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Last update:
  3-Oct-2000
1996-2004
  Mike Todd

Y A A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Where it's not obvious: BE = British English, AE=American English and ext-link indicatorindicates an external link

Zee
  Zed
The last letter of the alphabet is zee in AE, although Canada, and some parts of the USA, use zed. This pronunciation has led to the quirky abbreviations in commercial use, such as EZ Drive which comes out as Easy Drive
ZIP code
  Postal code
ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan. It is a 5-digit code (now extended to 9 digits) introduced in 1963 used by the US Postal Service to help in sorting and delivering the mail. The lowest ZIP codes are in the east (00210 is in New Hampshire), and the highest in the west (99950 is in Alaska). The 5-digit Zip code is made up of three parts: the first number indicates the rough geographic area (1, for instance is Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania), the next two indicate a "sectional centre" or a large city, and the last two digits indicate a specific post office, or postal delivery area. The 4-digit extension (creating what is known as ZIP+4 was added in 1983. This ties the location even more precisely - the first two digits indicate a specific area within the ZIP code (perhaps a cluster of streets or large building), and the second two narrow this down even further to perhaps a single side of a block, a floor of a large building, or even a group of post office boxes).
Zipper
  Zip
The Americans invented the term zipper for the newfangled hookless fastener that was invented by WL Judson of Chicago in 1893, but he didn't apply the word to these fasteners. When the product was improved by Gideon Sunback in 1913, they were known as separable fasteners. However, the word zipper didn't actually appear until 1923 when the BF Goodrich Company used them on their rubber galoshes, and Mr Goodrich himself coined the word zipper when he renamed them Zipper Boots. It isn't clear how zipper turned into zip in the UK, but its first appearance was a few years after zipper, the proper name for the fastener, had been coined.
Zucchini
  Courgette

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