A-Z Database

A-Z Database

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Z/Z’s

The last letter of the alphabet, pronounced ‘zed’ in Britain and Commonwealth Countries but ‘zee’ in America, is also slang for sleep when pluralised...

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Zany

Zany is a word that has come to mean clownish in an offbeat sort of way. It is a lot older than most realise, dating back to the 16th century, and der...

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Zap

Zap is an echoic comic strip sound-effect word of American origin that dates from the 1930s, especially featured in Buck Rogers comics. Zap, meaning t...

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Zed

see Z/Z's


Zee

see Z/Z's


Zeppelin

A hydrogen-filled German airship, dating from around 1900, named after the German general who perfected it, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917)....

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Zilch

US slang expression that means nothing or zero. Like zip or zippo, its etymology is unknown, but some say it dates from the 1930s with the appearance...

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Zillion/s

Obviously a play on the word million and denotes a very large but indefinite number. It was coined by Damon Runyon in 1944.


ZIP code

The US postal service introduced an address code system called ZIP codes in 1963. ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement System.


Zip it

A figurative expression meaning to close or shut one’s mouth in much the same way one would close a zip fastener. It is thought to be of American orig...

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Zip/Zippo

Zip as in to move quickly or zip by is purely echoic and dates from the mid-19th century and is American in origin. Zip has also come to mean nil or z...

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Zit

A zit is a spot or acne pimple. US teenager slang from around 1965, origin unknown.


Zizz

British slang expression for a nap or forty winks dates from the 1920s and imitates the sound of sleep. See also Z.


Zombie

Most likely origin is from voodoo and other primitive religions or magical practices of West African and Caribbean origin, where the word describes a...

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Zone

To be in the zone is an accepted concept in modern sports psychology that dates from the late 1970s. It is not known who coined the expression but Ted...

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