Mem

Mem
Phonemic representation m
Position in alphabet 13
Numerical value 40
Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician

Mem (also spelled Meem, Meme, or Mim) is the thirteenth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Mēm , Hebrew Mēm מ, Aramaic Mem , Syriac Mīm ܡܡ, and Arabic Mīm م. Its value is [m].

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Mu (Μ), Etruscan , Latin M, and Cyrillic М.

Origins

Mem is believed to derive from the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for water,

which had been simplified by the Phoenicians and named after their word for “water”, mem (), ultimately coming from Proto-Semitic *maʾ-/*may-.

Arabic mīm

The letter is named mīm, and is written in several ways depending on its position in the word:

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: م ـم ـمـ مـ

Some examples on its uses in Modern Standard Arabic:

Mīm is used in the creation of ism words (i.e. nouns and adjectives; they are treated fundamentally the same in Arabic grammar). Specifically, mīm is used in the creation of the masdar (verbal noun) of Stem III verbs (the masdar of verbs on the pattern fāʿala is mufāʿala), of subject and object nouns for verbs of Stems II-X (using the example of Stem II, subject nouns called fāʿil words because of their form in Stem I are mufaʿʿil, and object nouns called mafʿūl also because of their Stem I form take the form mufaʿʿal). Place-nouns are also created with mīm; the pattern mafʿal is used to create maktab "office" from the triliteral k-t-b (to write) and maṣnaʿ "factory" from ṣ-n-ʿ (to make).

Hebrew Mem

Orthographic variants of non-final form
Various print fonts Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
script
SerifSans-serifMonospaced
מ מ מ

Hebrew spelling: מֵם

Hebrew pronunciation

Mem represents a bilabial nasal [m].

Variations on written form/pronunciation

Orthographic variants of final form
Various Print Fonts Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
Script
SerifSans-serifMonospaced
ם ם ם

In Hebrew, Mem, like Kaph, Nun, Pe, and Tzadi, has a final form, used at the end of words: its shape changes from מ to ם.

Significance

In gematria, Mem represents the number 40 in both the Standard and Mispar Gadol Methods of Gematria; However, (mem sofit) final mem's value is 40 in the Standard Method and 600 in the Mispar Gadol method. The Standard Method adds the values of Tav and Resh (400+200) to denote the value of mem sofit.

In the Sefer Yetzirah, the letter Mem is King over Water, Formed Earth in the Universe, Cold in the Year, and the Belly in the Soul.

As an abbreviation, it stands for metre. In the Israeli army it can also stand for mefaked, commander. In Hebrew religious texts, it can stand for the name of God Makom, the Place.

Mem and Tarot

Mem is associated with The Hanged Man (Atu XII), the element of water and the path between Geburah and Hod on the Tree of Life.

Character encodings

Characterמםمܡ
Unicode nameHEBREW LETTER MEMHEBREW LETTER FINAL MEMARABIC LETTER MEEMSYRIAC LETTER MIMSAMARITAN LETTER MIMHEBREW LETTER WIDE FINAL MEMHEBREW LETTER MEM WITH DAGESH
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode1502U+05DE1501U+05DD1605U+06451825U+07212060U+080C64294U+FB2664318U+FB3E
UTF-8215 158D7 9E215 157D7 9D217 133D9 85220 161DC A1224 160 140E0 A0 8C239 172 166EF AC A6239 172 190EF AC BE
Numeric character referenceממםםممܡܡࠌࠌﬦﬦמּמּ
Character𐎎𐡌𐤌
Unicode nameUGARITIC LETTER MEMIMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER MEMPHOENICIAN LETTER MEM
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode66446U+1038E67660U+1084C67852U+1090C
UTF-8240 144 142 142F0 90 8E 8E240 144 161 140F0 90 A1 8C240 144 164 140F0 90 A4 8C
UTF-1655296 57230D800 DF8E55298 56396D802 DC4C55298 56588D802 DD0C
Numeric character reference𐎎𐎎𐡌𐡌𐤌𐤌

See also

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