The YMCA is now officially just “the Y.” But is Y a vowel or consonant?

The YMCA has announced its first branding change in 43 years. The organization will now be known officially as the Y.

This may seem a no-brainer to Americans who have casually referred to the Young Men’s Christian Association by its familiar abbreviation for generations. In fact, the Y has been the nickname of choice for the nonprofit for about a hundred years. Now, will the YMHA follow?

(By the way, the word nickname has nothing to do with a chap named Nick. The word originates with ekename, meaning “an additional name.”)

Y is the twenty-fifth and penultimate letter of the English alphabet. The late-developing letter is a semivowel, which is a speech sound of vowel quality used as a consonant. The letter represents a vowel in most languages that employ it.

The shape of the letter is distinguishable and represented in many objects. The Y gun is an anti-submarine gun with two firing arms. A Y junction occurs where a road forks into two branches. And of course, the Y-front, a proprietary term for underwear, sports distinct Y-shaped frontal seaming. It is unclear how humans with a Y-chromosome feel about these undergarments.

After the announcement of the name-change, the buzz quickly shifted to the Village People’s 1979 sing-along hit: “Y.M.C.A.” Would the song retain all four letters? To the delight of prom and bar mitzah attendees everywhere, the band assured fans that the song will stay the same.


The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) April 2, 1987 | Jane Fitz Simon, Globe Staff WASHINGTON – From his base camp in an office in the Capitol Hill section of Washington, Elgie Holstein works tirelessly for a revolution that has yet to occur. His weapons are facts and figures; the enemy is credit card interest rates.

For two months Holstein has lugged his oversized portfolio, full of charts and blowups of credit card applications, to Maryland, New York, Colorado, Illinois and New Jersey, where he has testified at legislative hearings on credit card issues. Often, he says, his voice is lost to smooth-talking bank lobbyists and legislators with unsympathetic ears.

But in dribs and drabs, the war being waged by Holstein and others like him is having an effect. Lawsuits have been filed against banks, legislatures are debating bills to limit interest charges and a handful of banks have actually reduced their rates.

Most important, the public is taking notice. Bankcard Holders of America, the nonprofit consumer organization that Holstein heads, is receiving a thousand requests a week for the lists it publishes and sells for a nominal fee on low-interest and no-fee bank cards.

Across the country, increasing numbers of consumers are shopping around, canceling their high-interest, high-fee cards, and applying for better deals. Just last week Richard A. Penn of Hyannis, a 27-year-old retail buyer, canceled his high-interest Citibank credit card.

To understand what the credit card fuss is all about, one need only look at the numbers. For five years interest rates on loans of all shapes and sizes have been tumbling — except on credit cards.

The disparity between the amount it costs banks to borrow money and the amount they charge customers to borrow it via credit card has become too glaring for the public to ignore, says Holstein. In 1986 banks paid an average of 5.5 percent to borrow from the Federal Reserve; they charged their credit card borrowers an average of 18.4 percent.

Appalled at what it describes as “a conscious attempt by major players in the industry to maintain excessive rates,” the Illinois Public Action Council last month joined with the Illinois state treasurer to ask US Attorney General Edwin Meese to launch an investigation into the credit card industry. see here dillards credit card

Other factors have combined to make credit cards a hot topic. Tax reform is phasing out the deductibility of credit card interest charges, a change that will make many consumers more sensitive to interest rates. At the same time, banks are making it easier than ever to borrow by offering credit-card cash advances and access to home equity lines of credit.

Televised shopping services magnify the convenience of making credit card purchases. And the Sears Discover card, launched last year, for the first time ties credit cards to savings accounts; at the end of each year, Discover card holders will have deposited directly to their Sears savings account a cash rebate based on the value of their Discover purchases.

Finally, American Express’ introduction last month of its Optima credit card, which charges only 13.5 percent, has fueled speculation that a rate war is bound to ensue. “The Optima card ushers in a Star Wars in the revolving credit business,” says John C. Pollock, editor in chief and publisher of the Bank Credit Card Observer of Kendall Park, N.J. Pollock predicts lower interest rates on bank cards by the end of the summer.

But Holstein isn’t so sure. He notes that the Optima card is available only to people who have had an American Express card for at least a year, thus posing no immediate competitive pressure to the major bank cards, MasterCard and Visa.

On one point, though, Pollock and Holstein agree: Optima is being marketed in such a way, and by a sufficiently strong company, to focus attention on credit card interest charges and fees as a competitive feature. And that, they say, is revolutionary. In the past, banks have competed against one another based on everything but interest rates.

In a speech last September in New York, John H. Bennett, senior vice president of marketing for Visa International, said of the average credit card holder: “Only 20 percent know what their correct annual fee or interest rate is. Almost all err on the low side, so the news there is don’t tell them about what is really going on.” Focusing on rates is the key to forcing them down, says Holstein. It is also what is causing people like Richard Penn to shop around.

For years Penn paid 19.8 percent on his Citibank credit card. He knew the rate was high, but like millions of others, he put off doing anything about it.

But a couple of events finally stirred Penn to act. One was tax reform. But the “final straw,” Penn says, was when he saw a list of the highest and lowest credit card interest rates in the country, and there was Citibank, sitting at the top.

“I said, ‘My god I have the worst interest rate in country. I have to be smarter than that,’ ” says Penn. “So I called Citibank and said, ‘Please cancel it.’ I figured if I canceled the card, it would force me to find a better rate.” Penn says he will apply for a credit card from People’s Bank of Connecticut in Bridgeport, which carries an 11.5 percent rate.

What will Penn gain by switching? Assuming he had a constant unpaid balance of $500, he would save $498 a year, paying interest charges of $690 to People’s instead of $1,188 to Citibank. {CORRECTION: Because of a reporting error, a story on credit cards in yesterday’s Money section contained incorrect interest-rate calculations. With a credit card bearing an 11.5 percent interest rate, a constant, unpaid balance of $500 would incur interest of $57.50. That compares with an interest charge of $99 on a card carrying a 19.8 percent rate. Thus, a consumer with the lower-rate card would save $41.50 annually.} Penn isn’t the only one shopping around. People’s Bank has been receiving from 3,000 to 5,000 calls a day from people interested in applying for credit cards there, says Carl Harris, first vice president and manager of its consumer credit department. “We positioned the card for people to whom interest rates are important,” says Harris. And, he adds, “We’re making money.” Procrastination may be a major reason people don’t change to low-interest cards, but it’s not the only one. The average American credit card holder has 2.5 bank credit cards, but, as the Visa executive observed, most people don’t know what rate they pay. Many still don’t realize that banks set their own credit card rates, and those who do know may be reluctant to apply for a low- interest card issued by a bank located far away.

Further dissuading consumers from switching is the fact that credit cards are confusing. There are hundreds to choose from, each with its own interest rate, optional services and fees, and grace period (the time a customer has to pay the bill before interest begins to accrue).

Credit card promotional materials don’t make the consumer’s task any easier. They tout travel and entertainment values, while relegating interest charges to small print on the back page — or nowhere at all. (Contrary to popular belief, banks are not required by federal law to print interest charges or annual fees in their promotional materials or applications.) Penn encountered some psychological warfare when he called Citibank to cancel his card. “The lady tried to talk me out of it,” says Penn. “She said others might have lower rates, but they charge bigger fees. And she pushed the Citidollar value.” (Citibank card users accumulate Citidollars that apply toward the purchase of goods.) But Penn held his ground: “I said, ‘Yes m’am, I’m aware of all that, but I’d still like to cancel.’ ” Such heroics make Elgie Holstein smile, but he shrugs off any claims of victory. “Until the big gang breaks ranks, we’re not going to see substantial relief or competition,” he says.

Holstein notes that almost none of the major banks have lowered their interest rates — and those banks issue 75 percent of all bank cards. Despite occasional bright spots, credit card interest rates on the whole have not declined. According to the Nilson Report, a newsletter for senior executives in the credit card industry, in 1986 the standard bank credit card, on a weighted average basis, charged 18.8 percent interest and an annual fee of $17.07. (A weighted average takes into account the fact that 10 million people may have a high-interest card, such as Citibank, while 100,000 may carry a different, low-interest card.) Skeptics say that even if the big banks are forced to drop their rates, either by competitive pressure or legislative muscle, they will compensate by raising their annual fees. And that will penalize the one-third of all consumers who pay their credit card bills in full every month. this web site dillards credit card

“Everyone will be agitating for lower rates and paying higher fees,” says David Robertson, vice president of marketing for the Nilson Report.

American Express’ Optima card provides an example of how a low-interest rate can be offset by high fees. While the card appears to be a bargain, charging interest of only 13.5 percent, customers must first have a regular American Express card, which costs $45 annually, and then pay $15 for the Optima card. The bargain credit card costs a whopping $60 a year.

SIDEBAR: LAWMAKERS TACKLE DISCLOSURE LAWS On display in the office of Bankcard Holders of America is a full-page advertisement for MasterCard and Visa credit cards from Citibank. Nowhere in the ad is there a word about the interest rate, annual fee or grace period.

Credit card issuers are not required to disclose the terms of their credit cards, either in advertisements or on applications. Only when a customer’s application is approved do the terms have to be revealed. That makes it extremely difficult for consumers to shop around, say consumer activists.

Disclosure is one of two issues under debate by state and federal politicians. The other is interest rates.

Of the two, disclosure laws have had easier sledding, according to Elgie Holstein, director of Bankcard Holders of America. When the subject turns to interest-rate ceilings, he explains, bank lobbyists come out in force, arguing vociferously against restrictions.

Politicians are approaching the interest-rate issue from two directions. Some legislators seek to put a firm cap on rates, such as the 15 percent cap passed last year in Connecticut. Others seek a variable ceiling and would tie Holstein favors the latter approach, believing that banks should not be put at risk should interest rates rise precipitously.

Last year 22 states considered credit card legislation and seven states actually passed laws, according to Holstein. In Rhode Island the interest rate ceiling was reduced from 21 percent to 18 percent, but in Massachusetts a bill that would have capped interest rates at 18 percent never made it out of committee. The subject is scheduled for debate in the House Banking Committee again next week.

On the federal level, the House Banking Committee last month approved a bill that would place a variable cap on credit card interest rates. The bill, introduced by Rep. Frank Annunzio (D-Ill.), would require that rates not exceed eight percentage points above the yield on one-year Treasury bills. In today’s market, the ceiling would be about 14 percent.

The Senate Banking Committee will begin holding hearings later this month on a number of bills that would require disclosure and/ or place ceilings on interest rates.

Holstein is skeptical that legislation will be enacted on a federal level. But, he adds, “If we continue through 1987 the way we did in 1986, with other rates down and credit cards remaining high, I think Congress will act.” {CORRECTION: Because of inaccurate information supplied to the Globe, the location and credit-card issuing policy of a bank on a list of low-interest credit-card issuers in Thursday’s Money section were incorrect. Charleston National Bank in Charleston, West Virginia, issues credit cards only within West Virginia. The correct location of another bank on the list, West Suburban Bank, is Bloomingdale, Ill.} JSIMON;03/27 NKELLY;04/02,15:14 CREDIT02 Jane Fitz Simon, Globe Staff


  1. Mikw -  December 1, 2016 - 6:58 pm

    The answer is both easy and difficult.

    The Oxford Dictionary calls it a semivowel, because sometimes it is a vowel and sometimes a consonant.

    I am from Germany, and there the “y” is rarely used, and the vowel use is the “ü” and consonant use the “j”. Very close to the English use btw.

    Same for the w, this is also a semivowel in English (in German clearly only a consonant).

  2. Sue Cohen Johnson -  November 3, 2015 - 12:08 am

    y is a vowel. If you use it and think of it as a vowel all the words still work, still sound right.

    • PieCatLady -  February 3, 2016 - 11:22 pm

      In words beginning with y – like “yes” or “yellow”- the letter has a “yuh” sound and is a consonant.

      • Cael -  March 25, 2016 - 12:24 pm

        And in words like rhythm, y is the only vowel, meaning it’s undoubtedly a vowel.

        • Hinotoumei -  April 6, 2016 - 7:44 am

          not necessarily ..as you can see thm represents the sound thim.. so placing the y in between the rh and t is debatably uncessary. argument based on whether or not language of origin is important in deciphering the opinion of the word…

          some would say its not, others would say it is.

          • Andy -  November 18, 2016 - 5:29 am

            How do you feel about the word ‘lynch’? Still no vowels? I’d say ‘lynch’ has the same amount of vowels as ‘lunch’. If u is a vowel, so is y.

        • Hinotoumei -  April 6, 2016 - 7:49 am

          in my opinion – rhythm arguably is has no vowels because it does not require them to associate pronounciation.. as is evidenced by the absence of an ending vowel “thm”..

          rh could just be pronounced by itself..and has no use for the y vowel at all..

          this is entirely based off language of origin , previous spellings and common practice of pronounciation..

          it could honestly go both ways here, but imo the y has no impact on the pronounciatio of the word, and is really only there becuase of its association with the word rhyme and how “rhythm” is branced off this word. also language used to be based off style and art a lot more than it is now..

          would rhthm really even look right? that also has a lot to do with how we spell. mind you, its not that big of a factor today as it used to be in old caligraphic based alphabets that were influenced heavily by scripting art and personal style..

          • Andross -  November 12, 2016 - 8:30 am

            I disagree, the ‘y’ is essential to the pronounciation of rhythm as it a clearly pronounced ‘I’ sound, and also breaks the word up to prevent it from becoming just one syllable.

            Furthermore, in every case where ‘y’ is used as a constenant the pronounciation is the same as it would be if replaced by a vowel. Consider ‘yes’; if you replace the ‘y’ with ‘I’ (‘ies’), assuming they were pronounced separately and not as a diphthong, the ‘ee’-'eh’ sound would eventually become corrupted to a sound identical to the constenant ‘y’.

      • Hinotoumei -  April 6, 2016 - 7:42 am

        the phrase sometimes y.. is in my opinion an overused incorrectness. it should be “most times y”..in fact outside abbreviations and some exceptional words we never even use..y is always a vowel..

        you are basing the fact that Y is a consonant off how it’s pronounced. IF i understand your logic correctly, vowels are only vowels because they sound the way they are written phonetically. Lets look at this flawed logic of yours.

        You – ..the word you sounds like the phonetic pronounciatoin of the letter you … the o is not even present phonetically speaking? does this make the y and the o not vowels?

        are – this sounds like the phonetic pronounciation of the letter r..why even have a and e there..they don’t do anything at all to associate phonetic meaning

        basing – the a sounds like its phonetic pronounciation..but the i sounds like a phonetic e…

        the – using your logic here, e is not a vowel becuase it has a harsh uh sound. might as well spell uh..

        Now let’s rewite what i said based on your pathetic, underbased argument.

        U R bayseeng thuh fakt…

        do you get it yet?

        phonetics is phonetics, it is how we pronounce a language that is written. Phonetics however does not impact the spelling of words, but rather associates the spelling with pronounciation..it is a bridge between paper and social interaction.

        a vowel is not a vowel because it has a hard pronounciation/annunciation , nor because it sounds like its phonetic meaning.

        consonants are blocks of letters that associate tone, meaning (based of language of refernce), emotion and the overall meaning of the word. they assist in phonetic pronounciation. vowels are links to allow proper pronounciation alongside the consonants..

        in summary, vowels are not vowels because they sound a certain way, they are vowels becauase they link consonants together and assist in pronounciation of a word where otherwise the word would be unpronouncable..


        Y is a vowel in the cases where it does this..
        but it is not a vowel in cases where it does not ..

        is in

        Y – Junction – consonant
        y- chromosome – consonant (abbreviations, acccronyms)


        rhythm – vowel or consonant (depending on how you want to view the language of origin as important or not in the phonetic transliteration)

        this post is already too long, and i am at work..

        • Neil -  August 31, 2016 - 6:13 am

          Apart from the fact that the tone of your response is rude, arrogant, and condescending, for someone who purports to be an expert on language, your use of punctuation, capitalisation, and grammar is appalling.

          And all that on the boss’s time…

          • Billy -  October 10, 2016 - 5:50 am

            I agree with you, Neil.

        • Albert Einstein -  October 10, 2016 - 5:46 am

          You don’t understand. You, are and the are all sight words. That means you can’t sound the letters out, but you have to remember them off by heart.

        • Albert Einstein -  October 10, 2016 - 5:48 am

          Sorry, I’m not talking about you, Neil. I’m talking about the person you’re talking about.

  3. Sue Cohen Johnson -  November 3, 2015 - 12:06 am

    ‘y’ means ‘and’ in Spanish, one of the most widely used words. Dude. The ‘Y’ and Y not. Doesn’t the YWCA still exist? Maybe the functions all got subsumed into the YMCA. I know I can go swim at the Y. Sue

  4. Sue Cohen Johnson -  November 2, 2015 - 10:13 pm

    ‘y’ in Spanish means ‘and’ in English, one of the most common words in a language. Dude.

  5. Rollicks -  October 8, 2015 - 1:32 am

    Why is H a consonant and not treated the same way as Y? H is a free flowing sound that requires no friction against the teeth, lips, palate or tongue. Also, if U is a vowel, how come W isn’t a vowel? W is twice the U that U is.

    • Max -  January 31, 2016 - 9:19 am

      A vowel is used when your mouth or teeth or tongue don’t move or close.

      • Basil -  April 2, 2016 - 12:16 am

        Try saying “ee-ess” and you’ll find
        the vowel generates the consonant feeling too. “y=ee” works!

        Latin and Greek had no “y” so used an initial “i” or “I” for the same effect; this transferred into English (the early versions of the King James Bible abt 1600AD paid political tribute to the monarch by including the “Epistle of Iames” which should have been called the “epistle of Iacobus”. “J” came later.

        (Actually follows from Hebrew “yud” which is one of the “matres lectionis” or mothers of learning. Hebrew alphabet has no vowels, but several letters like “yud” are used quite frequently for vowel purposes even though primarily consonants.

  6. Tiina -  September 10, 2015 - 7:34 am

    Sometimes my English-speaking friends ask me questions about the Finnish language. It’s always interesting trying to explain local pronunciation of the letter Y to Americans. To this day I haven’t come up with a single example of a word with the letter Y, in the way Scandinavians use it, that Americans would know. So I just tell them to go to a English-German dictionary that has pronunciation examples, type in the word Führer and listen to what the ü sounds like.

    • John -  January 5, 2016 - 9:17 am

      Sometimes that “y” in Finnish has been compared to “eu” in French.

  7. David H Myers -  April 17, 2015 - 7:57 am

    In Latin and South American Spanish (I don’t know about Spain), the letter Y is used only very rarely. I cannot, off the top of my head, think of a single Spanish word that has Y in it, The name of the letter Y is “i griega” or “y griega” (ee gree-ay’-gah), which means “Greek i” or Greek y”. In actuality, The letter Y is not necessary in Spanish, with the possible exception of writing words stolen from other languages. Even then it may not be necessary. Another example: The double L is pronounced much the same as the Y in English; sometimes its sound completely ‘disappears. For example, the word Tortilla is pronounced “Tor-tee’-ya.” In like form, when a Spanish word omits either the double L or the letter Y, you get the same sound, as in the word “He used to leave,” salía, “Sal-Lee’-(y)ah”. That’s the poop. I don’t have a conclusion, except to say that the K and the Y in Spanish may disappear over the next few centuries. The word “Kilómetro” “Kee-lo’-may-troh” is now more commonly spelled “Quilómetro,” which has the exact same sound. K can almost always be replaced by “qu”. The H in Spanish is silent. Many native speakers unknowingly omit the H from many words in the written language. The infinitive to talk to to speak, hablar (ah-blar’) is often (erroneously) written without the H. The H too may disappear from Spanish over time.
    Do you think that one day there will be single spelling for you’re and your? It’s and its? Do you think that there will be a single spelling for They’re, Their, and there? It’s easy really, Try this: “They’re going to their house because you are not there.” Wow, that was quite a stream of consciousness I poured out there. Pardon my rambling. I love words!
    Oh. In Spanish, Ch is a separate letter in the alphabet, so is LL, They also have ñ, which is pronounced ‘nya’ The double RR is also a separate letter. That makes 30 letters in their alphabet.

    • Carl Webster -  May 12, 2015 - 5:22 am

      Please avoid talking about things you have no idea about. There are many words in Spanish with a “Y” in them – “voy”, “estoy”, “vaya” and though in some parts of Latin America the sound is soft, in the River Plate it is pronounced, along with the double LL, quite close to the second G in “garage”.

    • Jorge -  August 4, 2015 - 10:09 am

      Forgot to say, that makes 27 letters in the Sapnish alphabet, not 30.
      Also, we consider “y” a letter and not a vowel.

      • Natalie -  October 1, 2015 - 9:09 pm

        Dude… all vowels ARE letters. Consonants and vowels are just labels for types of letters.

        Also, you misspelled Spanish.

        • PieCatLady -  February 3, 2016 - 10:05 pm

          Wow. Thought he’d created a new language, Sapnish…for saps (like himself).

          • PieCatLady -  February 3, 2016 - 10:29 pm

            Ouch. Very sorry, Jorge. A rotten egg = bad “yolk.” You, sir, are no sap and I shouldn’t have called you one..

    • Jorge -  October 27, 2015 - 10:29 am

      I hadn’t really read your post when I noticed Carl Webster’s answer: “Please avoid talking about things you have no idea about.” I thought he was being obnoxious. Then I did read yours, and I realized he was being polite. Because what you are is a hack and an ignoramus.

      1. “The letter Y is not necessary in Spanish, with the possible exception of writing words stolen from other languages”.
      Without the Y, Spanish speaking kings wouldn’t be able to lie in their beds right now.
      King = rey. To lie = yacer. Now = ya.

      Mexicans would not have a national holiday on 5 de Mayo. By the way, since May comes from the Latin Maius, I contend that it is the English who stole the word.

      Y already had its place in the Spanish alphabet half a millennium ago. My city was founded by Don Pedro de Mendoza in 1536 as Ciudad de Santa María de los Buenos Ayres. It was abandoned, and then founded a second time by Don Juan de Garay in 1580. Ayres is now formally spelled Aires, but unofficially still used with a “Y”. The Garay surname is still the same and not alone. And even before that, circa 1157, the Poema de Almería makes reference to Ruy Díaz, a.k.a. El Cid Campeador.

      Without Y, we Argentines wouldn’t have yerba mate, our national infussion. And then we have cayado (staff), mayonesa (no need to translate – and yes, it comes from Spain, not France), yerro (mistake), yerra (cattle branding), leyenda (legend), mayor (greater than, or major as in the military), vaya and yendo (conjugations of the irregular verb “ir”, to go), baya (berry), inyección (injection), payaso (clown), rayo (ray, lighting), boya (buoy), ley (law), playa (beach), yegua (mare), yema (yolk), ayuno (fast), yeso (plaster), joya (jewel), abyecto (abject), ensayo (essay), yugular (jugular), hoy (today), ayer (yesterday), yeyuno (part of the small intestine), buey (ox), caray (darn), cuyo (whose), hoyo (hole), ahuyentar (to scare away), aleluya (halleluja), Alcoy (city in Alicante, Spain), alcoyano (from Alcoy), ayudar (to help), ay (ouch), ayuntamiento (city hall), yunta (couple), yámbico (iambic), yermo (wasteland), yerno (son-in-law), yesca (tinder), fray (friar), muy (very).

      But the absolute absurdity of your assertion is easily proved by two of the most common words of the Spanish language:
      The first personal pronoun “I” is, in Spanish, “yo”. And the conjunction particle “and” is “y”.

      So, with the Y, “yo” puedo decir que sos un mentiroso “y” un asno pomposo, that is, “I” can say that you are a liar “and” a pompous ass.

      Both K and Y are inherited from the Greek – kappa and ypsilon – so they can be considered intral part of Spanish. The only borrowed letter is the W.

      Oh, and it is “written words”, not “writing words”. Of course, it is possible that English is not your first language (Spanish most surely is not). I can sympathize since English is my third, after French and before German.

      2. “In like form, when a Spanish word omits either the double L or the letter Y, you get the same sound, as in the word “He used to leave,” salía, “Sal-Lee’-(y)ah” ”

      “Salía” is the “pretérito imperfecto” (non-existent tense in English, something like “imperfect past”), third person singular, of the verb “salir” (to go out). There is no “omission” of LL or Y because both are absent in the root form. The sound of LI (lee) is completely different from LL, as is NI (nee) from Ñ. I have never heard anyone pronounce LL as LI, and people pronouncing Ñ as NI, are considered uncultured and the sound is grating for most.

      So, no (y) in “sah-’lee-ah”. No “sal-lee” either, i.e., no juxtaposed l-l sound. And there you have another, “yuxtapuestos”.

      3. “The word “Kilómetro” “Kee-lo’-may-troh” is now more commonly spelled “Quilómetro”. ”

      Sure, why not. Probably in the fantasy land inside you head.

      “Kilo” is a Greek prefix meaning “a thousand” and is used internationally. As it is a universal prefix for unit of measure, most countries respect this spelling.

      Though “quilómetro” can still be found in the dictionary of the Real Academia Española, the entry refers us to “kilómetro”. And the Academy says the spelling with “qu” has fallen out of use and must be avoided.

      The Portugese language spells it quilômetro (Brazil) or quilómetro (Portugal). Galician and Catalan also use “qu” but they are not (yet) national languages. Italian spells it with “ch”.

      But in Spanish it is “kilómetro”. So, you are talking out of your a. Which probably explains your expression “That’s the poop.”

      4. “Many native speakers unknowingly omit the H from many words in the written language. The infinitive to talk to to speak, hablar (ah-blar’) is often (erroneously) written without the H.”

      Only people with bad spelling miss the Hs.

      And no, “hablar” is not often written without an H. Of course, given your utter ignorance of the Spanish language, it could very well be that your sources are as muddled as your observations.

      Case in point, “to talk to to speak” doesn’t go to prove your fluency in any language.

      5. “In Spanish, Ch is a separate letter in the alphabet, so is LL, [...] The double RR is also a separate letter. That makes 30 letters in their alphabet. ”

      No, no, and no. No and no. And, then again, no. Six errors in three short sentences. Must be some kind of record, but by now who is counting? OK, maybe I am.

      In 1994, the X Congress of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, decided to adopt the universal Latin alphabetical order, excluding from the alphabet the signs “CH” and “LL” since they are not letters but digraphs, i.e. two letters representing one phoneme. The sounds still exist, but the digraphs are not alphabetized separately. They go in the proper order under the c and l respectively.

      So. “CH” is not separate. One. “LL” is not separate. Two. Neither is a letter. Three. Double “R” is not and never has been included in the alphabet. Four. A double “RR” is an “RRRR”. Five. 27 letters in our alphabet, not 30 – sure, a derivative error, but still an error. Six.

      In conclusion, I don’t believe there is currently in the world a language with enough vocabulary to properly describe how utterly full of crap you are, and we would probably need a new alphabet as well.

      Mr. Carl Webster, my most sincere apologies.

      • SeekingAnswers -  November 23, 2015 - 12:46 pm

        Wow…The response is almost as painful as the original post. Although, correct, even erudite, but a bit rude, yeah?

      • PieCatLady -  February 3, 2016 - 10:59 pm

        Four years of Spanish in high school. Won’t say how many years ago, but it was many many. Back then rr was taught as a letter, along with ch, ll, and n with tilde. Maybe the guy used an old textbook.

      • WildTchoupitoulas -  May 20, 2016 - 12:00 pm

        “By the way, since May comes from the Latin Maius, I contend that it is the English who stole the word.”

        “Both K and Y are inherited from the Greek – kappa and ypsilon – so they can be considered intral part of Spanish. The only borrowed letter is the W.”

        I find it interesting how English ‘steals’ words, while Spanish ‘inherits’ and ‘borrows’ letters. When can we expect Spanish to return the ‘W’?

      • Peter Schildhause -  September 19, 2016 - 10:59 am

        Wow. Fabulous and erudite response. Y qué!

  8. Joel -  February 1, 2015 - 2:08 pm

    Is “y” a vowel for consonant? When I was in school the vowels were “a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y’ and that was how we considered it.

    • Ference -  September 22, 2015 - 2:50 am

      In Hungarian the vowel is called magan-hangzo”, meaning that the letter does NOT need additional letter added to in the pronunciation. The Consonant is called “massal-hangzo”, meanng that it needs additional letter to pronounce it. Example: B (pronounced Be). The Y in Hungarian is called Ipszilon, therfore in Hungarian it is a Consonant. Just as in English, pronounced WHY.

      • Ference -  September 22, 2015 - 3:10 am

        By the way the Hungarian alphabet consists of 40 letters. They are really SOUNDS. One of the “letter” is dzs, and there is only one word that has it in. The word is LANDZSA, still it is considered a letter. One more thing, there are 14 Vowels. (a, a’, e, e’ i, i’,O, O’, oe, OE’ U, U’, UE, UE’.

      • PieCatLady -  February 3, 2016 - 11:40 pm

        Four years of Spanish in high school. Won’t say how many years ago, but it was many many. Back then rr was taught as a letter, along with ch, ll, and n with tilde. Maybe the guy used an old textbook.

        Correctly pronounced, the name of the letter “Y” is not exactly the same as the word “why.” They sound very similar, but “wh” represents a stronger blowing sound. At least, it’s supposed to. “Y” do some people use “y” for “why” ?? Sloppy English speaking.

    • Natalie -  October 1, 2015 - 9:14 pm

      It literally says right up there that y is a semivowel. Did you bother to read the article or did you just go straight to the comments?

      • J -  October 10, 2015 - 10:55 am

        You sure do like starting fights in the comments section of DICTIONARY.COM, chill out, Natalie.

  9. Joey Butler -  November 19, 2014 - 9:21 am

    I am a 62 year old white American male who grew up and was educated in the US public school system in the 1950s and 60s. I graduated in 1970. I know that when I was in elementary school, the blackboard had the letters of the alphabet over it in both capital and small case as a learning aid for us. I would swear that following the letters M and m came ‘Mc.’ This would have made a 27th letter to the alphabet that we learned. Am I dreaming or was that Mc there? Thanks so much!

    • Margaret -  December 23, 2014 - 7:37 pm

      Hey, I’m only in my thirties, and I can remember the same; I think it was mostly to help understand that Mc words were in a class of their own, though now I think that they simply alphabetize them in with all the other M words now. I don’t think it was ever intended to be used as a 27th letter, just as a help to kids just learning to alphabetize.

      • J.P -  March 5, 2016 - 12:36 am

        I think that they simply alphabetize them –
        That’s another example of change of the use of letters ‘s’ & ‘z’ Here in Australia we follow the English spelling and would spell that as alphabetise. Same as realise, computerise etc

    • Will -  December 29, 2014 - 12:13 am

      Hi, maybe what you were being taught would help you look up names in the telephone directory, where the McCain, McQueen, McWilliams, MacDonald, MacWhinney, names had to be put in order?

    • Kathy Robertson -  January 3, 2015 - 12:12 am

      I believe the Mc was there because there were so many surnames from Scotland, and it made for easier filing and so on.

    • Lucky Arevalo -  August 20, 2015 - 6:20 am

      I believe that the “Mc” is not part of the alphabet because it is only used for names. Also, they “you’re and your” should be changed to “UR”, mostly for texting purposes. But, I do like the compounding of English words.

  10. mcclaine -  October 13, 2014 - 5:33 pm

    y is u stupid?

  11. Elizabeth -  January 21, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    To people still confused as to whether “y” is a vowel or a consonant, the question IS answered. The article explains: “The late-developing letter is a semivowel, which is a speech sound of vowel quality used as a consonant. The letter represents a vowel in most languages that employ it.” When not employed in words like “sky,” it is the “ee” sound spoken very quickly before another vowel. The letter “w” is similar, but with the “oo” sound, which is why in Welsh, you have words like Annwn, where the “w” actually IS pronounced “oo.”

    • Tracy -  January 22, 2016 - 3:30 am

      Huh? the “ee” sound spoken very quickly BEFORE another vowel. What about “Tracy”? The “y” in that word is not BEFORE another vowel because there is not another vowel or even letter after it and it has the “ee” sound. So I’m still confused. Do you know if this “y” is a vowel or consonant?

      • Karen Kilworth -  December 5, 2016 - 9:43 am

        In English, all words and all syllables have a vowel (with the exception of rhythm). Therefore y is a vowel in Tracy

  12. Brian Davidson -  October 21, 2013 - 4:19 am

    If the word “Christian” was so evil, why not change it to “Community”? And should ‘Muslim” also be removed from everything?

    “Y”? Why?

  13. Bodil40 -  October 1, 2013 - 7:03 am


  14. Bodil40 -  October 1, 2013 - 7:02 am

    Sky we don’t need to be talking about butter here (triple).

  15. Ethoslab -  October 1, 2013 - 7:01 am

    I think that this is a very interesting topic…I shall explore it further…

  16. Ethoslab -  October 1, 2013 - 6:59 am

    Ok Psj.

  17. Paulsoaresjr. -  October 1, 2013 - 6:59 am

    Guys, we don’t need to be talking about gold…lets talk about Minecrack…

  18. STBUDDER -  October 1, 2013 - 6:57 am


  19. heidi -  August 9, 2013 - 4:40 pm

    Because “Y” is a letter and you should know better

  20. mey-nuhs -  July 19, 2013 - 9:41 am

    This originates from some advertising think tank back in the `90s to make “old fashioned” brand names into a youthful image for advertising purposes. That’s why we have KFC instead of Kentucky Fried Chicken, who had taken the same action as the “Y”. This trend is still around as older businesses try to appeal to a younger marketing group both in name and advertising,

    • cblee -  December 8, 2014 - 11:40 am

      When Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC it was not due to an advertising decision. When the secret recipe wa purchased from the Colonel’s family the buyers failed to make sure they had the name included in the contract. After some legal wrangling, KFC was the upshot. At least that’s what I heard at the time.

    • wtwalker -  December 23, 2014 - 2:19 am

      I was in advertising during the time Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC, and I heard three reasons for the change. Yes, the trend of appealing to a younger market was certainly part of it. But mostly, it was because health foods were becoming popular and the word “fried” was a branding taboo. The change was to disquise the word “Fried.” As for the name being overlooked during the corporation’s sale, I also heard this a few times, and yes, it could very well be true. Or, maybe it was just a disguise to disguise the disguising of the word “Fried.” Advertising is a very abstract world.

  21. SkythekidRS -  April 29, 2013 - 7:00 am

    People abbreviate butter by calling it gold.

  22. acoot123 -  December 29, 2012 - 7:48 pm

    Wtf. Does anyone care that this article didn’t answer the question. I hit a link saying “Y, is it a vowel or consonant” and it has one sentence on it. The rest is shit about YMCA that no one cars.

  23. katy -  November 14, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    ive always called it “the Y” without even thinking. and its the only letter of YMCA that applies to me, ignoring the “A” for association. Im not a man or Christian. im an atheist girl.
    not that any of this matters, its just a random comment. but thats what all of the previous comments are, so whoop-de-doo.

    • two\shoes -  January 9, 2015 - 10:01 am

      since I am a girl I always had it in my mind that there was aYWCA.

      • Jimigan -  January 25, 2015 - 6:42 am

        Yes two\shoes, there was (or there is) a YWCA, but poor lil Katy didn’t know that, did she?

        Anyways, the institution wasn’t also even meant to be exclusive (or exclusivist) as it is known to offer it’s lodging services to anyone who wants to avail of it. The service used to be free, including food (that’s what I heard in the 70s) in exchange for a few minutes of your time to hear the gospel, with no strings attached.

        Now it charges for the lodgings but for a very minimal and affordable rate just so in order to maintain the facilities and raise funds for it’s utilities.

        • T Johns -  September 30, 2015 - 3:43 pm

          its – it’s is a contraction for it is

    • T Johns -  September 30, 2015 - 3:44 pm

      I think ur doing it wrong

  24. Me -  August 6, 2012 - 3:41 am

    Y was this so interesting?

  25. God of Biscuits -  July 15, 2012 - 1:30 am

    The Dutch influence on American English is highly overlooked.

    The Dutch often use “i” and “j” together as a vowel sound that’s similar to a long “i” sound.

    e.g., “bij” sounds like “by” and means “at”

    try writing “ij” in cursive and leave off dotting both letters.

    I’m not saying that’s where it comes from, but it’s a damed fine coincidence.

    As for the “Y” vs “YMCA”? Ferchrissakes, everything gets shortened over time. That’s how language works. Or haven’t you been to a KFC lately? Or have the PC “liberals” won in getting “chicken”, “kentucky” and “fried” banned from the “civic forum” as well?

    • Julian -  January 9, 2016 - 8:41 am

      “Bij” doesn’t exactly sound like “by”, though, there is a difference; if you were to say “by” instead of “bij”, you’d immediately be caught as being English or American (:
      IJ is often written as one character, so one could argue the Dutch alphabet has 27 letters, woop woop.

  26. j -  April 5, 2012 - 8:31 pm

    They just had to use the word penultimate didn’t they.

    • Jimigan -  January 25, 2015 - 7:06 am

      Yup. It’s a tacit requirement for every scholarly essays or theses to include words that only high brow, highly educated academicians could decipher sans lexicon, in order to earn points for one’s effort and earn subtle recognition for one’s scholarly abilities and the ubiquitous command of English worthy of both Cambridge and Oxford.

      • One who understands Higher English -  May 11, 2015 - 5:41 pm

        TRANSLATION: Yes. It’s important for a person’s report or idea to have big words that nobody can understand (except the person it’s for), so that the writer gets bonus points and respect for sounding like a college professor.

        (P.S. : You said “…every scholarly essays or theses…” I CAN SMELL THE FALSEHOOD! The correct way to write it would be “…every scholarly essay or thesis…”)

  27. S. -  March 3, 2012 - 9:35 am

    Yeah, but is Y a consonant or vowel?!

    • Rogan -  September 25, 2014 - 10:12 am

      The late-developing letter is a semivowel, which is a speech sound of vowel quality used as a consonant. The letter represents a vowel in most languages that employ it.

      The answer was in the article

    • Sunshine -  July 20, 2015 - 11:25 am

      It is a semivowel, and is used as both a consonant and a vowel; sometimes it is used as a consonant, sometimes it is used as a vowel, so I guess it could be considered either.

  28. Briana -  October 19, 2011 - 4:38 pm

    It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.!

    Sorry. Had to be done.

  29. EMichael Pearl -  October 19, 2011 - 10:46 am

    Why doesn’t your site pronounce aloud ekename?

    • Morena Thabo -  February 1, 2015 - 9:50 am

      “a nickname” was originallly “an ekename”, but the “n” became part of the noun. In reverse, “a napron” (think of “napery” – tablecloths, napkins) became “an apron”.

      • spotted reptile -  July 7, 2015 - 2:24 am

        Or an orange (originally a narange) which I think is Spanish.

  30. Heather Schaub -  October 19, 2011 - 7:09 am

    YMCA . . . I’ve always referred to it as the Y. Joseph Peterson is right though. It is a Vowel. And if people don’t understand what you’re talking about when you say the “Y”, It’s a simple matter of explaining it. It shouldn’t matter what is easier to say, it’s what’s easier to understand. It doesn’t matter what we call it either. It is and always will be the YMCA. (Thanks for that btw who ever gave that comment)

  31. crackhead -  October 19, 2011 - 4:18 am

    >:O YMCA is a Question as in Why MCA not YGCA “G” as in Gay Christian Associations. for all memebers are Gays lol.

  32. Mr Cronk -  October 18, 2011 - 6:59 pm

    Ah! The site fooled me! I thought me post didn’t go through the first time.

  33. Mr Cronk -  October 18, 2011 - 6:57 pm

    “magic texta on July 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm
    Full support of Abigail and PJ! To all the rest of youse, try celebrating mas. KNow what that means??? It’s celebrating CHRISTmas and forgeting why your doing so. Isn’t it strange that so many do celebrate Christ at the end of the year if they don’t believe in Him!!”

    While It dissapoints me that Xmas has become so commercialized along with just about every other holiday why should you have to be Christian to celebrate good will and generocity? I just wish more people would celebrate these qualities year round.

    I think It’s funny that the Catholic church chose December 25th in order to placate convertants who were used to having a holiday at that time. Did you know that Yule was a pagan holiday celebrating the passing of the winter solstice and the lengthening of daylight. Many scholars belive that Jesus wasn’t born in December and was actually born sometime around September.

  34. Mr Cronk -  October 18, 2011 - 6:45 pm

    magic texta on July 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm
    Full support of Abigail and PJ! To all the rest of youse, try celebrating mas. KNow what that means??? It’s celebrating CHRISTmas and forgeting why your doing so. Isn’t it strange that so many do celebrate Christ at the end of the year if they don’t believe in Him!!

    While I feel that Xmas has been overcommercialized why do you have to be Christian to celebrate good will and generosity. I just wish people would celebrate them year round.
    I think it’s funny that the Catholic church chose December 25th in order to placate the convertants who were used to having a holiday at that time. Did you know that Yule(Yule Log, Yuletide carols, etc.) was a pagan hollidy celebrating the passing of the winter solstice and the lengthening of daylight? Many scholars belive that Jesus wasn’t even born in December but would have actually been born sometime around September.

    • Woodstrider -  March 21, 2015 - 12:43 am

      Jesus was born in the spring, during blaming season because that’s the time of year shepards were ‘watching their flocks by night’ to help deliver and protect these helpless lambs.

  35. Mr Cronk -  October 18, 2011 - 6:14 pm

    Nicky on July 13, 2010 at 1:08 am
    What about Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)?

    Thats the YW.

  36. Joey Mundain -  October 18, 2011 - 6:03 pm

    riddle me this:

    this article tells us nothing about y a y is a y.


    DEADMAU5 rules the world. “Moar Ghosts n stuff” by DEADMAU5.
    the official fight son for the sons of anarchy.


  37. Joseph Peterson -  September 30, 2011 - 4:47 pm

    and by the way, this article is NOT about the Y, it is simply a clever intro and conclusion

  38. Joseph Peterson -  September 30, 2011 - 4:36 pm

    Ok. the letter Y is DEFINITELY a vowel. here’s why:

    The letter Y can be pronounced three ways, “ee”, “i”, and “I” (the last being a long vowel sound).
    When the letter Y appears to be a consonant, it is being pronounced as “ee”
    The word “yes” was used an example in a different comment, so lets use it again.
    Try saying this: ee-es
    Now speed up
    It should sound like: yes
    Problem solved

    • Tracy -  January 22, 2016 - 3:36 am

      No it does not. it just sounds like you’re saying the letter e and then the letter s. yes sounds more like (yeh-ss) the throat closes a bit on the y

  39. frank -  September 30, 2011 - 7:16 am

    The organization has been referred to as “The Y” colloquially since the 50′s, so they’ve re-branded to make it official. How many people even know what “YMCA” stands for? I was in my 20′s before I know, but had known about “The Y” for as long as I can remember.

    I guess there is really no limit to the places that Christians will see persecution. Just because your savior spent his days on the cross, doesn’t mean you all have to.

  40. .... -  September 7, 2011 - 3:59 pm

    .It is and forever shall be the YMCA so who gives a toss?

  41. Sassy -  September 2, 2011 - 9:38 pm

    My apologies to you all for my lack of careful proof reading of my comment just sent. In the first line, it should have read, “Carol, your” and not “Carol you”. Also, in my copy, in the fifth line I accidentally wrote, “an short “I” ” and it should have been a short “I”. Did I say retired teacher? Even teachers are human and make mistakes. I used to give my students extra points or privileges if they could find errors I made and POLITELY brought them to my attention. Many times I would make mistakes on purpose to see if they could catch them. This proved to be a good way to get them to pay attention and also helped teach them to use the proper kind of language with a particular audience.

    • aussieVic0 -  July 14, 2015 - 1:36 pm

      And “without malice”, I believe that within the last sentence a part of it written as ” teach them the proper kind of language” should be ” teach them the correct language “,
      – do I get extra points (or privileges) here? LOL

  42. Sassy -  September 2, 2011 - 9:26 pm

    Carol you question of May 27 about Y being a vowel or a consonant … I am a retired teacher and have had good luck with this. The ‘Y” is a consonant when it comes at the beginning of a base word such as yak, yell, yes, yep, yap, young, yodel. When it comes in the middle of a word it can take the place of an short “I” sound as in mystic, or at the ends of words can take the place of long “I” sound as in cry, sty, spry, or take the place of the long “E” sound as in puppy, scary, starry, baby, etc. When a “Y” is written and replaces the other vowels or the sounds they make, then the “Y” is recognized as a vowel and not a consonant. In my teaching experience, that is how and why children should be taught that the vowels are A – E – I -O – U and Sometimes Y. The English language is difficult to learn and for many remains a “MYSTERY” .. H-m-m-m-m In the word “mystery” (and I’m sure many others) the “Y” is representing two different vowels the short sound of “I” and the long sound of “E”.

    • Tracy -  January 22, 2016 - 3:42 am

      Thank you so much Sassy. Very thorough answer. Now I completely understand :)

    • Tracy -  January 22, 2016 - 3:46 am

      Thank you. Very thorough answer that has given me the completely understanding I was looking for.

    • Tracy -  January 22, 2016 - 3:48 am

      Hah. My page just refreshed and now it shows that my initial reply did go through. Sorry for two replies that meant basically the same thing.

    • Basil -  April 2, 2016 - 12:57 am

      “MYSTERY” comes from Greek-as-transliterated-into-English “MUSTERION”. Drop the “ON” and you would have “MUSTERI” as in sloppy shortcut pronunciation which has had enormous impact on English words over centuries.

      English usually replaces a terminal “i” with a “y”, I suppose to make it clearer that the word ends there while an “i” suggests there’s another letter or more to come. Or that the word is carried over from, e.g., Latin masculine plural noun being used in English.

      “y” is a regular transliteration of the Greek “upsilon”, although sometimes an “i” is used.

  43. Carol -  May 27, 2011 - 1:51 pm

    I just have one question and it really is simple but I can’t seem to get the answer.

    Why and when was “Y” dropped as a vowel?

    When I was teaching I had this problem with my childern that they were taught in school that “Y” and when I tought them that it is a vowel they could spell so much better.

    That is why children have a problem with spelling and that is just not fair to the children.

    Like the program Wheel of Fortune they don’t use “Y” as a vowel and that is just not right.

    • Basil -  April 2, 2016 - 1:23 am

      Be fair to the children – teach them a bit of history and etymology, give them a sense of perspective. If you can teach them dinosaurs in pre-grade school and say that our current animals derived from them, you can surely teach them that there were ancient languages from which our current languages developed. Stir up that spirit of enquiry!

  44. Tom Seleck's Ulcer -  April 19, 2011 - 9:41 am

    It’s scary, NOT FUN, to stay there…unless you like weird, pedophile homeless men.

  45. K -  February 17, 2011 - 9:13 pm

    why is everyone getting so worked up over The Y. It’s been being called that for more than a while now so it’s just simpler. Also, so what if it stands for Young and older people go there as well? It was the same when it was called the YMCA and other people visited it as well…

  46. Aubrey -  February 4, 2011 - 4:35 pm

    Live and let live: ”y” is the question and that is the problem! We; as in us: are indeed the same word in a 3rd point of view, not to be confused with the original idea, followed by1st or 2nd perspectives! “y” is an inevitable mistake brought to us by honesty and made as an alternative for a better lack of who misunderstands. Thus distorts the will to understand, lessoning our potential to be right, empowering the luxury of being wrong; change them(all)(or)change(nothing) enabeling even flow of balance (and or)the forces of gravity. I personally believe in baseing from an origional idea: the moment before strike when you have full potential and power of time; not to get confused with timeless! ANYTHING worth doing, is worth doing well: misunderstand well and throw pennies for others! I trust myself enough to know I wasnt born with a manual because I do my best to hold onto things i was given for life, but i cannot trust myself to recreate the guide i do not know or see! So in all, don’t (not never) fear the that the real idea has changed its just dressed in a different color today as in now! time is the essence of value, spending it well, if at all, makes it priceless and high quality. a person of quality is not threatened by equality. give it up and will come back to you! what goes up must come down, and in this universe we remain in the center of the ups and downs of the yinyan. I know its black and white, but i can see the grey area, and that lense came to me by inception. I cant wait until we all get the grey area, that my friend i think may be the promise land. STUDY the definition of gravity and practice it, there is no higher power when it comes to others we can only seek in within ourselves and throw pennies for others. No letters for me, its just another equation to math- its all too relative to question so “y” ask!?

  47. mike -  February 3, 2011 - 8:41 pm

    Modern branding is about universal recognition, symbol`s that are instantly understood. Just recently Starbuck`s has dropped it`s letters and is now just the green stamp they hope to be synonymous with their coffee in foreign markets.

  48. noman -  October 12, 2010 - 1:31 pm

    All in favor of “Y” being a vowel say “I”

  49. Jonel -  July 21, 2010 - 2:13 pm

    What a change!!! but this is very informative. Been reading articles while in the office:)

  50. Word Bird « Negative Horizon -  July 19, 2010 - 5:32 am

    [...] interesting things about words and the English language. A good post on there talks about the letter Y. Basically, it explains that Y is a semi-vowel. People ask me all the time because I’m an [...]

  51. mike c -  July 14, 2010 - 1:43 pm

    I am a Catholic, and I generally resist the liberal instinct to remove God from civic affairs. I simply do not see this one removal as an example of same. Young people aren’t complaining. Men aren’t complaining. Christians who are complaining might consider complaining about other things, or perhaps to stop complaining altogether.

  52. wILLIam -  July 14, 2010 - 8:32 am

    Hogenmogen… good one hahaha funny! dat really wazn’t bad. i thought they would have made more of a fuss over it!


  53. mcp.isabel -  July 14, 2010 - 4:05 am

    Do not mix up LETTERS and PHONEMES. the latter is an acustic element whereas the first is the graphic representation of the phoneme. They don’t always go hand in hand, and the English language (and, for instance, Portuguese) is a good example of that. A consonant is a consonant is a consonant is a consonant… A semi-vowel is a semi-vowel is a semi-vowel…

  54. LT -  July 13, 2010 - 6:44 pm

    Y not we would say, on the road, back in the day. — And now it’s a theme for a cruise ship. — Like doing and screwing and whacking and Jewing. — We’re writing so this is no tongue slip. — It’s back to the Y and it’s an answer we sigh. — A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y — we remember. — That’s what they taught us in Catholic Grade School. — It’s all Alphabet Soup and Dumpster Stew with a group — but change is because of the song. — YMCA — YWCA — It’s the SEX thing that made it all wrong. — To divide it in pieces between nephews and nieces — though we found a shower for a buck all along. — When we were homeless — In LA it was cold — when nada was sold and to get clean was the answer for Y.–>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme

  55. abbreviationalist-er-tizer -  July 13, 2010 - 4:44 pm

    Why change the Y’s name to the Y? NO like.
    Then you can’t abbreviate it.

    The “Y” – It’s where we all came from. Yum.
    Most guys spend a lot of their lives trying to get back in there.

    And why is abbreviation such a long word?

    We should abbreviate everything we can. Git ‘er DONE!
    ILBCNU L8r. IMPN now. UC? RUOK widat?

    BTW – Can I come see the muslims w/o their muslins? Just curious.

  56. Dan Murphy -  July 13, 2010 - 3:32 pm

    People, as an employee of the “Y,” here’s the deal: Yes, it’s a marketing change AND yes, it was done to avoid religious bias. For example, we host a group of Muslim women every Sunday morning before the facility opens to our members so they can swim without men around (otherwise, they would have to be fully clothed). That’s not a slight against Christianity; that’s called respecting other people’s beliefs, a measure of tolerance and a promotion of diversity that has been at the core of the Y’s mission for over a century.

  57. magic texta -  July 13, 2010 - 12:35 pm

    Full support of Abigail and PJ! To all the rest of youse, try celebrating mas. KNow what that means??? It’s celebrating CHRISTmas and forgeting why your doing so. Isn’t it strange that so many do celebrate Christ at the end of the year if they don’t believe in Him!!

  58. Abigail -  July 13, 2010 - 11:57 am

    Bubba Bob,

    I chuckled at some of the entries that were submitted; even yours (some believe and tremble (Demons), still it doesn’t change who they are; however you do know what they say about “HE” who laughs last…

  59. Big Alvin -  July 13, 2010 - 11:47 am

    So, in the case of “Euclid was a quite bright fellow”, either the “E” or the “u” would be considered a consonant, just as the “y” in “You” is considered a consonant? a,e,i,o,u and always y. Or at least, a, sometimes e,i,o, sometimes u and sometimes y. I’m eager to learn, so please give me any insight you can.

  60. RunnySpoon -  July 13, 2010 - 11:34 am

    Does this mean that it’s now an acronym instead of an abreviation?

  61. Victor -  July 13, 2010 - 11:15 am

    Of course, God should be erased from our lives already. But still renaming is wrong. It, together with most of the comments here, just shows the lack of respect to our history, and a wide acceptance of the society without roots. Just like ugly mutilations of English for the sake of “non-sexist” and otherwise PC language.

  62. costanalyzer -  July 13, 2010 - 10:55 am

    A lot of things can go into re-branding….and that’s what changing “Y.M.C.A.” to “Y” — and one of those considerations is cost. Believe it or not, when an organization produces millions of imprints a year — letterhead, brochures, marketing materials, member agreements, IDs, etc, etc, etc., they look at the cost of inking four letters and four dots versus one letter.

  63. bubba bob -  July 13, 2010 - 10:35 am

    Dear Abbie(Gail), Since when have Christians had a monopoly on ‘GOD’?
    I’m a card carrying HEATHAN and still believe in “GOD’, mine is just more fun than yours.

  64. PJ -  July 13, 2010 - 10:31 am

    I care! Take “Christian” out of the name, and deny an awesome Jesus who is Holy and deserves YOUR and MY honoring.

  65. Abigail -  July 13, 2010 - 9:38 am

    It speaks to the condition of today’s society and how the US keeps trying to separate itself from Christianity. The very thing that this nation was founded upon. I really hope that we don’t end up as a nation that totally forgets about God in our every effort to try and erase Him from our lives. One day we’re going to realize how lost we are without Him.

  66. Bat-Mite -  July 13, 2010 - 9:16 am

    It all seems rather simple to me. The old name is no longer relevant. Rather than change the name to something unfamiliar, and thus create confusion, they are making the most common nickname the proper name. It no longer stands for YMCA, or for “Young”, it is simply, “The Y,” and everyone knows what that means.

    The Balitmore Gas and Electric Company did the same thing some years ago. Everyone already referred to it as “BG&E.” But they were growing beyond Baltimore into the rest of MD and parts of nearby states. So “Baltimore” no longer worked as a name. But they didn’t want to change it to something heretofore unknown or unrecognizable. So they changed their name to “BGE.” It does not stand for “Baltimore Gas Electric” or anything else. It’s just BGE.

  67. eagleguy06 -  July 13, 2010 - 9:14 am

    They may have just offically changed it, but it has been referred to as the Y for quite some time.

  68. Cheri -  July 13, 2010 - 8:22 am

    Why would they change the name to the “Y”? Because that’s how members have referred to them for years. Because they can. Because Young Mens Christian Association is grossly outdated, no longer true, and maybe even sexist. Because…WHO CARES?!! Why would anyone question it.

  69. JayBo -  July 13, 2010 - 8:16 am

    Sebastian got it right … it’s all about political correctness. We’ve probably all heard it called the ‘Y’ as long as we can remember, but it’s still the YMCA. Want a branding? A anchor or recognition? Does it get any more ‘branded’ than YMCA? A sad commentary once again on ‘agenda’.

    Jen – u r funny ‘M’ or ‘S’. HA!

    Phoneomes – cool – thx, Blog Addict.

  70. stormcat -  July 13, 2010 - 8:06 am

    A wholesaler for Mortgage Corp. of America (the investment known as MCA) used the YMCA song in his presentation with the punchline to the shout YMCA: Y not!
    This company cost investors millions!!! P.S. This is only my second post but will be my last if you delete it without any feedback as you did the first.

  71. J -  July 13, 2010 - 7:52 am

    To the earlier question –

    The YWCA is not the same as the YMCA, and they did not combine. Here is the YWCA’s mission:

    The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating
    racism, empowering women and
    promoting peace, justice, freedom
    and dignity for all.

    Throughout their history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women.

    Visit http://www.ywca.org!

  72. Jesus Christ -  July 13, 2010 - 7:04 am


    For the last time, gay does not equal pedophile. We’ve been over this, pal.
    I’m cool with it.


  73. DC -  July 13, 2010 - 6:38 am

    Jack: You worked real hard to get that out of the song’s lyrics, or… do you know from experience that… “It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.”?

  74. Jen -  July 13, 2010 - 6:20 am

    So “Y” stands for the Young?

    Maybe there should also be an “M” for the Middle Age and an “S” for the Seniors?

  75. keithtx -  July 13, 2010 - 6:16 am

    our company recently changed the logo. something to distinguish the firm. a quick search revealed several other companies with almost exactly the same design. and for this they paid 6 figures. ha. so it will always be ymca to me.

  76. Hogenmogen -  July 13, 2010 - 6:13 am

    I’m going to call the USofA “The U”. Anyone got problems wit dat?

  77. jack -  July 13, 2010 - 6:00 am

    I for one am grateful that they have taken the Christian out of their name since there has been nothing Christian about them for many years. The Y has been known as a trolling place for pedophiles for a long time. That’s what that disgusting song by the village sodomites is all about.

  78. wILLIam -  July 13, 2010 - 5:53 am

    they dont even have a YCMA in Young, NSW!!!!! better do someting about it I think!

  79. Mr. X -  July 13, 2010 - 5:43 am

    i think it would be better to retain the name YMCA because we’re used to it..

  80. picca -  July 13, 2010 - 5:33 am

    What happened or is happening to YW(omen’s)CA?

  81. joey -  July 13, 2010 - 5:08 am

    Y YMCA? It’s fresh it’s new and it’s done it’s job cause it’s sucked you all in…..and you’ll tell your friend who’ll tell their Granny who’ll tell ………………………………………

  82. livian -  July 13, 2010 - 4:59 am

    Actually, I believe it was a smart move for another reason – it’s now also more inclusive of the women’s version – YWCA. I attend the YMCA in my town, Syracuse, and it’s fantastic – having “men” in the title really doesn’t make sense – as it’s open to all genders, and religions.

  83. BARBARA -  July 13, 2010 - 4:56 am


  84. Jane -  July 13, 2010 - 4:51 am

    What about the YWCA?

  85. bubba bob -  July 13, 2010 - 4:33 am

    Gee,a seventy-five percent saving on sign space and lettering costs makes cents. Y not? I had never of Y.M.H.A. though, and hoped that it stood for ‘young mens HEATHAN association’. My Wrong! – I was thinking to join…

  86. Alan Turner -  July 13, 2010 - 4:15 am

    ” Is there any where I can stay in town?”
    ” Yes, you can stay at the ‘Y’ ”
    ” The ‘Y’ what’s that?”
    ” Why it’s the YMCA ”
    ” Well why didn’t you say that in the first place?”


  87. Nicky -  July 13, 2010 - 1:08 am

    What about Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)?

  88. asif -  July 13, 2010 - 12:41 am

    It sounds good ‘Y’ indicates only for youngsters
    nothing for christians, muslims, or hindus
    jus for young people.

  89. Cate -  July 13, 2010 - 12:29 am

    My town has a gym in it run by the YMCA, and it’s always been refered to as ‘the Y’, as in “I’m going to the Y for an hour or so”. The even use it in their own promotional material sometimes. This appears to be the company responding to the public’s perception of themselves, and perhaps moving away from any religious connotations. Nothing to get up in arms about!

  90. Char -  July 13, 2010 - 12:20 am

    The Y? Yeah, y not? I mean, don’t we say The Y anywho?
    I’m fine with it.

  91. sebastian -  July 12, 2010 - 11:58 pm

    There was never a problem with people remembering four letters in a row – certainly not after that song was released. It has been shortened to remove the Christian reference (Young Men’s Christian Association). Renamed for the sake of political correctness.

  92. Bob -  July 12, 2010 - 11:40 pm

    Confusing. Change it back this instant.

  93. Joshua -  July 12, 2010 - 11:35 pm

    Axiluvia’s comment is correct but, in addition, the YMCA is, and for many, many years has been, very inclusive and, too, during that time, has not considered itself an extension of the Church. Thus, the word “Christian” in its unabbreviated name, with a corresponding “C” in the abbreviated version thereof, is not appropriate now, though, at the organization’s inception, it probably was.

  94. y -  July 12, 2010 - 10:55 pm

    Its a ridiculous abbreviation of already an abbrevation YMCA & it doesn’t make any sense at all

  95. Mormon Kid -  July 12, 2010 - 10:31 pm

    In Mormon circles, and in Utah, “The Y” refers to BYU (Brigham Young University), so this name change will be even more confusing.

  96. I. Partha Saradhi -  July 12, 2010 - 9:52 pm

    The abbreviation YMCA is so well known, we surely could take quite sometime
    to get adjusted to the new way the YMCA is referred to.

  97. DARAN -  July 12, 2010 - 9:39 pm

    does not look and sound like a name

  98. blog addict -  July 12, 2010 - 9:39 pm

    It is my understanding the “vowel” and “consonant” actually refer to phonemes and not letters. It’s easy to get confused about this, because letters represent a limited set of phonemes, and tend to remain within the same category. “Y” represents two different types of phonemes depending on the word. In “yes”, it’s a consonant. In “why”, it’s a vowel.

  99. Seejay -  July 12, 2010 - 9:10 pm

    So… Now it’s just for “Y”oung? That makes even less sense. Come forth and exercise and mingle, and what not, all you “youngs.”

  100. Piscene -  July 12, 2010 - 9:08 pm

    The Village People must be gutted.

  101. Axiluvia -  July 12, 2010 - 8:49 pm

    Also because YMCA isn’t just for young male Christians anymore?

  102. magic texta -  July 12, 2010 - 8:48 pm

    @…: Is it? Y?

  103. Cil -  July 12, 2010 - 8:47 pm

    All four consonants? A is a vowel.

  104. ... -  July 12, 2010 - 8:17 pm

    @. : its easier to say & quicker

  105. . -  July 12, 2010 - 7:48 pm

    why would they change the name to ‘Y’?


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