- zany[zany 词源字典]
- zany:  Zany originated as the name of a character in the old Italian commedia dell’arte, who tried, rather feebly, to mimic the antics of the clown. It came from Italian Zanni, a Venetian and Lombardic variant of Gianni, the pet form of Giovanni (the Italian equivalent of English John). Its meaning was broadened out to ‘buffoon’ in the 17th century, but it does not seem to have really established itself as an adjective until the mid 19th century.
=> john[zany etymology, zany origin, 英语词源]
- zeal:  Zeal is closely related to jealousy. It comes via late Latin zēlus from Greek zélos ‘fervour, jealousy’. The medieval Latin derivative zēlōsus has left English a double legacy: zealous  and (via Old French) jealous.
- zenana: see gynaecology
- zenith:  Arabic samt arrās means literally ‘path over the head’. Samt ‘path, road’ made its way via Old Spanish zenit and Old French cenit into English as zenith, bringing with it the metaphorical application to the ‘point in the sky directly overhead’. The plural of samt, sumūt, is the ultimate source of English azimuth .
- zero:  In common with many other English mathematical terms, zero comes ultimately from Arabic. Its distant ancestor is Arabic sifr, a noun use of an adjective meaning ‘empty’, which also produced English cipher. It passed into English via Old Spanish zero and French zéro.
- zither: see guitar
- zodiac:  The zodiac is etymologically a circle of ‘little animals’. Greek zóidion originally denoted a ‘carved figure of an animal’ (it was a diminutive of zóion ‘animal’, a relative of English zoo). From it was derived the adjective zōidiakós, which was used in the expression zōidiakós kúklos ‘circle of carved figures’, denoting the twelve figures or signs representing the divisions of a band around the celestial sphere. Zōidiakós became a noun in its own right, and passed into English via Latin zōdiacus and French zodiaque.
- zombie:  Zombie was originally the name of a snake-god in the voodoo cult of West Africa, and later of the Caribbean, and it comes from a West African language (it is related to Kongo nzambi ‘god’ and zumbi ‘fetish’). It was later applied to a reanimated corpse in the voodoo cult, and a ghoulish sense of humour transferred the English word in the 1930s to a ‘catatonically slow-witted person’.
- zoo:  Greek zóion meant ‘animal’ (it came from the Indo-European base *gwei-, which also lies behind English biology, quick, and vital). From it was formed modern Latin zōologia ‘study of animals’, which English adapted as zoology . Zoological was derived from this in the 19th century, and when the Zoological Society of London opened their exhibition of live wild animals in Regent’s Park in 1829, they called it the Zoological Gardens. This was soon abbreviated to ‘the Zoological’, and by the mid 1840s it had shrunk further to zoo.
=> biology, quick, vital
- not a native letter in Old English; in Anglo-French words it represents the "ts" sound (as in Anglo-French fiz, from Latin filius, modern Fitz); from late 13c. it began to be used for the voiced "s" sound and had fully taken that role by 1400. For letter name, see zed.
Thou whoreson Zed, thou vnnecessary Letter. ["King Lear," II.ii.69]
Series of zs to represent a buzzing sound first attested 1852; zees "spell of sleep, a nap" is slang first recorded 1963, American English student slang.
- za (n.)
- U.S. student slang shortening of pizza, attested from 1968.
- masc. proper name, from Late Latin Zacchaeus, from Greek Zakkhaios, from Hebrew zakkay, literally "pure, innocent," from zakhah "was clean, was pure."
- masc. proper name, Late Latin Zacharias, from Greek Zakharias, from Hebrew Zekharyahu, literally "the Lord has remembered," from zakhar "he remembered."
- zaftig (adj.)
- "alluringly plump, curvaceous, buxom," 1937, from Yiddish zaftik, literally "juicy," from zaft "juice," from Middle High German saft "juice" (see sap (n.1)).
- zag (v.)
- 1793, from zig-zag (q.v.).
- 1937, from Japanese zaibatsu, from zai "wealth" + batzu "clique."
- African nation (1971-1997), from an early alternative name of the Congo River, from Kikongo nzai, dialectal form of nzadi "river."
- zakat (n.)
- obligatory Islamic tax for religious purposes, 1802, from Persian zakat, etc., from Arabic zakah.
- Zamboni (n.)
- proprietary name of a machine used to resurface ice skating rinks, 1957, trademark of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Paramount, Calif.
- zany (n.)
- comic performer, 1580s, from French zani, from Italian zani, zanni "a zany, clown," originally Zanni, Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, pet form of Giovanni "John;" thus equivalent to English Jack. A stock character in old comedies, he aped the principal actors.