Learn English – Different way to refer to a ‘lowercase’ letter


I am looking for a different word to refer to 'lowercase' or 'small' letters, but I am unable to find any such word.

  • "Large letter �"; this is used by the Unicode standard for non-latin glyphs, and designates the other type "Small letter �"
  • "Upper case letter �", which refers to the way pieces of movable type were stored in printshops, along with the designation "Lower case letter �" for others.
  • "Capital letter �", similar to how you have a "capital city" or "capital ship"; this does not appear to have any sort of reasonable matching designation for small letters, though.
  • "Initial letter �", which refers to the fact that the large letters are used at the beginning of sentences, proper nouns, and for the initial letters of the words in an abbreviation. This too does not appear to have a comparable way to designate small letters.

A possibility is that one could refer to a lowercase letter as "Common letter �", which is neatly opposite both the "Capital" and "Initial" designations, however I have not seen this used anywhere, and I wouldn't want to make up my own word if it would confuse a reader.

Does anyone know of a designation that is more directly complimentary to "capital" or "initial"?

Best Answer

We also refer to them as minuscules, though this is less common. Calling a letter small, lower-case or lowercase is clear and concise, and you should go by those.