z: Wikis

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Basic Latin alphabet
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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
Letter z.svg
Basic Latin U+007A



Wikipedia has an article on:



z lower case (upper case Z)

  1. The twenty-sixth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.

See also



  1. (metrology) Symbol for the prefix zepto-.
  2. (astronomy) Symbol for the redshift.
  3. (mathematics) Used to denote a real variable when x and y are already in use.
    f \left ( x , y , z \right ) = \sin x + \cos y + \tan z
  4. (mathematics) Used to denote the third coordinate in three-dimensional Cartesian and cylindrical coordinate systems.
    x2 + y2 + z2 = 1
  5. (mathematics) Used to denote a complex variable.
    \left \Vert z \right \Vert = z \cdot \bar z
  6. (statistics) Used to denote a value of a standard normal random variable.
    P[Z > z] = 1 − P[Z < z] = 1 − Φ(z)
  7. (analytic geometry, classical mechanics) Quantity along the third axis in a three-dimensional system, vertical when applicable.
  8. (chemistry) Symbol for atomic number.

See also

Other representations of Z:




z (lower case, upper case Z)

  1. The twenty-sixth and last letter of the English alphabet, preceded by “y”. Sometimes spelt out as zed (in the UK) or zee (in the US).

Alternative forms

  • With retroflex hook: ʐ
  • With curl: ʑ
  • With circumflex:
  • With dot below:
  • With line below: ẕ





  1. from
    Toto víno pochází z Francie. -- This wine comes from France.

Usage notes

This preposition is followed by the genitive case.




  • (letter name): IPA: /zɛt/


z (lower case, upper case Z)

  1. The twenty-sixth and last letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: y



  1. man



z m. and f. inv.

  1. See under Z



From Proto-Slavic *jьz < Proto-Indo-European *h₁eǵʰs


  • IPA: /z/, before voiceless consonants: /s/


z (+ instrumental)

  1. with


z (+ genitive)

  1. from
    Jestem z Polski. – I'm from Poland.
  2. made of




  • IPA: /ze/, /zet/


z (lowercase, capital Z)

  1. The twenty-eighth letter of the Romanian alphabet representing the phoneme /z/. Preceded by x.



  • (phoneme) IPA: /z/


z (lower case, upper case Z)

  1. The 29th letter of the Serbian Latin alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: v
  • Next letter: ž



z or zo
Followed by the genitive case.
The standard form is z. The zo form is used when the following word starts with the letter z or sg..
  1. from


Slovene Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia sl



  1. with (in the company of)

This Slovene entry was created from the translations listed at with. It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses. Please also see z in the Slovene Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) May 2008



z (lower case, upper case Z)

  1. The 29th letter of the Spanish alphabet.

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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