Wikipedia’s puzzle-globe logo features what letter of our alphabet?

Don't scroll until you've answered.

Published March 21, 2024

Duh! is a weekly column that gives circuitous answers to obvious questions. If you dig it, you can find 100 more of these essays in the Geeks Who Drink book, Duh!.

Where to even start with Wikipedia? Naturally there’s the W on the front of the puzzle-globe logo, where it’s joined by the Greek omega (Ω), the Chinese radical that means “comeliness of the color white” (), and the Klingon r (which my computer won’t let me type). First adopted in 2003, it replaced some distorted excerpts from works by Lewis Carroll and Thomas Hobbes, and took its present form in 2010, back in the day when Fandom was still called Wikia.1

There’s the fact that the word “wiki” is ultimately derived from, of all things, the parking shuttle at the Honolulu airport. Wiki is a Hawaiian word for “quick,” and that fact stuck with Ward Cunningham, who in 1995 sought a name for the website he was developing, which would be the world’s first user-editable one. He wound up calling it WikiWikiWeb, and literally wrote the book on the wiki ethos.

We could always take a detour through the fact that the language edition with the second-most entries is Cebuano, a tongue from the southern Philippines with about 20 million speakers–or 1.37 percent as many as first-place English. This imbalance is due mostly to a Lsjbot, a… well, bot, which has contributed the vast majority of’s 6 million-plus articles.2

Anyway, the 33 hyperlinks we’ve given you so far3 seem like enough extra reading to be getting on with, so we’ll leave you with summaries of three random articles:

  1. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales also co-founded Wikia. User-edited info dumps are kind of his thing, ya know?
  2. It also wrote most of the 2.5 million entries on the fifth-place Swedish Wikipedia. Not surprisingly, Lsjbot’s programmer, linguist Sverker Johansson, is Swedish; his wife is from the southern Philippines. What has your spouse gotten you lately?
  3. That one makes it 34!