Z

zaftig: Having a fuller figure, usually of women. Rubenesque and pleasing. From Yiddish “zaftik”=juicy < Old High German “saf”=sap.

zeal: Passionate desire to do something. From Middle English “zele” < Latin “zelus” < Greek “zelos”=strong feeling or fervor.

zealot: Fanatical enthusiast; member of 1st century Jewish sect. From Greek “zelotes”=zealous follower < “zelus”=ardent feeling or fervor.

zenith: Highest point reached in the heavens by a celestial body. Latin “cenit” < Arabic “samt ar-ras”=path over the head.

zephyr: West wind, of god of the west wind. From Latin “zephyrus” < Greek “Zephyros”=west wind < possibly related to “zophos”=darkness.

zoanthropy: Psychiatric condition where a person believes he/she can become an animal. From Greek “zoion”=animal + “anthropos”=man.

zombie: Dead body brought back to life by voodoo magic. Modern zombie mythology has them as cannibals. From Bantu “zonbi=ghost.

zucchetto: Small skull cap worn by Catholic clergy, different colors indicate rank. Diminutive of Italian “zucca”=gourd < Latin “cucutia.”

zymurgy: Study of fermentation or brewing of alcoholic drinks. From Greek “zymo”=ferment + “ourgia”=working.