J particle See: Psi particle.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Jasmine to K
Jívaro, South American tribe inhabiting the lower Andes mountains in eastern Ecuador and Peru.
Jasmine, or jessamine, vine or shrub (genus Jasminum) with yellow or white star-shaped flowers, noted for their fine scent.
Jason, Greek mythological hero.
Jasper, opaque, compact, fine-grained variety of quartz used in jewelry and interior decoration.
Jasper National Park, park in the Canadian Rockies of western Alberta, established 1907.
Jaspers, Karl (1883–1969), German philosopher noted for his steadfast opposition to Nazism and his acute yet controversial analyses of German society.
Jaundice, abnormal yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes caused by excess bilirubin, normally removed by the liver and excreted as bile, in the blood.
Java, island in southeastern Asia, part of the Republic of Indonesia, about 600 mi by 120 mi and bounded on the south and southwest by the Indian Ocean. Java accommodates nearly two-thirds of the population of Indonesia, together with the capital, Djakarta. Other important cities include Bandung, Surabaja, and Medan. Java is traversed from east to west by a chain of volcanic mountains, the highest…
Java man, early human species.
Javelin, spear made from lightweight metal or wood with a sharp pointed tip.
Javelina See: Peccary.
Jay, brightly colored, noisy bird of the crow family.
Jay, John (1745–1829), U.S. lawyer, first chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Jay Treaty, agreement between the United States and Britain negotiated by John Jay, 1794, to settle conflicts arising out of violations of the 1783 Treaty of Paris and to regulate trade and navigation in the Atlantic.
Jazz, unique form of American music. A piece of jazz music begins with a melody and a harmonic scheme, on which the players improvise variations, typically using syncopated rhythms. The word “jazz” may derive from a slang word describing a swaying kind of walk, or it may come from the French word jaser, to gossip. The origins of jazz are found in the work songs, laments, and spiritua…
Jazz Age See: Roaring Twenties.
Jean Baptiste de la Salle, Saint (1651–1719), French Roman Catholic priest canonized in 1900.
Jeanne d'Arc See: Joan of Arc, Saint.
Jeanneret-Gris, Charles Édouard See: Le Corbusier.
Jeddah See: Jidda.
Jeep, 4-wheel-drive vehicle used for navigating rough terrain.
Jeffers, Robinson (1887–1962), U.S. poet.
Jefferson City (pop. 33,619), capital of Missouri and seat of Cole County.
Jefferson, Joseph (1829–1905), U.S. actor best known for his portrayal of Rip van Winkle, a role he created in London in 1865 and played for the rest of his life.
Jefferson Memorial, monument in Washington, D.C., dedicated in 1943 to the memory of Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson, State of, proposed state in the Texas Panhandle, in the northwestern part of Texas.
Jefferson Territory, area comprising what is now the state of Colorado and parts of Utah, Nebraska, and Kansas.
Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826), third president of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was highly accomplished in many fields—politics, diplomacy, science, architecture, education, farming, and music, to name only a few. He was a brilliant writer and a philosopher of democracy—on behalf of the American cause in the Revolution and…
Jeffersonian democracy See: Jefferson, Thomas.
Jeffersonville (pop. 21,220), city in southern Indiana, on the Ohio River across from Louisville, Ky.
Jeffries, James Jackson (1875–1953), U.S. heavyweight boxer who won the championship from Bob Fitzsimmons in 1899.
Jehoiakim, king of Judah (r.c.608–598 B.C.).
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah (r.c.873–849 B.C.).
Jehovah, variant of the name of God in the Old Testament.
Jehovah's Witnesses, international religious movement founded in 1872 by Charles Taze Russell in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Jehu, king of Israel (r. c.842–815 B.C.).
Jellicoe, Sir John (1859–1935), British admiral of the fleet (1919), commander of the British grand fleet at the battle of Jutland (1916).
Jellyfish, familiar name for the free-swimming stage of various invertebrate animals of the phylum Cnidaria.
Jenghis Khan See: Genghis Khan.
Jenkins, Charles Francis (1867–1934), U.S. inventor.
Jenkins, Roy Harris (1920– ), British political leader.
Jenne, or Djenné, city in southern Mali.
Jenner, Edward (1749–1823), English physician, pioneer of vaccination.
Jenner, Sir William (1815–98), Victorian-era British physician.
Jenney, William Le Baron (1832–1907), U.S. architect and designer of the Home Insurance company in Chicago.
Jenson, Nicolas (1415?–80), 15th-century French printer who designed several important typefaces still in common use today.
Jerboa, any of various small desert-living rodent (family Dipodidac) with long tails and long hind legs.
Jeremiah, book of the Old Testament, 24th in the Authorized Version, second of the Major Prophets.
Jericho (pop. 5,300), ancient village in Palestine, north of the Dead Sea.
Jeroboam, 2 kings of ancient Israel.
Jerome, Jerome Klapka (1859–1927), English humorist and playwright, who wrote the classic comic novel Three Men in a Boat (1889), a work cherished for its broad humor and sentimentality.
Jerome, Saint (Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus; c. 340–420), biblical scholar, one of the first theologians to be called a Doctor of the Church.
Jersey, largest and southernmost of the British Channel Islands.
Jersey City (pop. 224,400), city in northeastern New Jersey, seat of Hudson County.
Jersey Lily See: Langtry, Lillie.
Jerusalem (pop. 544,200), capital (since 1980) and largest city of Israel.
Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), North American flowering plant closely related to wild sunflowers.
Jessamine See: Gelsemium.
Jesuits, name given to members of the Society of Jesus, an order of Roman Catholic priests and brothers dedicated to foreign missions, education, and studies in the humanities and sciences.
The main source for information about the life and teachings of Jesus are the 4 Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—and the epistles of the New Testament. From the numerous details given there, it is possible to form a vivid picture of Jesus. These details are given with an intention expressly stated by John: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, …
Jet, form of lignite coal valued for its gem-like properties.
Jet airplane See: Airplane; Aviation.
Jet engine See: Jet propulsion.
Jet lag See: Biological clock.
Jet propulsion, propulsion of a vehicle by reaction to the rapid expulsion of a gas backward.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, research facility in Pasadena, Calif.
Jet stream, narrow bands of fast easterly-flowing winds, stronger in winter than in summer, found at altitudes of 7 to 8 mi (11–13 km).
Jetty, man-made pier designed to aid in navigation.
Jew's-harp, or jaw's harp, musical instrument that produces a resonant sound.
Jewel Cave National Monument, national monument in western South Dakota that preserves an extensive complex of interconnected limestone caverns in the Black Hills and contains one of the longest underground cave systems in the U.S.
Jewelry, ornaments worn by people to enhance their physical appearance, to display wealth, or to follow custom.
Jewett, Sarah One (1849–1909), U.S. author.
Jewfish (Epinephelus itajara), large game fish of the sea bass family.
Jewish community centers (JCC's), centralized facilities offering social functions for Jews.
Jewish feasts See: Judaism.
Jews, followers of Judaism, a group held together by a shared religion and a common history and culture more than 3,000 years old. Jewish history begins with the patriarchs: Abraham, his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob (also named Israel). Abraham led his family from Mesopotamia to Canaan (Palestine). The children of Israel (Joseph and his brothers, the sons of Jacob) migrated to Egypt, where a …
Jiang Qing, or Chiang Ch'ing (1914–91), Chinese Communist leader; widow of Mao Zedong.
Jicama, yam bean, or Mexican turnip, vine belonging to the pea family, native to parts of Latin American and Asia.
Jidda, or Jiddah (pop. 1,500,000), city in western Saudi Arabia, situated on the Red Sea.
Jigger See: Chigger.
Jim Crow, name for a system of laws and customs in the southern United States to segregate African Americans from white society.
Jiménez de Quesada, Gonzalo (1500?–79?), Spanish conquistador who claimed the area around Colombia for Spain as New Granada.
Jiménez, Juan Ramón (1881–1958), Spanish poet.
Jimmu Tenno, mythical Japanese military and political leader.
Jimsonweed, or thorn apple, low shrubby plant (Datura stramonium) with thick leaves and white trumpet-shaped flowers.
Jinnah, Muhammad Ali (1876–1948), Indian Muslim lawyer and political leader, founder of Pakistan.
Jinrikisha, or ricksha, 2-wheeled passenger vehicle pulled manually.
Jiulong See: Kowloon.
Jiva See: Jainism.
Joan of Arc, Saint (1412?–31), French heroine of the Hundred Years War.
Job, Book of, book of the Old Testament, 18th in the Authoized Version.
Job's Daughters, international order affiliated with the Masons.
Jobs, Steven Paul (1955– ), U.S. computer designer and businessman, founder with Stephen Wozniak of Apple Computer, Inc. (1976).
Jodl, Alfred (1890–1946), German-Nazi officer, chief of operations in World War II.
Jodrell Bank Observatory, or Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories, English space tracking station and research facility, located near Manchester.
Joel, Book of, book of the Old Testament, 29th in the Authorized Version, second of the Minor Prophets.
Joey See: Kangaroo.
Joffre, Joseph Jacques Césaire (1852–1931), commander-in-chief of the French army (1914–16).
Joffrey, Robert (1930–88), U.S. dancer and choreographer.
Jogues, Saint Isaac (1607–46), 17th-century French Jesuit missionary.
Johanan Ben Zakkai (d. c.80), Jewish Pharisee who, after the destruction of the Temple by Rome in A.D. 70, founded the academy at Jabneh (Yibna), thus ensuring the survival of Judaism.
Johannesburg (pop. 704,000), city in northeastern South Africa.
Johanson, Donald Carl (1943– ), U.S. anthropologist.
John, name of 22 popes and 2 antipopes. Saint John I (d.526), pope (523–26), was sent to Constantinople by Theodoric, the Ostrogoth king, to win toleration for Arianism from the emperor; Theodoric imprisoned him when he failed. John VII (d.882), who reigned from 872 to 882, sought political power for the papacy. He attempted (and failed) to keep the Muslims out of Italy and was forced to pa…
John (1167–1216), king of England, from 1199 to his death.
John of Austria (1547–78), Spanish military commander, illegitimate son of Emperor Charles V.
John the Baptist, Saint (d. c.A.D. 30), Jewish prophet, son of Zacharias and Elizabeth, who was a relative of Mary.
John Birch Society, U.S. anti-Communist organization.
John Bull, personification of the typical Englishman, created by John Arbuthnot (1667–1735) in a series of pamphlets (1712) satirizing Whig policy.
John Chrysostom, Saint See: Chrysostom, Saint John.
John of the Cross, Saint (1542–91), Spanish poet and mystic, founder of a reformed Carmelite order.
John of Damascus, Saint (c.675–c.749), Orthodox Syrian theological writer and antagonist of iconoclasm.
John, Epistles of, three New Testament epistles (23rd–25th) ascribed to St.
John the Evangelist, Saint See: John, Saint.
John of Gaunt (1340–99), duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III of England.
John, Gospel of See: Gospel.
John Henry See: Henry, John.
John III Sobieski (1624–96), late-17th-century king of Poland.
John of Leiden (c. 1509–36), Dutch innkeeper who became leader of the Anabaptists in Munster and in 1534 set up a brutally corrupt theocracy, the Kingdom of Zion, with himself as “king,” in which private ownership was abolished.
John Paul I (Albino Luciani; 1912–78), pope (1978).
John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla; 1920– ), first non-Italian pope elected in 450 years (1978).
John, Saint, one of the Twelve Disciples, (called the Evangelist, the Divine, and the Beloved Disciple), son of Zebedee and brother of St.
John VI (1769–1826), early-19th-century king of Portugal.
Johns, Jasper (1930– ), U.S. artist.
Johnson, Andrew (1808–75), 17th president of the United States. Johnson was the only U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The difficulties of Reconstruction demanded an outstanding president, but Johnson—an accidental chief executive facing a hostile Congress—was temperamentally unsuited for the office. Poverty kept Johnson from receiving any formal …
Johnson, Charles Spurgeon (1893–1956), U.S. educator, sociologist, and first black president of Fisk University (1946–56).
Johnson, Earvin See: Johnson, Magic.
Johnson, Hiram Warren (1866–1945), U.S. statesman.
Johnson, Jack (1878–1946), U.S. boxer, first African American to win the world heavy weight championship (1908).
Johnson, James Weldon (1871–1938), U.S. author and political leader.
Johnson, John Harold (1918– ), U.S. publisher of black-interest magazines such as Negro Digest, Ebony, and Jet.
Johnson, Lyndon Baines (1908–73), 36th president of the United States. Johnson became chief executive upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, then was elected to a full term by an unprecedented majority. His 5 years in office were marked by far-reaching liberal legislation, but also by mounting domestic unrest and massive escalation of the U.S. war in Vietnam. After graduating …
Johnson, Magic (Earvin Johnson, Jr.; 1959– ), U.S. professional basketball player.
Johnson, Philip Cortelyou (1906– ), U.S. architect and historian.
Johnson, Richard Mentor (1780–1850), ninth vice president of the United States.
Johnson, Samuel (1709–84), English author, one of the major poets, critics, conversationalists, and lexicographers of his time. He wrote for various London magazines beginning in 1737, publishing the poem London (1738), which inaugurated his fame. From 1746 to 1755 he prepared his pioneering Dictionary of the English Language (1755). The moral romance Rassalas (1759) followed, and then the …
Johnson, Sir William (1715–74), British superintendent of Indian affairs in North America (1755–74).
Johnson Space Center, formerly the Manned Spacecraft Center renamed in 1973 after former President Lyndon Johnson's death.
Johnson, Walter (1887–1946), U.S. baseball player.
Johnston, Albert Sydney (1803–62), brilliant Confederate general, secretary of war for the Texas Republic (1838–40).
Johnston, Joseph Eggleston (1807–91), Confederate general, credited with the victory at Bull Run in 1861.
Johnstown (pop. 241,247), city in southwestern Pennsylvania, in the heart of a rich coal belt on the Conemaugh River.
Joint, in anatomy, junction or union between two or more bones, especially one in which bones move.
Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. agency within the Dept. of Defense, meant to advise the president and secretary of defense on military matters.
Joint-stock company, forerunner of the modern corporation, a form of business association in which the working capital is obtained by selling shares of stock to individuals who may transfer them without the consent of the group.
Joint tenancy, ownership of real property by 2 or more persons, each having equal rights to its use during their lifetimes.
Jojoba (Simmondsia californica or S. chinensis), desert plant of northern Mexico and the U.S.
Joliot-Curie, Irène (1897–1956), French physicist, daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie.
Jolliet, or Joliet, Louis (1645–1700), 17th-century French-Canadian explorer.
Jolson, Al (Asa Yoelson;c. 1866–1950), Russian-born U.S. singer and actor.
Jonah, Book of, in the Old Testament, 32nd in the Authorized Version, 5th of the Minor Prophets.
Jones, Absalom (1746–1818), early African-American religious leader.
Jones, Bobby (Robert Tyre Jones, Jr.; 1902–71), U.S. golfer.
Jones, Casey (John Luther Jones; 1863–1900), U.S. railroad engineer and folk hero who drove the Cannon Ball express from Memphis, Tenn. to Canton, Miss.
Jones, Ernest (1879–1958), British physician and psychologist.
Jones, Inigo (1573–1652), English architect.
Jones, James (1921–77), U.S. novelist.
Jones, James Earl (1931– ), U.S. actor who achieved stardom for his portrayal of Jack Johnson in the stage productions of The Great White Hope (1968).
Jones, John Paul (1747–92), Scottish-born U.S. naval hero of the Revolution.
Jones, LeRoi See: Baraka, Imamu Amiri.
Jones, Mary Harris (1830–1930), U.S. labor leader known as “Mother Jones.” She was one of the organizers of the International Workers of the World (IWW), a radical labor group whose members were often involved in violent incidents around the turn of the century.
Jonson, Ben (1572–1637), English dramatist and lyric poet.
Joplin, Scott (1868–1917), African-American composer and pianist, the best known practitioner of the style called ragtime.
Jordan, nonnavigable river beginning in north Israel and flowing about 200 mi (320 km) south through the Sea of Galilee and the Ghor Valley into the Dead Sea.
Jordan, officially Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, country in southwest Asia, bordered by Israel to the west, Syria to the north, Iraq to the northeast, and Saudi Arabia to the south and east. The capital is Amman. The area east of the Jordan River, with 94% of the country's area, is mostly desert. West of this area is the Jordan Rift, which includes the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and …
Jordan, Barbara Charline (1936– ), first African-American woman from a Southern state to serve in the U.S.
Jordan, Ernst Pascual (1902– ), German physicist.
Jordan, Michael (1963– ), U.S. professional basketball player.
Joseph, in the Bible, favored son of Jacob and Rachel.
Joseph, Chief (Hinmaton-Yalaktit; c.1840–1904), leader of the Nez Percé, a Native American tribe.
Joseph, Saint, in Christian tradition, husband of the Virgin Mary, a descendant of David.
Josephine (Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie; 1763–1814), first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte; empress of France (1804–9).
Josephus Flavius (c.A.D. 37–100), Jewish historian and soldier in the Jewish revolt against the Romans (A.D. 66).
Joshua, book of the Old Testament, sixth in the Authorized Version.
Joshua tree See: Yucca.
Josiah, king of ancient Judah (r.639–609 B.C.).
Jouett, Jack (1754–1822), U.S. patriot.
Joule, James Prescott (1818–89), English physicist who determined the relationship between heat energy and mechanical energy and discovered the first law of thermodynamics, aversion of the law of conservation of energy.
Journalism, preparation of information for communications media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.
Jove See: Jupiter.
Joyce, James (1882–1941), Irish novelist, considered by many the leading 20th-century master of the English language. Though Joyce left his homeland at age 20, returning only infrequently for brief visits, he nevertheless was greatly influenced by his Irish roots. Dubliners, short stories written in 1914, was published in London but suppressed in Ireland because of its topical references. D…
Juárez (pop. 797,700), or Ciudad Juarez, city in Mexico, situated on the Rio Grande opposite El Paso, Tex.
Juárez, Benito Pablo (1806–72), Mexican political leader and president (1857–65, 1867–72).
Juan Carlos I (1938– ), king of Spain since 1975.
Juan de Fuca, Strait of, waterway between Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.
Juan Fernández, 3 small, sparsely populated Chilean islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651–95), Mexican-Spanish poet and scholar.
Judah, biblical figure of ancient Canaan.
Judah Halevi See: Halevi, Judah.
Judah Maccabee (d.160–? B.C.), Jewish leader of the Hasmonean dynasty who, upon his father's death, took leadership of the revolt against the Syrian ruler Antiochus IV, who had initiated religious persecution of the Jews.
Judaism, religion of the Jewish people, the oldest of the world's monotheistic faiths. The essence of Judaism is the belief in one God. At daily prayers and services Jews repeat the words of Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.” In Jewish beliefs, Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, made a covenant with God that he and his descendants would carry the …
Judas Iscariot, in the Bible, one of the Twelve Apostles, the one who betrayed Jesus.
Judas Maccabaeus See: Judah Maccabee.
Judas tree See: Redbud.
Juddah See: Jidda.
Jude, Epistle of, brief letter near the end of the New Testament.
Jude, Saint, or Saint Judas, one of the Twelve Apostles, also called Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus, possibly the author of the New Testament epistle of Jude, which warns against heresy.
Judea, ancient name for south Palestine.
Judges, Book of, in the Old Testament, 7th of the Authorized Version, the sequel to Joshua.
Judgment, legal decision made by a court.
Judicial Conference of the United States, policymaking and review arm of the U.S. judicial system.
Judicial department See: Constitution of the United States; Justice, Department of; Supreme Court of the United States.
Judith, book of the Apocrypha of the Authorized Version of the Bible, present in the Old Testament of the Western canon but not in the Hebrew Bible.
Judo, form of unarmed combat, a Japanese sport developed by Jigoro Kano in 1882 using the principles of jujitsu.
Judson, Adoniram (1788–1850), U.S. missionary.
Juggernaut, or Jagannatha (Sanskrit, “lord of the world”), Hindu temple and idol in Puri, India.
Juggling, art of keeping several objects in motion in the air simultaneously and catching them.
Jugoslavia See: Yugoslavia.
Jugular vein, any of several veins on each side of the neck that return venous blood from the head.
Juilliard, Augustus (1836–1919), wealthy U.S. patron of the performing arts.
Jujitsu See: Judo.
Julian (A.D. 331–363), 4th-century Roman emperor, known as The Apostate (the traitor).
Julian calendar, system of time measurement widely used between 46 B.C. and 1582.
Julian, Percy Lavon (1899–1975), U.S. chemist and chemical business executive.
Juliana (1909– ) queen of the Netherlands (1948–80) following the abdication of her mother, Queen Wilhelmina.
Julius Caesar See: Caesar, (Gaius) Julius.
Julius II (1443–1513), pope (1503–13).
July Revolution, popular revolt in France in July 1830 against King Charles X.
Jumna River, or Yamuna River, tributary of the Ganges, in Northern India.
Jumping See: Olympic Games; Track and field.
Jumping bean, seed of various Mexican shrubs, principally those of the genera Sebastiania and Sapium of the spurge family.
Junípero Serra See: Serra, Junípero.
Junco, any of several species of small North American finches (genus Junco), usually ashen in color but with conspicuous white lateral tail feathers.
June bug, or June beetle, any of many large flying beetles (family Melolonthidae) that feed on the leaves of trees.
Juneau (pop. 23,300), capital of Alaska and port city in the southeast panhandle, situated at the foot of Mt.
Jung, Carl Gustav (1875–1961), Swiss psychiatrist, founder of analytical psychology.
Jungfrau (German, “maiden”), mountain in the Swiss Alps.
Jungle fowl, any of several wild birds (genus Gallus), from which domestic fowls probably descended.
Junior Achievement, U.S. organization aimed at teaching students about the nation's business system.
Juniper, any of several species of evergreen trees or shrub (genus Juniperus) of the cypress family, found in northern temperate zones.
Junk, any of various Chinese sailing vessels, used in the Far East for thousands of years.
Juno, in Roman mythology, queen of the gods.
Jupiter, in astronomy, largest planet in the solar system (equatorial diameter of 89,400 mi/143,800 km), fifth planet from the Sun (average distance 483.6 million mi/778.3 million km). Jupiter is larger than all the other planets combined, with a mass 317.9 times that of Earth. Believed to have a solid core of rocky material, it is mostly gaseous with an atmosphere composed mostly of hydrogen and …
Jupiter, in Roman mythology, king of the gods and supreme ruler over the entire universe.
Jura Mountains, forested mountain range in western Europe, crossed by gorges, and fertile valleys, extending from the Rhone River to the Rhine River on the Swiss-German border.
Jurassic, the middle period of the Mesozoic era, lasting from about 195 to 140 million years ago.
Jury, in common law, body of laypeople assembled to study evidence and make judgments in legal proceedings.
Justice, Department of, federal executive department created by Congress (1870).
Justin the Martyr, Saint (c. 100–165), Christian theologian who opened the first school of Christian studies in Rome.
Justinian Code, collection of early Roman civil laws, known as Corpus Juris Civilis (Latin, Body of Civil Law).
Justinian I (483–565), Byzantine emperor (527–65), nephew of Justin I.
Jute, annual plant (genus Corchorus) of the linden family, and its fiber.
Jutes, Germanic people who originated in Scandinavia, probably in Jutland, the Danish peninsula.
Jutland, Battle of, only major naval battle of World War I, fought between the British and German fleets off the coast of Jutland (Denmark) on May 31, 1916.
Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis; A.D. 60?–140?), Roman poet.
Juvenile court, court with special jurisdiction over young offenders (usually up to age 18).
Juvenile delinquency, term applied to violations of the law by those legally considered under the age of majority.
K, 11th letter of the English alphabet, is derived from the Semitic kaph, representing the palm of the hand, and from the ancient Greek kappa.