Upsilon (Υ/υ) New Testament Greek words that start with upsilon

Quick reference

Greek Name:
ὖ ψιλόν
English Name:
ü’ psē-lŏn’
Upper-case Letter:
Lower-case Letter:
Speech Sound:
vowel (short)
Numerical Value:

Pronunciation guide

In Koine Greek, the letter Upsilon closely resembles the French “u” or the German “ü.” In classical Greek, it was pronounced as a close front rounded vowel, similar to the “u” in “pure.” However, in Koine Greek, the pronunciation shifted closer to a sound between the “oo” in “food” and the “u” in “cut.”

Numerical significance

Upsilon corresponds to the number four hundred (400) in the Greek numerical system (isopsephy). This can allude to the prophecy given to Abraham in , where God tells Abraham that his descendants will be strangers in a country not their own (later understood as Egypt) and will be enslaved and mistreated for 400 years. This period symbolizes a significant phase of trial, suffering, and eventual divine deliverance, which is central to the identity and history of the Israelite people as recounted in the Hebrew Bible.

Cultural and symbolic meaning

Upsilon's origin traces back to the Phoenician letter Waw, which likely depicted a hook or a club.

Symbolically, a hook can represent guidance, sustenance, and the ability to gather or collect. In shepherding, a hook (or shepherd’s staff) symbolizes care, leadership, and protection, qualities attributed to leaders and divinities across multiple cultures.

The club can represent strength, authority, and protection. It embodies the power to overcome obstacles, both physical and metaphorical, and to wield influence over one's surroundings.