The Darkly Wise W

Wine is wicked, the king is wicked, women are wicked, all the Children of men are wicked, and such are all their wicked works

The Apochrapha Esdras

Like the letter U, the W is a descendant of the letter V and only arrived on the scene after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The mystics of these early times quickly embraced the authoritative W because of its association with the first warrior King of England -- William the Conqueror. This explains the enormous popularity of the name William in Western society, which is the fifth most common first name for boys, and the third most common surname after Smith and Johnson. It also frequently appears in English literary circles, gracing the names of those with wit and a way with words: William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, William Blake, Walt Whitman, William Barnes, William CullenBryant, and Tennessee Williams.

Being a relatively new addition to the ever-increasing depository of English words, the W is practically absent when it comes to names of biblical characters but makes its mark with its strong association to all that is mysterious and woeful: weird, wild, warlock, wicked, wispy, werewolf and the wicked witch of the West. Perhaps this is why the W has become such a workhorse for those questioning the mysteries of life as in who, where, when, why and what.

The Ws enigmatic characteristics are also responsible for the darker elements of human endeavors; war, wreck, weapon, warning, wrong, Wednesday (from Wodin, the god of war). Still, people whose names that begin with the wonderful, witty, wealthy and wise letter W are amongst the most likely to be millionaires.