A question about capitalization.

I don't know if this should be in here, but here's my question. I have seen a few old names that use a double lowercase f as being capitalized. What is the term for this style of usage? Is it a font? Of should I just consider it an old usage?


  • This is an interesting question @hwgood2003. I will see if I can find someone to help with your query. Could I check if you mean surnames here, rather than place names?

  • I am only familiar with it in surnames.

  • And when I've seen it done in what appeared to be proper form, it was a pair of quite old style fs. To be precise, Sterling E. Lanier wrote several short stories, compiled into two or more books, about one Brigadier ffellowes. Also, a 1980 film with Roger Moore had him portraying a character named ffolkes, which was the title of the flick here in the U.S.

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017

    According to Wikipedia, ffolkes is the spelling of one family. That's how Martin ffolkes spelled his name when he was created a baronet in 1774. His descendants have preserved the spelling.

    Wikipedia has entries for both Sterling E Lanier and his brigadier hero. The spelling used is Ffellowes. Amazon shows book titles and pictures of covers with the same capitalised spelling.

    I suspect the use of ff is just capricious. Somebody found it quaint, or was being bloody-minded. Either way, the intention was to look unusual. Just possibly the idea came from Welsh spelling, where single f is used to represent a V-sound, so double ff is used to represent an F-sound.

  • Thank you, David. Even though you've proven my memory faulty, as I would have sworn that Lanier's works were shown with the doubled small, and old style, f. So I'd guess it would be considered usage.

  • edited February 2018

    Thank you, David for your answer.

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