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[edit] zany

ZAE-nee

noun

Etymology

Zanni, the Italian name for the commedia dell’arte character, which introduced those knavish clowns character, comes from a dialect nickname for Giovanni, the Italian form of John. The character quickly spread throughout European theater circles, inspiring such familiar characters as Pierrot and Harlequin, and by the late 1500s an anglicized version of the noun “zany” was introduced to English-speaking audiences by no less a playwright than William Shakespeare (in Love's Labor's Lost). [1]

Definition
  1. a subordinate clown or acrobat in old comedies who mimics ludicrously the tricks of the principal
  2. one who acts the buffoon to amuse others
  3. a foolish, eccentric, or crazy person [2]


[edit] zephyr

ZEFF-er

noun

Etymology

after Middle English Zephirus, west wind (personified), from Latin Zephyrus, god of the west wind and zephyrus west wind, zephyr, from Greek Zephyros & zephyros [3]

Definition
  1. a breeze from the west
  2. a gentle breeze
  3. any of various lightweight fabrics and articles of clothing [4]


[edit] zeppelin

ZEP-pe-lin

noun

Etymology

1900, short for Zeppelinschiff "Zeppelin ship," after Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917), German general who perfected its design [5]

Definition
  1. a rigid airship consisting of a cylindrical trussed and covered frame supported by internal gas cells
  2. more generally, any airship [6]


[edit] zydeco

ZYE-duh-koh

noun

Etymology

Legend has it that the word "zydeco" originated in the lyrics of Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés, a popular Cajun dance tune. Loosely translated, the song's title means "the beans are not salty," and when spoken in French Creole, "les haricots" (French for "beans") sounds something like "zydeco." "Zydeco" first appeared in print in 1960 and has been used to describe this kind of music ever since. [7]

Definition

popular music of southern Louisiana that combines tunes of French origin with elements of Caribbean music and the blues and that features guitar, washboard, and accordion [8]

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