Z (zet). The ancient language had two sibilant sounds, s and z; of which the z never stands at the beginning of a word, but is merely an s assimilated to a preceding dental, in the combinations ld, nd, nn, ll, rð, gð, see Gramm. p. xxxvi, col. I. β: its use in ancient vellums is very extensive: 1. in genitives; trollz, íllz (íllr), allz (allr), holtz, Skm. 32; gullz, 22; ellz = elds, botz = botns, Gkv. 3. 9; vatz and vaz = vatns; keyptz, Hm. 107; mótz, Knútz or Knúz = Knúts; vitz (vit); orðz, sverðz, barðz, borðz, garðz, harðz, langbarz, Gkv. 2. 19; Hjörvarðz, Hkv. Hjörv. 19; morðz, bragðz, flagðz, Frissb. 107, l. 19; or also orz, Hm. 141, etc.; prestz, Christz, passim; tjallz, Edda ii. 314; landz or lanz, passim; fjallz, Edda ii. 339; but tjalldz, 527; elldz, vindz, 317, 318; gandz, 525; brandz, 529; valldz, 338; sverðz, borðz, 331; but borz, 462, 1. 20; garz, 529; loptz, 341 (twice); but lopz, 317; netz, 327; gautz, 345; hugskozins, Post. 251. 2. in special forms; stendz, Grág. i. 501 (from standa); stennz, id., Ó. H. 143; bitzt from binda, Post. (Unger) 154; vizk, vizt, vatzk from vinda (II), q. v.; but vinnz from vinna, q. v.; biz = biðsk from biðja, Post. (Ungcr) 240: indeed bizt, bazt may be both from binda and biðja: bleiza and blezza (to bless), höllzti, qq. v.; beztr or baztr, the best; œztr = œðstr; þatz and þaz—þat es, Sæm. passim; þatztu, Am. 87; hvártz = hvárt es, Grág. (Kb.) i. 161: even mz (or mzt) for the older mk, þóttumz, Gkv. 2. 37. 3. when the z is due to a t following it; in the reflex, -sk is the oldest form, whence -zt, -z, -zst; andask, audazt, andaz, andazst: in the superl. zt, efztir, Frissb. 78, 1. 20; harðazta, l. 33; snarpazta, l. 16; ríkaztr, 207, l. 18; fríðuzt, l. 34; hagazt, Vkv. 18; grimmaztan, Edda ii. 530; máttkaztr, 280; hvitaz, 267; but st is the usual form, thus, sárastr, grimmastr, hvassastr, Gh. 17: in Ázt-ríðr = Ást-ríðr, Ó. H. 198, l. 12. 4. in such words as veizla, gæzla, reizla, leizla, hræzla, gæzka, lýzka, æzka, æzli, vitzka or vizka, hirzla, varzla, hanzki, = veitsla, … hirðsla, varðsla, handski, etc.: in reflex, neut. part., thus, hafa borizt, komizt, farizt, tekizt, fundizt, glazt, sagzt, spurzt, kallazt, dæmzt, átzt, … (from bera … eiga): in reflex. 2nd pers. pl. pres. and pret., e. g. þér segizt, þér sögðuzt, qs. segit-st, sögðut-st, so as to distinguish it from the 3rd pers., þeir sögðust, qs. sögðu-st. 5. Gitzurr or Gizurr, þjazi, Özurr; afraz-kollr, Ó. H. (pref.); huliz-hjálmr; Vitaz-gjafi, q. v.; but alaðs-festr, Grág. (Kb.) i. 88; viz, see víðr II: in foreign names, Jariz-leifr, Jariz-karr, Buriz-leifr, Gkv. 2. 19, Fms. vi. The etymology of words may often be decided by this; e. g. in beisl, a bridle, beiskr, bitter, the s of the vellums shews that neither word is derived from bíta; beiskr is in fact akin to Engl. beestings, Ulf. beist = ζύμη, A. S. beost: geiska fullr, Hkv. 2. 35, is not from geit, but from geisa: laz or latz (p. 376, col. 1) is from Fr. lace, not = Icel. láss: misseri (q. v.) is no relation to miðr, etc.: at lesti, at last, being spelt with s, not z, is not related to latr, but derived from leistr = a cobbler’s last, at lesti = Lat. in calce, see Mr. Sweet’s Ed. of Gregory’s Pastoral Care, p. 474: again, vaztir is akin to vatr = vatn: exceptional cases,—vissi, pret; from vita, and sess, a seat. II. after a single dental (unless it be t) s, not z, is written; thus, gen. Guðs, boðs, brauðs, auðs, góðs, óðs, vaðs, liðs, öls, fals, háls, frjáls, víns, eins, etc., passim: z is quite exceptional, e. g. liðz, Frissb. 106, ll. 16, 33 (but liðs, Hbl. 33, Am. 43): so also after rn, rl, nl, rn, fn, gn, barns, Clem. 134; karls, Hkv. 2. 2; jarls, Hm. 97; hrafns, segls, regns, tungls (regns, Edda ii. 340). The vellums are very irregular in the distinction of a single or double consonant, but the sibilant used shews the true form of the word; in ‘Odz Colssonar,’ Ö. H. (pref.) l. II, the z and s shew the names to be Oddr and Kolr, not Oðr, Kollr; in a vellum els would be gen. of él, e;lz of eldr; in grunz, Edda ii. 287; lunz, 317; hlunz, ranz, lanz, 333; elz, Post, (Unger) 234; golz, 225, l. 23; odz, Ó. H. (pref.), l. II; alz, etc., the z shews that though there is only one n, l, etc. written, they were actually sounded double, grunnz, hlunnz, rannz, landz, eldz, gollz, oddz, allz. 2. the s does not change into z if the word is a compd; as, skáld-skapr, vind-svalr, út-suðr, passim; hirð-stjóri, Edda ii. 335, shewing that in ancient times the pronunciation was more distinct than at the present day; the z in orðztír (Edda ii. 344, orztír, 463) shews that the word is qs. orðz-tírr; yet we lind such forms as innzigli, Post. 238; guðzspjall, 239; ástzamliga, 243; handzceld, Barl.; randzaka, Post. 134, l. 29; but rannsaka, l. 14; nauzyn = nauðsyn, Skálda 167. 21; nauzun, Edda ii. 236; anzvara, annzkoti, = andsvara, andskoti, etc. III. about the 15th century (or earlier) the z sound began to disappear, and s took its place, being at present the only sibilant used in Icel. In later vellums the z is therefore cither little used or is misapplied, as in the additions by the third hand in the Flatey-book, or it is used to excess as in modern Dutch. In modern spelling, including Editions of Sagas, the z has been disused, except in the instances coming under the rule given in I. 4: yet with exception of ðs, for the moderns write leiðsla, hræðsla, beiðsla, náðst, old leizla, názt, except in reisla (i. e. reizla) from reiða; hirzla qs. hirdsla. 2. zz is sounded as ss, blessa, Gissur, Össur; so also vass, boss, = vatz, botz; even ris, gars, lans, sans, for orz, garz, lanz, sanz (gen. of orð, garðr, land, sandr).