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Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

How Did We Get Our Letter Z, and Why Is It the Last Letter in the Alphabet?

How Did We Get Our Letter Z, and Why Is It the Last Letter in the Alphabet?

“Z,” the 26th letter of the alphabet, comes from a sign the ancient Egyptians used in their picture writing that of an arrow like object.

The Semites, who once lived in Syria, used the symbol in their writing. They named it zayin, meaning weapon.

The Greeks later made the symbol the sixth letter of their alphabet. They gave it the capital “Z’ form.

When the Romans took over the Greek alphabet, they used “z” only when writing words borrowed from Greek, and moved the letter to the end of their alphabet.

In earlier times, the English alphabets used by children terminated not with Z but with & or related typographic symbols.

In modern English orthography the letter ‘z’ usually represents the sound /z/. This is the alphabet we use today.

Content for this question contributed by Vicky Callies, resident of Marinette, Wisconsin, USA