|Unicode name||LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S|
|Unicode block||Latin-1 Supplement|
ß (lower case, upper case ẞ)
- Eszett (“sz”), a German letter going back to a ligature of ſ (“s”) and z. It is sometimes called scharfes s (“sharp s”), and usually replaced by SS (or formerly SZ) in alphabetic ordering as well as capitalized spelling. (Sometimes the letter is used directly, either in its original lowercase form or, rarely, in the derived capital form.)
- In German orthography, ß is a letter of its own right, which is used instead of ss after long vowels and diphthongs. Thus „Masse“ (mass) is different in meaning and pronunciation from „Maße“ (measures). In alphabetical orders, the former would come directly before the latter. Both can be rendered MASSE in capitalization (whereby the distinction is then lost).
The above-mentioned rule for the use of ß and ss was fixed in a 1996 spelling reform. Before this reform ß also occurred, under certain circumstances, after short vowels. Therefore a rather large number of words that used to be spelt with ß, are now spelt with ss. The older spelling has become rare, but is still found in the products of a few (conservative) publishing houses.
German Sign Language
A variation of the sign for "S".
This one-handed GSL sign is produced as follows:
- Posture the dominant hand in the “S” shape, then move it downwards.
- the letter ß