Ž: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Latin alphabet Žž.png

The grapheme Ž (minuscule: ž) is formed from Latin Z with the addition of háček. It is used in various contexts, usually denoting the voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/, including phonetic transcription. This sound is similar to English g in genre or Portuguese and French j. In Unicode, Ž and ž are U+017D and U+017E respectively.

Apart from Estonian and Turkmen, Ž is the final letter of most alphabets that contain it.



The symbol originates with the 15th century Czech alphabet as introduced by the reforms of Jan Hus. It was also used for the closely related Slovak language. From Czech, it was adopted into the Belarusian Łacinka alphabet, Croatian alphabet by Ljudevit Gaj in 1830, and then into Slovak, Slovenian and Bosnian alphabets.


Slavic languages

It is the 42nd letter of the Czech, the 46th letter of Slovak, the 36th letter of Belarusian Łacinka alphabet, the 25th letter of the Slovenian alphabet, the 30th letter of the Serbian Latin, Croatian and Bosnian scripts. It is also used in both Sorbian languages.

In addition, the character is typically used as a transliteration of Cyrillic Ж in Serbian (8th position), Macedonian (in 8th position), occasionally in Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian and even less frequently in Bulgarian.

For most languages it represents voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/ except in Russian transliterations of Ж where it represents voiced retroflex fricative /ʐ/.

Baltic languages

It is the 32nd letter of the Lithuanian and 33rd letter of the Latvian alphabets.

Finno-Ugric languages

It is the 19th letter of the Estonian, where it is used in loan words, and the 29th letter of the Northern Sami alphabet. It also features occasionally in Finnish but is not part of the regular alphabet.

Other languages

  • It is the 13th letter of the Turkmen and Laz alphabets. In Turkmen it is pronounced /d͡ʒ/.
  • It is the 27th and last letter of the Songhay alphabet.
  • It is also used in the standard orthography of the Lakota language.

See also


  • Pullum, Geoffrey K.; Ladusaw, William A. (1996). Phonetic Symbol Guide. University of Chicago Press. p. 203.  
The Basic modern Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter Z with diacritics
Letters using caron sign

history palaeography derivations diacritics punctuation numerals Unicode list of letters ISO/IEC 646

Basic Latin alphabet
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Z is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.


Name and pronunciation

In many dialects of English, the letter's name is zed, pronounced /zɛd/, reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta (see below). In American English, its name is zee /ziː/, deriving from a late 17th-century English dialectal form.[1] Another English dialectal form is izzard /ˈɪzərd/, which dates from the mid-18th century and probably derives from the French et zède "and z".[2] In Canadian English, zed is the more common name; zee is not unknown, but it is often stigmatized.[3]

Other Indo-European languages pronounce the letter's name in a similar fashion, such as zet in Dutch, German, Romanian and Czech, zède in French, zæt in Danish, zäta in Swedish, zeta in Italian and in Spanish dialects with seseo, and in Portuguese.

In Chinese (Mandarin) pinyin the name of the letter Z is pronounced [tsɛ], although the English zed and zee have become very common.

In the Philippines, it is quite common to hear people pronounce the name of the letter Z as "zay" rhyming with "say".[citation needed]


Proto-Semitic Z Phoenician Z Etruscan Z Greek Zeta

The name of the Semitic symbol was zayin, possibly meaning "weapon", and was the seventh letter. It represented either z as in English and French, or possibly more like /dz/ (as in Italian zeta, zero).

The Greek form of Z was a close copy of the Phoenician symbol I, and the Greek inscriptional form remained in this shape throughout ancient times. The Greeks called it Zeta, a new name made in imitation of Eta (η) and Theta (θ).

In earlier Greek of Athens and Northwest Greece, the letter seems to have represented /dz/; in Attic, from the 4th century BC onwards, it seems to have been either /zd/ or a /dz/, and in fact there is no consensus concerning this issue. In other dialects, as Elean and Cretan, the symbol seems to have been used for sounds resembling the English voiced and unvoiced th (IPA /ð/ and /θ/, respectively). In the common dialect (κοινη) that succeeded the older dialects, ζ became /z/, as it remains in modern Greek.

In Etruscan, Z may have symbolized /ts/; in Latin, /dz/. In early Latin, the sound of /z/ developed into /r/ and the symbol became useless. It was therefore removed from the alphabet around 300 BC by the Censor, Appius Claudius Caecus, and a new letter, G, was put in its place soon thereafter.

In the 1st century BC, it was, like Y, introduced again at the end of the Latin alphabet, in order to represent more precisely the value of the Greek zeta — previously transliterated as S at the beginning and ss in the middle of words, eg. sona = ζωνη, "belt"; trapessita = τραπεζιτης, "banker". The letter appeared only in Greek words, and Z is the only letter besides Y that the Romans took directly from the Greek, rather than Etruscan.

In Vulgar Latin, Greek Zeta seems to have represented (IPA /dj/), and later (IPA /dz/); d was for /z/ in words like baptidiare for baptizare "baptize", while conversely Z appears for /d/ in forms like zaconus, zabulus, for diaconus "deacon", diabulus, "devil". Z also is often written for the consonantal I (that is, J, IPA /j/) as in zunior for junior "younger".

In earlier times, the English alphabets used by children terminated not with Z but with & or related typographic symbols. In her 1859 novel Adam Bede, George Eliot refers to Z being followed by & when she makes Jacob Storey say, "He thought it [Z] had only been put to finish off th' alphabet like; though ampusand would ha' done as well, for what he could see."[4]

Blackletter Z

A glyph variant of Z originating in the medieval Gothic minuscules and the Early Modern Blackletter typefaces is the "tailed z" (German geschwänztes Z, also Z mit Unterschlinge) In some Antiqua typefaces, this letter is present as a standalone letter or in ligatures. Together with long s, it is also the origin of the ß ligature in German orthography.

A graphical variant of tailed Z is Ezh, as adopted into the International Phonetic Alphabet as the sign for the voiced postalveolar fricative.

Unicode assigns codepoints for "BLACK-LETTER CAPITAL Z" and "FRAKTUR SMALL Z" in the Letterlike Symbols and Mathematical alphanumeric symbols ranges, at U+2128 and U+1D537


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

The Universal Character Set
Latin alphabet Žž.png
Latin Extended-A U+017D



Wikipedia has an article on:



Ž upper case (lower case ž)

  1. The letter Z with a caron.

See also



Ž (upper case, lower case ž)

  1. 30th letter of the Croatian alphabet

See also



Ž (upper case, lower case ž)

  1. 32th letter of the Lithuanian alphabet

See also


Slovene Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia sl



Ž (capital, lowercase ž)

  1. The 25th (last) letter of the Slovene alphabet. Preceded by Z.

Simple English

The Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd
Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj
Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv
Ww Xx Yy Zz

Z is the twenty-sixth (number 26) and last letter in the English alphabet. Z is not used much. It is the most rarely used letter in the English language.

Meanings for Z

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