Zayin

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Zayn
PhoenicianHebrewAramaicSyriacArabic
ZaynזZaynܙز
Alphabetic
derivatives
GreekLatinCyrillic
ΖZЗ
Phonemic representation:z
Position in alphabet:7
Numerical (Gematria/Abjad) value:7
 
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Zayn
PhoenicianHebrewAramaicSyriacArabic
ZaynזZaynܙز
Alphabetic
derivatives
GreekLatinCyrillic
ΖZЗ
Phonemic representation:z
Position in alphabet:7
Numerical (Gematria/Abjad) value:7

Zayin (also spelled Zain or Zayn or simply Zay) is the seventh letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician 𐤆, Aramaic, Hebrew ז, Syriac ܙ and Perso-Arabic alphabet ز (see below). It represents the sound [z].

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Zeta (Ζ), Etruscan z Z, Latin Z, and Cyrillic Ze З.

The Phoenician letter appears to be named after a sword or other weapon. (In Biblical Hebrew, "Zayin" (זין) means sword, and the verb "Lezayen" (לזיין) means to arm. In modern Hebrew, 'zayin' (זין) means penis and 'lezayen' (לזין) is a vulgar term which generally means to perform sexual intercourse and is used in a similar fashion to the English word fuck,[1] although the older meaning survives in 'maavak mezuyan' (armed struggle) (מאבק מזוין) and 'beton mezuyan' (בטון מזוין) (armed, i.e., reinforced concrete). The Proto-Sinaitic glyph according to Brian Colless may have been called ziqq, based on a hieroglyph depicting a "manacle".

Contents

Hebrew Zayin

Orthographic variants
Various Print FontsCursive HebrewRashi Script
SerifSans-serifMonospaced
זזזHebrew letter Zayin handwriting.svgHebrew letter Zayin Rashi.png

In modern Hebrew the frequency of the usage of zayin, out of all the letters, is 0.88%.

Hebrew spelling: זַיִן

In modern Hebrew, the combination ז׳ (zayin followed by a geresh) is used in loanwords and foreign names to denote [ʒ] as in vision.

Significance

In gematria, Zayin represents the number seven,[2] and when used at the beginning of Hebrew years it means 7000 (i.e. זתשנד in numbers would be the future date 7754).

Zayin is also one of the seven letters which receive a special crown (called a tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah. See Ayin, Gimmel, Teth, Nun, Shin, and Tzadi. It is one of several Hebrew letters that have an additional meaning as a noun. The others are: Bet [ב, the second letter] whose name is a grammatical form of the word for "house" (בית); Vav [ו, the sixth letter] whose name means "hook" (וו); Kaf [כ, the eleventh letter] whose name means "palm [of the hand]" (כף); Ayin [ע, the sixteenth letter] whose name means "eye" (עין); Pe [פ, the seventeenth letter] whose name means "mouth" (פה); Qof [ק, the nineteenth letter] whose name means "monkey" (קוף); Shin [ש, the twenty-first letter] whose name means "tooth" (שין); Tav [the twenty-second letter] whose name means "mark" (תו), and several other Hebrew letters whose names are ancient Hebrew forms of nouns still used, with a slight change of form or pronunciation, as nouns in modern Hebrew.[3]

Syriac Zain

Zain is a constant with the "z" sound which is a voiced alveolar fricative.

Arabic Zayn

The letter is named, (DIN 31635: zayn/zāy). It is written in several ways depending on its position in the word:

Position in word:IsolatedFinalMedialInitial
Glyph form:زـزـزز

The similarity to ر is likely a function of the original Syriac forms converging to a single symbol, requiring that one of them be distinguished as a dot; a similar process occurred to ǧīm and ḥaʾ.

Ze

Persian alphabet
        پ                 چ
                        ژ
                     
                ک    گ
                ه    ی

The same letter is used in a number of languages with another name: Ze.

Že

It also has a modified version: ژ Persian pronunciation: [ʒe] which are used in Persian, Pashto, Kurdish, Urdu and Uyghur (see K̡ona Yezik̡).


Position in word:IsolatedFinalMedialInitial
Glyph form:ژـژـژژ

References

See also