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Staffrow, also spelled stæfrow, is a willsome word coming from OE stæfræw which refers to a particular language's alphabet (i.e. Georigish staffrow for "Georgian alphabet"). Staff by itself means a letter, so staffrow quite literally means "letter-row".



The Willsome English Staffrow is unique in that it acts as a complete alphabet but categorizes letters based on their voluntary status in the language. It includes every letter historically used in English, with the exception of the Yogh (due to the fact the Insular G replaces it). There are three different sets (written in mainstream spelling): Mainstaves, Chisestaves, and Sidestaves. In the WSE Ewbook, the page (leaf) with the Staffrow also includes the signs (marks) used in WSE such as the And and Longmark (Macron) although these aren't technically part of it.

The Staffrow

Staffrow page
The WSE Ewbook page containing the Staffrow with each category.

Mark MSE Name
¯ Longmark
Staff MSE Name
Jj Jay
Qq Cow
Vv Vee
Staff MSE Name
Ææ Ash
Ðð That3
Ƿƿ Win
Zz Zee
Staff MSE Name
Aa Ay
Bb Bee
Cc Chee
Dꝺ Dee
Єe Ea
Fꝼ Eff
Gᵹ Ge1/Ye
Һh He2
Ii Ie
Kk Kay
Ll El
Ɱm Em
Nn En
Oo Oe
Pp Pee
Þþ Thorn
Rꞃ Arr
Sꞅ Es
Tꞇ Tee
Uu Ow
Ɯɯ Twin-ow
Xx Ex
Yẏ Wye
Unless you're using a Willsome Staves font in your browser, you won't see how the staves are supposed to look, so instead I found approximate letters that most closely represent each staff.

1. A name like "Ge" when it would normally be "Ye" indicates Norse influence, so the hard g variant is discouraged.
2. The attested name Aitch for this staff and, by comparison, the ME name Hake are due to Old French influence.[1] To circumvent this, He is a new name coined in the WSE Ewbook by analogy with Ye, Chee, Dee asf.

3. This staff was used interchangeably with the Thorn in Old English as both the voiced and unvoiced dental fricative, but it is often used by WSE writers to separate the two like in Icelandic.


Unlike Anglish or MSE, spelling in WSE is not standardized for a reason. As we see the rise of ganghood, the standardization of spelling rises with it. However, there is such thing as spellings that are willsome and spellings that aren't (in fact, this inspired the Mainstaves, Chisestaves and Sidestaves separation). A lot of these are covered Sticky 1 of the WSE Ewbook. Instead of having an exact way to spell each word, a writer can spell however they want (often according to personal preferences and innovations to suit their dialect). This is similar to Old and Early Middle English before spelling standards were established.


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The Etymonline entry.
The WSE wordbook, mentioned here several times, can be found here.