Wikipedia claims that the Ꝇ / ꝇ is an old ligature for elle (LL / ll) in Spanish:

An old ligature for Ll is known as the "broken L", which takes the form of a lowercase l with the top half shifted to the left, connected to the lower half with a thin horizontal stroke. This ligature is encoded in Unicode at U+A746 (uppercase) and U+A747 (lowercase) and displayed (by the browsers that allow it) Ꝇ and ꝇ respectively.

but this claim is uncited and I can find no other references to its use in Spanish handwriting (nor as a printed character) anywhere online, except for a single (again, un-cited) short comment on one stack-exchange post:

Bueno, para el dígrafo ll existió la ele rota, una ligadura de dos eles: Ꝇ ꝇ, pero no estoy seguro si se usaron de manera significativa en textos castellanos.

Does anyone know anything more about its usage historically in Spanish (or have any examples of its use)?

Note: What sparked my curiosity was the Catalan artist Domènec Fita i Molat's apparent stylistic use of it in the name Lluc, in his design of the evangelist's light in the Sagrada Família.


The user Anárion is the originator of this information in the Wikipedia page, adding it as part of an edit at 09:25, 21 February, 2005‎ (archived version of page). It was added uncited (like many additions at the time), and seems to have remained as an unchecked legacy paragraph.

  • 1
    Based on your update, it looks like that user just made up that, doesn't it?
    – fedorqui
    Jun 12, 2018 at 12:54

1 Answer 1


Looking at that page with the accompanying video I don't see a broken L , it's just one L written over another to ligature the first L with the u — that's actually not that rare to see modifications like that, especially for highly stylized settings. For example, you can find some inscriptions where a letter after an L might be written in the space above it the L.

I've read a lot of medieval documents, but I've never seen anything close to the Nordic broken L. A common abbreviation using the letter L looks like an l with an apostrophe sticking out of it, as in gl’a (gloria), but it never represented LL. But in such slower style writing, a double lowercase L takes less time to write than the broken L, as the former is two single strokes and the latter a single and a double, and doesn't really save space. In fact, the single downward stroke l was used even in connected writing styles, and it wasn't until the very cursive styles that the L began to adopt the loop style that it has now, but at that point the abbreviations were less used (mainly because that style was used by notaries and they charged by the page).

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