Twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Its name appears to be connected with "shen" = "tooth" (see Alphabet). The sign ש represents two sounds: (1) a dental surd sibilant (indicated by a point on the left horn, ש, and called "sin"), identical with the English surd "s"; and (2) a labial surd (marked by a point on the right horn, ש), identical with the English "sh." The distinction in sound between "sin" and "samek" is not clear. "Shin" interchanges with "sin," and both these (in corresponding Aramaic and Arabic words) with dentals and spirants. "Shin" occurs rarely as a formative element, as in the verb-form "shaf'el." As a numeral (in the later period) it has the value of 300.