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In the Cyrillic numeral system, Fita has a value of 9.
In traditional (Church Slavonic) fonts, the central line is typically about twice the width of letter's body and has serifs similar to ones on the letter T: . Sometimes the line is drawn as low as the baseline which makes the letter almost identical to Д and may cause reading difficulties.
In modern-style (Petrine or civil) fonts, depending on the typeface, the center line may be either straight or waving, matching the center line of "Э" (thus, the sample shape provided in the Unicode chart is wrong.) In regular text fonts, both ends of the line touch the "O". Stylish fonts may use a shorter line, either placed entirely inside the "O" (a standard shape for Greek uppercase Theta) or touching the circle at one point.
Old Russian and Church Slavonic
The traditional Russian name of the letter is фита́ fita (or, in pre-1918 spelling, ѳита́). Fita was mainly used to write proper names and loanwords derived from or via Greek. Russians pronounced these names with the sound /f/ instead of /θ/ (like the pronunciation of ⟨th⟩ in "thin"), for example "Theodore" was pronounced as "Feodor" (now "Fyodor").
Early texts in Russian (and in the Russian recension of Church Slavonic) demonstrate an increasing interchangeability of Ѳ and Ф. Some scribes preferred one of the two letters and ignored the other. There existed an orthographical system to write Ѳ in an initial position and Ф elsewhere. Since the middle of the 17th century, selection between Ѳ and Ф was re-adjusted to exactly follow the Greek origin, the system still in use in Church Slavonic orthography.
In the first variant of the Petrine Russian alphabet (1707–1708), the letter Ф was eliminated and Fita became the only way to represent /f/. Later (1710) the letter Ф (with the same etymological rule of spelling Ѳ and Ф) was restored and both letters co-existed until the 1918 spelling reform, when Fita was eliminated and replaced by the letter Ef (Ф ф).
Note that many Greek words with Theta were adopted in Russian with Te (Т т) instead of Fita (mostly through Latin or other Western European languages): театръ (theatre), теорема (theorem), атлетъ (athlete), пантера (panther), фталевый (phthalic), etc. Sometimes dual spelling/pronunciation existed: аѳеизмъ/атеизмъ (atheism), алгориѳмъ/алгоритмъ (algorithm), каѳолическій/католическій (Catholic), etc.; the variants with Fita (in modern spelling with Ф) are typically more archaic or special.
In other languages which use the Cyrillic alphabet, Fita was pronounced /t/ and was replaced with Te (Т т). For example, the Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian version of Theodore is Тодор Todor or Теодор Teodor.
Called thita, ⟨Ѳ⟩ is part of the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet, which was used until about 1860.
Fita is used in the Cyrillic version of the Aleut alphabet, typically in loanwords.
Related letters and other similar characters
- Θ θ/ϑ : Greek letter Theta
- Ө ө : Cyrillic letter Barred O, currently used in the Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tuvan, and Mongolian languages
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER FITA||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER FITA|
|UTF-8||209 178||D1 B2||209 179||D1 B3|
|Numeric character reference||Ѳ||Ѳ||ѳ||ѳ|