Mrs. Zander’s Libelli Latini,

Sample files, the Letter Z
P. M. Eckel
Res Botanica
Missouri Botanical Garden
November 1, 2008
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Mrs. Zander’s Libelli Latini

Sample Files, The Letter “Z”





Z: used generally in the Latin transcription of Greek names, to represent the Greek letter Z: "zeta," the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet.


At one time the Romans used the 's' to represent this letter when it began a word, as in sona, rather than zona. When the Greek letter occurred in the midst of a word, it might be transliterated 'ss' as in Atticisso and also  graecisso (-izo), are, 1. to imitate the Greeks, live in the Greek manner, which shows a variation in Latin transliteration of the Greek zeta. In late Latin, the 'z' may replace the 's,' as in zmaragdus for smaragdus, Zmyrna for Smyrna (after Lewis & Short); also possibly Salacca = Zalacca, a genus of Palmae [Salacca zalacca (J. Gaertn.) Voss ex Vilmorin].


The zeta, in Greek, is a double consonant (s and d).


The noun (zeta) is an indeclinable neuter noun.


NOTE: in the Greek alphabet, the zeta falls, not at the end (which is omega), but between epsilon and eta. 



    -ziae (; -zii (; -zianus,-a,-um (adj.A);

    - Cyperus Schweinitzii (Lewis David de Schweinitz); Potentilla Crantzii (H. J. N. Crantz); Peziza Agassizii (Louis Agassiz)

    - Andreaea lorentziana C. Mueller;

    - sometimes expressed with an 's': Gladiolus mosambicensis (Mozambique).

    - German words in -tz- may be latinized to 's': Lonicera L. from  Lonicerus, the surname of Adam Lonitzer, a German herbalist of the 16th century (Fernald, 1950; Stearn 1983 p. 290).


za-: Greek intensive and inseparable prefix, 'very, exceedingly;' [Aeol. for 'dia', q.v.];

    - zaleucus,-a,-um (adj.A), very white (Thaumastocheles zaleuca, a decapod). 

  In Greek: zamenos, very strong or mighty, zaplethes, very full; zaplutos, very rich, zapyros, very fiery, zatrephes, well-fed, fat; zacholos, very wrathful; zachrysos, rich in gold.

Zapus, gen. sg. Zapodis, a genus of mice (Zapus hudsonius, the meadow jumping mouse, subfamily Zapodinae), perhaps in reference to its extraordinary feet; Zaops depressa, a decapod.


-zanthic: see hapax-.


zantho-: in Gk. comp., yellow, variant of more proper xantho-, q.v. Xanthorhiza Marsh. from xanthos, yellow and rhiza, root: alternative spelling Zanthorhiza L'Hér.; Xanthoxylum Gmel., Gk. xanthos, yellow, and xylon, wood, alternative spelling to Zanthoxylum L.


Zea mays L., Zeae maydis: corn, q.v.; Latin zea,-ae (s.f.I), abl. sg. zea > Gk. zeia (s.f.I) indicating a kind of grain, used as a fodder for horses, a coarse wheat, spelt, as Triticum spalta L.; also a kind of rosemary]. 


Zealand (English name); Denmark, 'Sjaeland,' largest of the islands of Denmark: Selandia,-ae (s.f.I).


Zealand, New: Nova Zelandia,-ae (s.f.I); note that in a set of epithets, it appears that Nova Zealandia is also acceptable; adj. epithet novae-zelandicus, -a,-um (adj.A); novae-zelandensis,-e (adj.B);

    - novae-zelandiae (of New Zealand,

    - Deschampsia novae-zelandiae Petrie; Echinopogon novae-zelandiae Gand.; Hierochloe novae-zelandiae Gand.; Poa novae-zelandiae Hack.

    - Acaena novae-zealandiae [a misspelling for:] - Acaena novae-zelandiae Kirk; Festuca novae-zealandiae (Hackel) Cockayne; Glyceria novae-zealandiae Petrie; Puccinellia novae-zealandiae (Petrie) Allan & Jansen

In 1642, New Zealand was discovered by Abel Tasman, a Dutch navigator and the name probably refers to the Dutch province of Zeeland, q.v.; New Zealand is now part of the British Commonwealth.


zebrinus,-a,-um (adj.A): striped fairly regularly with white or yellow.


Zeeland (English name), also called Zealand in English: Zeelandia,-ae (s.f.I). A province (Zeeland) of the Netherlands, located in the south-west of the country, consisting of a number of islands (hence its name, meaning "sea-land") and a strip bordering Belgium; see Zealand, New.


zel-, zelo-: in Gk. comp. 'emulation, emulating' [> Gk. zelos (eta) s.m.II) eager rivalry, emulation (in a good sense); any strong passion, esp. jealousy; zeal for a thing; the object of emulation or rivalry, happiness].

    - Zelometeorium M. Manuel, alluding to the genus Meteoriopsis from which the genus Zelometeorium was segregated; possibly Zelonops pusilla Raf.? Arecaceae.


Zeorin: zeorinum,-i (s.n.II), abl. sg. zeorino;

    - thallus acidum usnicum, atranorinum, zeorinum et alia

      continens; thallus containing usnic acid, atranorine, zeorinum

      and others.


Zeta (s.n.) indeclinable neuter noun, the Greek letter zeta, 'z.'


Zeylona,-ae (s.f.I), Ceylona,-ae (s.f.I): Ceylon.


pertaining to Ceylon: zeylanicus,-a,-um (adj.A), ceylanicus,-a,-um (adj.A), taprobanicus,-a,-um (adj.A) [from the noun Taprobane (Stearn 1983)].


zig-: see zygo-. 


zigzag, bent alternately in opposite directions: valde (adv.) flexuosus,-a,-um (adj. A), q.v., fractiflexus,-a,-um (adj.A), anfractuoso-flexuosus,-a,-um (adj.A); flexicaulis,-e (adj.B), with a zig-zag stem; cf. gyrosus,-a,-um (adj.A): 'curved backwards and forwards in turn, spiral;' flexuosus,-a,-um (adj.A) 'slightly  and irregularly flexuous, zigzag, bent alternately in opposite directions; serpentinus,-a,-um (adj.A): snake-like, i.e. bent backwards and forwards into a wavy line; cf. anfractuosus,-a,-um (part.A): 'sinuous, spirally twisted' (this meaning rare); see meandrinus;

    - racemo fractiflexo, with a zigzag raceme.

    - caules anfractuoso-flexuosi, the stems zigzag.

Solidago flexicaulis L. for the zigzag stems bent at the nodes.


Zinc: zincum,-i (s.n.II), abl. sg. zinco;

    - chlorozincus,-i (s.m.II) ioduratus (adj.A): chlor-zinc-iodine (Schulze's Solution of 30 gr. zinc chloride, 5 gr. potassium iodide, 1 gr. iodine in 14 cc. distilled water).

    - coloniae chlorozinco iodurato caerulescentes, colonies in chlor-zinc-iodine becoming blue.


Zingiber,-eris (s.n.III), abl. sg. zingibere [> Gk. ziggiberis] ginger; [> L. zingiberi, n. an indeclinable noun: ginger, and zingiber,-eris (s.n.III), Amomum zingiber L.].

Zingiberaceae. Zingiber aromaticum Noronha, Zingiber citrinum Ridl., Zingiber citriodorum Theilade & Mood


Ziziphum,-i (s.n.II), abl. sg. ziziphi: the jujube [> Gk. zizyphon); ziziphus,-i (s.f.II): the jujube-tree: note that these are Latin words derived from the Greek and that the word for the tree is feminine in gender although in the second declension.

The jujube, medieval Latin jujuba,-ae (s.f.I), an edible drupaceous fruit of a tree of the genus Ziziphus (s.f.II) (Rhamnaceae); the Chinese Date; a tree of the genus Ziziphus (also a fruit-flavored gumdrop or lozenge). Note the genus is a feminine noun: Z. mucronata; Z. mauritiana (synonym Z. Jujuba Lam.); Z. mexicana; Z. nummularia; but Zizyphus xylocarpus Willd., which is a large shrub or small tree. The fruits of Zizyphus Jujuba Mill. non Lam., the Common Jujub, of China, Iran,  etc. with thin dark skin and whitish, mealy sweet flesh eaten fresh or dried like dates or boiled with grains, etc., source of Pate de Jujubes in the manufacture of "pectoral lozenges" (p. 563 Uphof, 1968, Dictionary of Economic Plants).

Ampelozizyphus guaquirensis W. Meier & P. E. Berry.


zo-, zoo-: in Gk. comb.

1. relating to animals, animal, animal kingdom or kind [> Gk. zoon, s.n.II (first vowel = omega) 'a living being, animal;' syn. L. animal, q.v., animalis (s.n.III), a living being, an animal; related to zoe, 'life'; also the Gk. adj. zoos,-a,-on, alive];

    - zoogloea,-ae (s.f.I), zoogloea (of bacteria) a colony embedded in a slimy substance (zoo- + gloea, glue, slime).

    - zoogenus,-a,-um (adj.A): growing or or generated by animals.

    - Zoologia,-ae (s.f.I), abl. sg. zoologia: the study of animal life.

    - the algae genera: Haemocystozoon (s.n.II), gen. sg. Haemocystozoi, abl. sg. Haemocystozoo; Haplozoon (s.n.II); Philozoon (s.n.II); Trypanozoon (s.n.II).

2. indicating motility, often used in nouns indicating the presence of flagella [> Gk. zoos,-a,-on, alive];

    - zoogameta,-ae (s.f.I), a motile gamete; zoogonidium,-ii (s.n.II), abl. sg. zoogonidio: zoogonidium, zoospore, swarm-spore; zoospora,-ae (s.f.I), a motile sporangiospore, one having flagella.


-zoa: a plural combining form [NL, > Gk. zoa, plural of zoon]: 'animals,' a taxonomic ending used in the names of taxa;

    - Bryozoa (pl.n.II), gen. pl. Bryozoorum; Echinozoa (pl.n.II), gen. pl. Echinozoorum; Apusozoa, a subphylum of the phylum Neomonada (algae); Apusozoa, a subphylum of phylum Neomonada (algae); Cercozoa, a phylum of infrakingdom Sarcomastigota (algae); Miozoa, superphylum of infrakingdom Alveolata; Neozoa, a subkingdom of kingdom Protozoa; Protozoa R. Owen, a Kingdom; Protozoa, a kingdom of empire or superkingdom Eukaryota.


zoa, plural of zoon, q.v.


-zoan: an adjective ending relating to the NL taxonomic noun-ending -zoa, q.v., but see note below -zoanus,-a,-um (adj.A), -zoaneus,-a,-um (adj.A), -zoicus,-a,-um (adj.A);

    - bryozoanus,-a,-um (adj.A), bryozoaneus,-a,-um (adj.A), bryozoicus,-a,-um (adj.A): bryozoan, of or relating to Bryozoa; similarly echinozoanus (adj.A), relating to echinozoa; hydrozoanus (adj.A); protozoanus (adj.A).

NOTE: in WIII spermatozoa is a singular noun synonymous with spermatozoon; spermatozoan, an English adjective = 'of or relating to spermatozoa,' whether the taxonomic name (a plural noun) or in reference to a single spermatozoon.

NOTE: the etymology of -zoa in this instance derives from a New Latin noun (WIII). Since WIII also indicates -zoa is synonymous with the more classically consistent noun ending -zoon, then here the adjective will be treated as -zo + Latin endings -aceus,-a,-um (adj.A), -icus,-a,-um (adj.A) or -anus,-a,-um (adj.A).


-zoic, -living, animallike: in Gk. comp. -zoicus,-a,-um (adj.A)[> Gk. adj. zoikos, of or for animals; Gk. adj. zoos, alive, living]; syn. -bioticus,-a,-um (adj.A), q.v.;

    - phanerozoicus, phanerobiotic, living unconcealed, especially in daylight; cryptozoicus, cryptobiotic, living in concealment, of animals living in secluded situations as underground, in wood, in stone; cytozoicus, cytobiotic, parasitic within a cell (as of protozoans); endozoicus, endobiotic, living inside an animal; paleozoicus, living a long time ago.


-zoicus,-a,-um (adj.A): see -zoic.


-zoid (English noun suffix): in Gk. comp. [zo- + -(o)id, > Gk. zoon, s.n.II (first vowel = omega) 'a living being, animal' + eidos, resemblance + -ium, Gk. diminutive];

    - anthero-zoid-ium,-ii, abl. sg. antherozoidio: antherozoid, male motile cells provided with cilia, produced in antheridia (syn. antherozoa, pl.); syn. spermatozoidium,-ii, spermatozoid, q.v.


Zoid: synonym of zooid, q.v.


-zoidium,-ii (s.n.II), abl. sg. -zoidio, in Gk. comp.:

    1. resembling a little animal; spermatozoidium is a seed that resembles a little animal; see -zoid [> Gk. zoon, s.n.II (first vowel = omega) 'a living being, animal' + eidos, resemblance + -ium, Gk. diminutive]; see -zoid (English noun suffix).

    2. a little animal [> Gk. zoon (s.n.II) (first vowel = omega) 'a living being, animal' + Gk. diminutive -idion]. An example of this etymology is in the adjective 'zoidiophilicus,' a synonym of zoophilicus,-a,-um (adj.A), having an attraction to or preference for animals, rather than e.g. man, or insects, in reference to e.g. pollination.


zonarius,-a,-um (adj.A): of or belonging to a belt or girdle.

      Lactarius zonarius (Secr.) Fries, a mushroom with an orange cap with bands of color.


zonatim (adv.): in a zoned or banded manner, round about, in a circle; see circularly.


zonatus,-a,-um (adj.A): zoned, banded.


Zone: zona,-ae (s.f.I), abl. sg. zone (classically also sona,-ae); also Greek zone; see girdle, band; see zoster-.

Temperate Zone: regio,-onis (s.f.III) temperata (adj.A), abl. sg. regione temperata 'temperate region.'


zoneless: azonus,-a,-um (adj.A), azonatus,-a,-um (adj.A).


zone, little: zonula,-ae (s.f.I), abl. sg. zonula.

zoned, many-: multizonatus,-a,-um (adj.A).

zones, without: azonatus,-a,-um (adj.A), azonus,-a,-um (adj.A).


zoo-: see zo-, zoo-.


zoochoricus,-a,-um (adj.A): zoochoric, applied to those fruits which are separated by animal agency.

Zoochoria,-ae (s.f.I): zoochory, the state of distribution by animal agency (Jackson).


Zoogamete, a motile gamete, a planogamete: zoogameta,-ae (s.f.I), abl. sg. zoogameta;

    - generatio sexualis zoogametarum ope, sexual generation by means of zoogametes.


Zooid: [zo- + oid, > Gk. zoon, s.n.II (first vowel = omega) 'a living being, animal' + eidos, resemblance + -eum]: a member of a colony of animals which are joined together, such as a polyp, a polypide; "an entity that resembles but is not wholly the same as a separate individual organism: as

a: an organized body (as a phagocyte or a sperm cell) having locomotion

b: "a more or less independent animal produced (as by fission, proliferation, or strobilation ) by other than direct sexual methods [with] equivocal individuality, used esp. of a single person of a compound organism (as a hydroid, coral or bryozoan colony)" WIII: e.g. the 'zoid' in certain solitary corals;

Two possible Latinizations would include:

      1. zooidium,-ii (s.n.II), abl. sg. sooidio [> Gk. zoon, s.n.II (first vowel = omega) 'a living being, animal' + eidos, resemblance + -ium, Gk. diminutive]

      2. zooideum,-i (s.n.II), abl. sg. zooideo [zo + oideum], declined on analogy with rhizoid: rhizoideum,-ei (s.n.II), abl. sg. rhizoideo > rhiza,-ae, s.f.I from the Greek, meaning root, indicating a structure, as in mosses, that only resembles a root, as a zooid only resembles an animal.


zooidialis,-e (adj.B), zooideus,-a,-um (adj.A): zooidial, of or pertaining to a zooidium or zooid.


Zoon,-i (s.n.II), abl. sg. zoo, nom. & acc. pl. zoa, dat. & abl. pl. zois [> L. zoon, s.n.II: living being, animal (first 'o' is an omega); NL. fr. Gk. zoon, s.n.II (first vowel = omega), animal, akin to Gk. zoe, life; 'a living being, animal;' syn. L. animal, q.v., animalis (s.n.III), a living being, an animal]: "the whole product of one fertilized egg whether consisting of a single individual (as a dog), a colony of associated persons (as many hydroids), or an asexually-produced progeny of a sexually-produced individual (as some aphids)" WIII, often distinguished from Zooid, q.v.; cf. -zoa.

NOTE: according to WIII in word combinations, -zoa is synonymous with -zoon, as in the case of spermatozoa = spermatozoon.


-zoon, noun comb. form, pl. -zoa  [NL > Gk zoon animal: living being, animal];

    - cryptozoon,-i (s.n.II), abl. sg. cryptozoo, nom. & acc. pl. cryptozoa, dat. & abl. pl. cryptozois: a cryptozoan, an animal living a crytobiotic life among the organic debris of a forest floor; cytozoon,-i (s.n.II), abl. sg. cytozoo, nom. & acc. pl. cytozoa, dat. & abl. pl. cytozois: a  cytozoic animal parasitic within a host cell; spermatozoon,-i (s.n.II): a motile male gamete of an animal, syn. spermatozoid.

NOTE: spermatozoon is used of animal sperm; the motile male gamete of a plant, spermatozoidium, is a seed that resembles a little animal [> Gk. zoon, s.n.II (first vowel = omega) 'a living being, animal' + eidos, resemblance + -ium, Gk. diminutive]; see -zoid (English noun suffix).


zoonal, of or relating to a zoon: zooneus,-a,-um (adj.A), zoonicus,-a,-um (adj.A).


Zoosporangium, zoosporange, a sporangium producing zoospores: zoosporangium,-ii (s.n.II), zoosporangio.


Zoospore, swarm-spore, zoogonidium, a motile sporangiospore, one having flagella: zoospora,-ae (s.f.I), zoospora;

     - propagatio agamica zoosporarum ope, asexual propagation by means of zoospores.


zoospore-bearing or producing: zoosporophorus,-a,-um (adj.A).


zoster-: in Gk. comp. belt- [> Gk. zoster,-eros (eta) s.m.: the warrior's belt or baldric, which secured the body-armor, zone, or zona being the woman's girdle; later, any belt or girdle. zostron,-i, s.n.II, a belt, girdle].

Zostera,-ae (s.f.I) L.: Eelgrass; > Gk. zoster, a belt, in reference to the ribbon-like leaves of this genus of marine plants; Zostera marina L.; Zosteraceae; dim. Zosterella,-ae (s.f.I).


zyg-, zygo-: in Gk. comp., joined, yoked; see -zygus,-zyga,-zygon (adj.A and noun):

    - zygomeris,-e (adj.B): with parts joined in pairs; see -ygus,-zyga,-zygon.

Zygocactus, K. Schum., a cactus with zygomorphic flowers; Zygodon Hook. & Tayl., zygos, a pair, and odon, tooth, in allusion to the teeth of the peristome joined in pairs; Zygopetalum Hook., for the yoked or joined petals.

NOTE: sometimes zig-, zigo- is used, as in Zigadenus Michx., Gk. zygos, a yoke, and aden, a gland, "the glands being sometimes in pairs" (Fernald 1950).


Zygodesma,-atis (s.n.III), abl. sg. zygodesmate: clamp; cf. fibula.


zygomorphic, zygomorphous, divisible into equal halves along one plane only: zygomorphus,-a,-um (adj.A), zygomorphicus,-a,-um (adj.A); see actinomorphic, irregular, regular;

    - flores zygomorphi, flowers zygomorphic.


Zygophore: zygophorum,-i (s.n.II), zygophoro, a specialized hyphal branch in certain fungi, the tip of which forms a gametangium which fuses with its mate to form a coenozygote, q.v., as in the Mucorales.


Zygospore: zygospora,-ae (s.f.I), zygospora.

zygospore, pertaining to: zygosporicus,-a,-um (adj.A).

zygospores, producing: zygosporogenus,-a,-um (adj.A); zygosporophorus,-a,-um (adj.A). 


Zygote, the result of fusion of two gametes; a cell in which two nuclei of opposite sex have undergone fusion: zygota,-ae (s.f.I), zygota, nom. pl. zygotae, gen. pl. zygotarum, dat. & abl. pl. zygotis;

    - coenozygota,-ae (s.f.I), abl. sg. coenozygota; see zygophore.


-zygus,-zyga,-zygon (adj.A and noun): in Gk. comp. -yoked, joined; see xyg-, zygo-;

    - Actinozygus (alga); Amphizygus (alga); Chiastozygus (alga); Diadozygus (alga); Neochiastozygus (alga); Orthozygus (alga).

    - Diplozyga (alga); Eugymnozyga (alga); Gymnozyga (alga); Haplozyga (alga); Eugonatozygon (alga); Gonatozygon (alga).


-zyma,-ae (s.f.I), abl. sg. -zyma: [in Gk. comp. 'yeast',] concerned with fermentation [> Gk. zyme,-es, leaven, ferment]: actinozyma,-ae (s.f.I), the active fraction of 'actinomycetin;' Myxozyma,-ae (s.f.I); Pseudozyma,-ae (s.f.I); cf. enzyme.

NOTE: although the suffix ends in '-ma' it is not neuter, decl. III.


Zymase: zymasum,-i (s.n.II), abl. sg. zymaso; see diastase.


-zyme: see -zyma,-ae.


zymogenus,-a,-um (adj.A): ferment-producing.