Zed, Zee or Izzard?

Zed / Zee

The letter Z is known as zed [zɛd] in the UK, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, and as zee [ziː] in American English.

The name zed comes from the Greek name for the letter Ζ ζ zeta (ζήτα). The name zee is comes from an English dialectal form of the 17th century, and rhymes with other letter names, like bee, cee, dee, etc.

Another dialectal name for this letter from the 18th century is izzard [ˈɪzərd], which possibly comes from the Occitan izèda or the French ézed.

The letter Z has had a number of different forms in different alphabets:

An image showing the development of the letter Z

It’s origins can be traced back to an Egyptian Hieroglyph which looked like the Proto-Sinaitic version, which meant sword or weapon.

Names for the letter Z in other languages include:

  • zeta – Italian, Basque, Spanish and Icelandic
  • zê – Portuguese
  • zäta = Swedish
  • zæt = Danish
  • zet = Dutch, Indonesian, Polish, Romanian and Czech
  • Zett = German
  • zett = Norwegian
  • zède = French
  • zét in Vietnamese
  • zo = Esperanto

Sources: Wikipedia and Wiktionary

What do you call this letter?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *