The letter Y is one of the least used letters in the English language. There are only about 438 words in the English language that start with the letter Y. That leaves very few adjectives that start with Y.
Adjectives that Start with Y
The letter Y can be traced back to the Semitic alphabet. Both the Greek and Latin alphabets grew out of the Phoenician form of the Semitic alphabet. As language evolved, Y was used less and less. Because the sound it made was so close to that of the French and German U, it did not appear as much in language.
In the 1400s, printing was introduced in England. The typefaces they used did not have the letter Þ (which is pronounced as a hard “th” and usually found at the beginning of words such as “thorn”). Printers began using the letter Y in place of the Þ. As a result, the letter Y became more commonly used. So much so that eventually, it retained its place in the alphabet, while Þ was removed.
The letter Y does have the distinction of being considered both a consonant and a vowel. Many children learned their vowels as, “A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y.” The “sometimes” part can be sort of tricky. We first need to know about the different sounds that Y can make.
When Y appears at the beginning of a word, it makes the consonant sound of “yeh” (such as in “yellow”).
When the Y appears at the end of a one-syllable word, it makes the sound of a long I: “eye” (such as in “dry”). When Y appears at the end of a multi-syllable word, it makes the sound of a long E: “ee” (such as in “factory”).
The Y also sometimes appears in the middle of a word. Here, it is usually pronounced “eye” or “ih” (such as in “gym”).
Vowels are speech sounds that are produced when you keep your vocal tract open. It is more of a flowing sound (such as in “cycle”). If the Y in your word slows smoothly, then it is considered a vowel.
If there is a “break” in your breath when pronouncing the word, the Y is considered a consonant (such as in “lawyer”).
It may help to think of it this way: Y is considered a vowel if:
- The word has no other vowel (such as “gym”),
- The Y is at the end of a syllable (such as “fancy”),
- The Y is in the middle of a syllable (such as “rhythm”)
Fortunately, you are usually not going to be quizzed as to whether Y is a vowel or a consonant!
Descriptive Adjectives that Start with Y
There are 50 descriptive adjectives that start with Y.
Descriptive Adjectives that Start with Y that Describe a Person
List of Adjectives that Start with Y
Adjectives Starting with Y | Image
List of Adjective Words that Start with Y