Zayin

Zayin
Phonemic representation z
Position in alphabet 7
Numerical value 7
Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician

Zayin (also spelled zain or zayn or simply zay) is the seventh letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Zayin , Hebrew 'Zayin ז, Yiddish Zoyen ז, Aramaic Zain , Syriac Zayn ܙ, and Arabic Zayn or Zāy ز. It represents the sound [z].

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

Origins

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 slang, zayin (זין) means "penis" and lezayen (לזין) is a vulgar term which generally means to perform sexual intercourse ,[1] although the older meaning survives in maavak mezuyan ("armed struggle") (מאבק מזוין), kokhot mezuyanim ("armed forces") (כוחות מזוינים), and beton mezuyan (בטון מזוין) ("armed, i.e., reinforced concrete"). The Proto-Sinaitic glyph may have been called ziqq, based on a hieroglyph depicting a "manacle".[2]

Arabic zāy

The letter is named zāy or zayn. It has two forms, depending on its position in the word:

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ز ـز ـز ز

The similarity to rāʼ  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 jīm and ḥāʼ.

The same letter has another name – ze – in a number of languages, such as Persian.

Že

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

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ژ ـژ ـژ ژ

Hebrew zayin

Orthographic variants
Various print fonts Cursive Hebrew Rashi script
SerifSans-serifMonospaced
ז ז ז

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,[3] 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, besides ʻayin, gimel, 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 2nd letter], whose name is a grammatical form of the word for 'house' (בית); vav [ו, the 6th letter], whose name means 'hook' (וו); kaf [כ, the 11th], whose name means 'palm [of the hand]' or 'spoon' (כף); ʻayin [ע, the 16th], whose name means 'eye' (עין); pe [פ, the 17th], whose name means 'mouth' (פה); qof [ק, the 19th], whose name means 'monkey' (קוף); shin [ש, the 21st], whose name means 'tooth' (שין); tav [ת, the 22nd], 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.[4]

Syriac zain

Zain is a consonant with the /z/ sound which is a voiced alveolar fricative.

Character encodings

Characterזزܙ
Unicode nameHEBREW LETTER ZAYINARABIC LETTER ZAINSYRIAC LETTER ZAINSAMARITAN LETTER ZEN
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode1494U+05D61586U+06321817U+07192054U+0806
UTF-8215 150D7 96216 178D8 B2220 153DC 99224 160 134E0 A0 86
Numeric character referenceזזززܙܙࠆࠆ
Character𐎇𐡆𐤆
Unicode nameUGARITIC LETTER ZETAIMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER ZAYINPHOENICIAN LETTER ZAI
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode66439U+1038767654U+1084667846U+10906
UTF-8240 144 142 135F0 90 8E 87240 144 161 134F0 90 A1 86240 144 164 134F0 90 A4 86
UTF-1655296 57223D800 DF8755298 56390D802 DC4655298 56582D802 DD06
Numeric character reference𐎇𐎇𐡆𐡆𐤆𐤆

See also

References

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