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Blogging A – Z Challenge 2022: Zee or Zed, Let’s Put This Thing To Bed

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22727 – 976

Here’s the haps:

“It’s a good thing we won that Revolutionary War or we’d all be speaking English today.”

Americans are almost the only ones to end the alphabet by pronouncing the last letter, “zee.” The rest of the English-speaking world says, “zed.” Apparently, the reason is that the pronunciation is similar to its Greek origin, “Zeta” and the pronunciation of “zed” is actually older. I listened to the very familiar “A, B, C” song and sure enough, the British version ends with zed instead. This sounded incredibly strange to my ear and messed with my head.

For one thing, it doesn’t even rhyme or fit the song! You have the lilting sound of “t, u, v,” which fits the music nicely, only to finish with “w, x, y, and zed‽” Unimaginable.

This is how I learned it:

The Collins Dictionary blog, Language Lover’s Blog did a great job explaining clearly the differences in UK and US spelling in their post titled 9 Spelling Differences Between British and American English.

Thanks to all of youse guys who have followed me to the end of this challenge. As someone once said a long time ago that I just made up (or recalled. Sometimes the lines blur), “I like to say ‘mucho’ to all my Spanish-speaking friends. It means a lot to them.

Now I am tired
I want to go to bed
So, if you please
I’ll catch some zees
And you may keep your zeds



25 responses to “Blogging A – Z Challenge 2022: Zee or Zed, Let’s Put This Thing To Bed”

  1. Mr. Ohh's Sideways View Avatar

    You’re right It does mess with your head a bit. The V-Z rhyme isn’t there. When I entertain children, I mess with their heads even more by singing it backwards. Congrats on making it through
    Laugh at yourself

    1. Herb Avatar

      Thank you. My grandkids love it when I sing the alphabet backwards. “Now I’ve sung my z, y, exes, now we’re all going to Texas.”

  2. Tony Laplume Avatar

    I kind of miss the A to Z, in part because of those tricky letters I never really had a problem with. Of course I’m not doing a ton of blogging at all at the moment. Congratulations on finishing another tour.

    1. Herb Avatar

      Thank you. I don’t do the challenge on conjunction with any site, really, just myself.

  3. dumbestblogger Avatar

    And a big thank you to Noah Webster for getting rid of all those extraneous Us.

    1. Herb Avatar


  4. capost2k Avatar

    Um, I think you meant to say, “Thanx to all y’all,” not “Thanks to all of youse guys.” Sounds to New Jerseyish. 😎

    1. Herb Avatar

      Well, I been everywhere man…

  5. capost2k Avatar

    Btw, why is double-you written w and not uu? Or should we be calling the 23rd letter double-vee?

    1. Herb Avatar

      My Kindergarten teacher was surprised when I asked her that. She never answered me either.

  6. colinmcqueen Avatar

    Hee hee. I think the alphabet may have come before the song, Herb… 😉

    1. Herb Avatar

      lol. Yes sir, I believe you’re right there.

  7. colinmcqueen Avatar

    One little poem, two different versions…


    If A equals B
    And C equals D
    Then what on earth can W be?
    The X, Y and Z
    Just spin in my head.
    Why can’t we just add with numbers instead?

    ALGEBRA (American Version.)

    If A equals B
    And C equals D
    Then what on earth can W be?
    The X, Y and Z
    Mean nothing to me.
    Why can’t we just add with 1, 2 and 3.

    I can forgive you Zee, but ALOOMINUM (Aluminium – a whole extra syllable!) oh dear me, no… 🙂

    1. Herb Avatar

      Well, I like the message in both poems. Perhaps we could engrave them in alyoominium.

      1. colinmcqueen Avatar


  8. Jacqui Murray Avatar

    You are a font of knowledge, Herb. How did I survive before finding you and your blog. Looking forward to your AtoZ Reflections.

    1. Herb Avatar

      AtoZ reflections‽‽‽ Oh, no! I missed that one, lololol.

  9. Amber Avatar

    How nice and interesting

    1. Herb Avatar

      Glad y’all liked it.

  10. Geoff Stamper Avatar

    I learned something new today. I like to sing the ABC’s to grandkids, mixing up the letters but keeping rhymes.

    1. Herb Avatar

      Very cool!

  11. J P Avatar

    I find these examples of English English to be fascinating. And my reply to those who said we mispronounced letters: Zed who?

    1. Herb Avatar

      In the game, Day of the Tentacle, there is a minor character named Zed Edison.

  12. bekitschig Avatar

    It was so odd becoming a mum in Australia. I had to learn all the wheels of that damn bus & Co.!

    1. Herb Avatar

      It’s really something how the same language can be so different.

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