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|The Latin alphabet|
Z is the twenty-sixth (number 26) and last letter in the English alphabet. The small letter, z, is used as a lower case consonant. Z is not used much. It is the most rarely used letter in the English language. The same letter of the Greek alphabet is named zeta.
How it is said
The letter is said as either zed' // or zee. The first way of saying it comes from the Greek zeta. In American English, its name is zee //, because it comes from a late 17th century English speech.
Where it came from
In Etruscan, Z may have been /ts/.
In the 1st century BC, Z was put in the alphabet again at the end of the Latin alphabet. This was done to accurately represent the sound of the Greek zeta. The letter Z appeared only in Greek words, and is the only letter besides Y that the Romans took from Greek.
Meanings for Z
- One early use of "zee": Lye, Thomas (1969) [2nd ed., London, 1677]. A new spelling book, 1677. Menston, (Yorks.) Scolar P.. p. 24. . "Zee Za-cha-ry, Zion, zeal"