IBWM and the NIST, the unit is still often used in the natural sciences and technology to express sizes of atoms, molecules, microscopic biological structures, and lengths of chemical bonds, arrangement of atoms in crystals, wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, and dimensions of integrated circuit parts. The atomic (covalent) radii of phosphorus, sulfur, and chlorine are about 1 angstrom, while that of hydrogen is about 0.5 angstrom. Visible light has wavelengths in the range of 4000–7000 Å.

The unit is named after the nineteenth-century Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström (Swedish: [²ɔŋːstrœm]). The IBWM and the NIST spell it as ångström; however, this spelling is rare in English texts and not even recorded in some popular US dictionaries. The symbol should always be "Å", no matter how the unit is spelled; but "A" may occur in less formal contexts or typographically limited media.


Avogadrite ((K,Cs)BF4) is a potassium-caesium tetrafluoroborate in the halide class. Avogadrite crystallizes in the orthorhombic system (space group Pnma) with cell parameters a 8.66 Å, b 5.48 Å and c Å 7.03.


Comblain-au-Pont is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Liège. As of 1 January 2006 Comblain-au-Pont had a total population of 5,372. The total area is 22.68 km² which gives a population density of 237 inhabitants per km². It is situated at the confluence of the rivers Amblève and Ourthe.

The municipality consists of the following sub-municipalities: Comblain-au-Pont proper and Poulseur.

European route E10

European route E 10 is the second shortest Class A road which is part of the International E-road network. It begins in Å, Norway and ends in Luleå, Sweden. The road is about 850 km (530 mi) in length. The Norwegian part of the road is also named Kong Olav Vs vei (King Olav V's road).

The road follows the route Å – Leknes – Svolvær – Gullesfjordbotn – Evenes – Bjerkvik – Kiruna – Töre – Luleå.

The entire road is paved and two-lane. It has a 90–100 km/h (56–62 mph) speed limit in Sweden, and is usually 7-8 meters wide, enough to make encounters between heavy vehicles trouble-free. In Norway the road is much more twisting than in Sweden, and around 6-7,5 m wide usually with a speed limit of 80 km/h (50 mph). New sections have been built 7.5 m (25 ft) wide the last 15 years, but there are several much narrower parts left. 6 m (20 ft) width makes encounters between heavy vehicles tight. The last 50 km near Å the road is mostly less than 6 m (20 ft) wide, often 5 m (16 ft). Buses and caravans should avoid driving here, but many of them do so anyway.

The name E 10 was given in 1992. Before 1985, E 10 was the name of the road Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam-Groningen. The road between Narvik and Kiruna was finished in 1984, before that, no road existed at all directly between the two cities; the only way to travel between them was by train (with passenger services only three times a day), or by a large detour through Finland. In 2007, the road near Lofoten was shortened by about 30 km, and the ferry-service was bypassed for E10, with the opening of Lofast, which is a new road between Fiskebøl and Gullesfjordbotn. At the end of 2007, the E 10 has 18 tunnels totalling 20.4 km (12.7 mi), all in Norway.

Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer

The Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) was a space telescope for ultraviolet astronomy, launched on June 7, 1992. With instruments for ultraviolet (UV) radiation between wavelengths of 7 and 76 nm, the EUVE was the first satellite mission especially for the short-wave ultraviolet range. The satellite compiled an all-sky survey of 801 astronomical targets before being decommissioned on January 31, 2001. It re-entered the atmosphere on January 30, 2002.

Ionic radius

Ionic radius, rion, is the radius of an atom's ion in ionic crystals structure. Although neither atoms nor ions have sharp boundaries, they are sometimes treated as if they were hard spheres with radii such that the sum of ionic radii of the cation and anion gives the distance between the ions in a crystal lattice. Ionic radii are typically given in units of either picometers (pm) or angstroms (Å), with 1 Å = 100 pm. Typical values range from 30 pm (0.3 Å) to over 200 pm (2 Å).

The concept can be extended to solvated ions in liquid solutions taking into consideration the solvation shell.

List of islands of Norway

This is a list of islands of Norway sorted by name. For a list sorted by area, see List of islands of Norway by area.

List of rivers of Denmark

Rivers of Denmark.



Odense River




Skjern Å


Esrum Å

Køge Å

Usserød Å

Vejle River (see Ravning Bridge)


In astronomy, metallicity is used to describe the abundance of elements present in an object that are heavier than hydrogen or helium. Most of the physical matter in the Universe is in the form of hydrogen and helium, so astronomers use the word "metals" as a convenient short term for "all elements except hydrogen and helium". This usage is distinct from the usual physical definition of a solid metal. For example, stars and nebulae with relatively high abundances of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and neon are called "metal-rich" in astrophysical terms, even though those elements are non-metals in chemistry.

The presence of heavier elements hails from stellar nucleosynthesis, the theory that the majority of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium in the Universe ("metals", hereafter) are formed in the cores of stars as they evolve. Over time, stellar winds and supernovae deposit the metals into the surrounding environment, enriching the interstellar medium and providing recycling materials for the birth of new stars. It follows that older generations of stars, which formed in the metal-poor early Universe, generally have lower metallicities than those of younger generations, which formed in a more metal-rich Universe.

Observed changes in the chemical abundances of different types of stars, based on the spectral peculiarities that were later attributed to metallicity, led astronomer Walter Baade in 1944 to propose the existence of two different populations of stars.

These became commonly known as Population I (metal-rich) and Population II (metal-poor) stars. A third stellar population was introduced in 1978, known as Population III stars. These extremely metal-poor stars were theorised to have been the "first-born" stars created in the Universe.


Mojibake (文字化け; IPA: [mod͡ʑibake]) is the garbled text that is the result of text being decoded using an unintended character encoding. The result is a systematic replacement of symbols with completely unrelated ones, often from a different writing system.

This display may include the generic replacement character ("�") in places where the binary representation is considered invalid. A replacement can also involve multiple consecutive symbols, as viewed in one encoding, when the same binary code constitutes one symbol in the other encoding. This is either because of differing constant length encoding (as in Asian 16-bit encodings vs European 8-bit encodings), or the use of variable length encodings (notably UTF-8 and UTF-16).

Failed rendering of glyphs due to either missing fonts or missing glyphs in a font is a different issue that is not to be confused with mojibake. Symptoms of this failed rendering include blocks with the code point displayed in hexadecimal or using the generic replacement character ("�"). Importantly, these replacements are valid and are the result of correct error handling by the software.

Molecular sieve

A molecular sieve is a material with pores (very small holes) of uniform size. These pore diameters are similar in size to small molecules, and thus large molecules cannot enter or be adsorbed, while smaller molecules can. As a mixture of molecules migrate through the stationary bed of porous, semi-solid substance referred to as a sieve (or matrix), the components of highest molecular weight (which are unable to pass into the molecular pores) leave the bed first, followed by successively smaller molecules. Some molecular sieves are used in chromatography, a separation technique that sorts molecules based on their size. Other molecular sieves are used as desiccants (some examples include activated charcoal and silica gel).The diameter of a molecular sieve is measured in ångströms (Å) or nanometres (nm). According to IUPAC notation, microporous materials have pore diameters of less than 2 nm (20 Å) and macroporous materials have pore diameters of greater than 50 nm (500 Å); the mesoporous category thus lies in the middle with pore diameters between 2 and 50 nm (20–500 Å).

Norwegian orthography

Norwegian orthography is the method of writing the Norwegian language, of which there are two written standards: Bokmål and Nynorsk. While Bokmål has for the most part derived its forms from the written Danish language or the common Danish-Norwegian speech, Nynorsk gets its orthographical standards from Aasen's reconstructed "base dialect", which are intended to represent the distinctive dialectical forms. Both standards use a 29-letter variant of the Latin alphabet.


Nynorsk (translates to New Norwegian) is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language, the other being Bokmål. Nynorsk was established in 1929 as one of two state sanctioned fusions of Ivar Aasen's standard Norwegian language (Landsmål) with the Dano-Norwegian written language (Riksmål), the other such fusion being called Bokmål. Nynorsk is a variation which is closer to Landsmål, whereas Bokmål is closer to Riksmål.

In local communities, one quarter of Norwegian municipalities have declared Nynorsk as their official language form, and these municipalities account for about 12% of the Norwegian population. Nynorsk is also being taught as a mandatory subject in both high school and elementary school for all Norwegians who don't have it as their own language form. Of the remaining municipalities that don't have Nynorsk as their official language form, half are neutral and half have adopted Bokmål as their official language form.Four of Norway's eighteen counties, Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and Møre og Romsdal, have Nynorsk as their official language form. These four together comprise the region of Western Norway.

Odense River

The Odense River (Danish: Odense Å) is a river located on the island of Funen, in central Denmark. It is about 60 kilometres (37 mi) long and is named after the Funish capital, Odense, which it passes through. Boats can be rented by the river, offering a scenic ride to Fruens Bøge. Excursion boats offer rides to Carlslund, with jazz music some Saturdays during the Summer.

During the Viking Age, the fortress Nonnebakken ensured its controller supremacy over the river.

Ring (diacritic)

A ring diacritic may appear above or below letters. It may be combined with some letters of the extended Latin alphabets in various contexts.


Yohkoh (ようこう, Sunbeam in Japanese), known before launch as Solar-A, was a Solar observatory spacecraft of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (Japan), in collaboration with space agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom. It was launched into Earth orbit on August 30, 1991 by the M-3S-5 rocket from Kagoshima Space Center. It took its first soft X-ray image on September 13, 1991 21:53:40, and movie representations of the X-ray corona over 1991-2001 are available at the Yohkoh Legacy site.

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