Zayin (also spelled zain or zayn or simply zay) is the seventh letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Zayin
|Position in alphabet||7|
|Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician|
Original and modern meaning of the noun 'zayin'
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 , 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 letter is named zāy. It has two forms, depending on its position in the word:
|Position in word:||Isolated||Final||Medial||Initial|
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.
|ا ب پ ت ث ج چ ح خ د ذ ر ز ژ س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ک گ ل م ن و ه ی|
Perso Arabic script
The same letter has another name – ze – in a number of languages, such as Persian.
|Various print fonts||Cursive Hebrew||Rashi script|
In modern Hebrew the frequency of the usage of zayin, out of all the letters, is 0.88%.
Hebrew spelling: זַיִן
Numerical value (gematria)
Use in Torah scroll
Meaning as a noun
For the Biblical and Modern Hebrew meaning of 'zayin' as a noun, see above.
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 'tablespoon' (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' or "eye of needle" (קוף); 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.
Zain is a consonant with the /z/ sound which is a voiced alveolar fricative.
|Unicode name||HEBREW LETTER ZAYIN||ARABIC LETTER ZAIN||SYRIAC LETTER ZAIN||SAMARITAN LETTER ZEN|
|UTF-8||215 150||D7 96||216 178||D8 B2||220 153||DC 99||224 160 134||E0 A0 86|
|Numeric character reference||ז||ז||ز||ز||ܙ||ܙ||ࠆ||ࠆ|
|Unicode name||UGARITIC LETTER ZETA||IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER ZAYIN||PHOENICIAN LETTER ZAI|
|UTF-8||240 144 142 135||F0 90 8E 87||240 144 161 134||F0 90 A1 86||240 144 164 134||F0 90 A4 86|
|UTF-16||55296 57223||D800 DF87||55298 56390||D802 DC46||55298 56582||D802 DD06|
|Numeric character reference||𐎇||𐎇||𐡆||𐡆||𐤆||𐤆|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to ז.|
- "Definition of זין in Modern Hebrew, Milon Morfix (en)".
- Michael Handelzalts (15 October 2013). "How a Hebrew letter came to mean both "penis" and "weapon"". Haaretz. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- Brian E. Colless, Cuneiform Alphabet
- "Gematria Chart".
- "Milon Morfix (en)".