How to pronounce Z?

By Per Hansson ยท 36 replies
Jan 27, 2004
  1. When talking to The Planet tech support around 6 months ago I got introduced to saying the letter Z to an American...

    I have been in Ireland and pronounced it as "Zed" and people understood me, and that was how they pronounced it also...

    But Americans pronounce it as "Zee" now where my problem is is how to make the letters C and Z sound different...

    In School you get thaught English as secondary language but it's the U.K English, not American...

    So how do I pronounce it? Anyone dare to upload a wavefile? ;-)
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Zat is zee question.:D

    It makes you sound like Drakula.
  3. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    easiest way is to use words to associate the sound of the letter. I find myself having to do this when taking on the phone to people all the time.


    You just use a word that is easily associated with that letter.

    To try and explain the C and Z sounds, the C(See) would sound a bit like a hissing. The Z(Zee) is more of a zipping sound.
  4. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 271

  5. schizoid77

    schizoid77 TS Rookie Posts: 113

    Z's buzz....

    C's hiss....

    Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead.
  6. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Zed, but I'm from Ireland ;) My wifes american & she does indeed say "zee". Just stick with Zed ;)
  7. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 640

    I've never heard of anyone saying Zed instead of Zee....I'm american...So I guess thats all i've ever heard...
  8. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379


    Hmm doesn't sound right.

    xy Zed :D
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

  10. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I'm an American who lived in the UK for a few years - I think it really depends on current company. When I'm around anyone who has lived in or currently lives in Europe I pronounce it Zed. I work with several Irish folk here so it's Zed for them and Zee for my US associates.
  11. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Just adding my vote for Zed...

    It's not your fault those americans never learned how to pronounce the words properly ;) :D
  12. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 640

    Na come on guys, you're all backwards..Its zeeeeeeeeee :D
  13. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Zed here. Now just try pronouncing that old BBC TV series 'Z Cars' ('Zed' Cars). It just just doesn't sound right with a 'Zee'. Unless maybe you are french. :D
  14. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,959   +217

    Alright, now you have really cleared up my confusion, thanx allot guys!

    Zee(d) out ;-)
  15. ptitterington

    ptitterington TS Maniac Posts: 255

    So now we progress to the letter H, Some say aitch some say haitch

    you say potato............:grinthumb
  16. Goofy Newfie

    Goofy Newfie TS Rookie Posts: 199


    Must be a British Empire thingy.
  17. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Z is a letter, Zed is the old man who lives down the road, sits on his front porch cleaning his toenails with a hunting knife :p
  18. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    You guys ever heard how the name "America" came into being?
    About a thousand years ago, some vikings discovered land at the other side of the ocean.
    They found some natives on the beach, who started jumping and shouting when they saw this big ship. So the Viking's chief, Eric, climbed onto the railing of the ship, and also started jumping, while shouting "I'm Eric, I'm Eric". Then his foot slipped, and the shout sounded like "I'm Eric, Aaaaggghhh".

    PS: Zed for me (Irish), Zee for my wife (American)
  19. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Posts: 166

    IINM, it's "Zed" but Americans (like me) pronounce it "Zee".

    In Pakistan, since they use British english, it's "Zed", and it's "Zeb-ra" not "Zee-bra".

    It's cool :grinthumb
  20. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    The little ABC's song you hear on kids shows in the US has lots of rhymes in it, and if you say Zed it just doesn't fit the rhyme of the rest of the song.
  21. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    hahahaha. actually America was named after the italian cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. he was the guy who finally said that North America, Central America, and South America (what it is now) were not part of Asia as Columbus thought. or at least that was the way i was taught by my teacher. funny story nevertheless.
  22. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    Just use the phonetic alphabet :

    alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot, golf, hotel, india, juliet, kilo, mike, november, october, papa, quebec, romeo, sierra, tango, uniform, victor, whiskey, x-ray, yankee, zulu...

    It's pretty universal...
  23. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    "Z" is never pronounced with a zed sound in any word therefore the American pronounciation would be correct when reffering to the letter in a non-mathmatical sense.
    Zed is a throwback to the greek alphabet and apparently the only way for you thick-toungued Europeans to understand eachother.
  24. Rory7

    Rory7 TS Rookie Posts: 119

    It was Eric the red who descovered Greenland, and his son Lief Ericsson who discovered Newfoundland and later America.
  25. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    The Native American tribes might disagree with you on who discovered America.
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