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
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...

Read More


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...

Read More


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...

Read More


Zonked

US slang for tired or exhausted dates from the 1980s but was originally used to describe the excessive effects of drugs or alcohol.


Zoot suit

Originally, zoot suit is a corruption from rhyming with suit but instead of ‘zuit’ the spelling zoot was adopted. Zoot suit has come to mean one’s bes...

Read More


Zouave

French light infantry soldier first recruited in 1831 from the Zouaoua or Zwawa, Berber tribesmen that inhabited the Kabyli mountain range in Algeria....

Read More


Zounds sometimes Swounds

An archaic expression of surprise rarely heard these days, but common enough in literary work since the 16th century. It is a contraction of the oath,...

Read More


back to top