Z with stroke

Ƶ (minuscule: ƶ) is a letter of the Latin alphabet, derived from Z with the addition of a stroke through the centre.

Latin letter Ƶƶ

Use in alphabetsEdit

Ƶ was used in the Jaᶇalif alphabet (part of Uniform Turkic Alphabet) for the Tatar language in the first half of the 20th-century to represent a voiced postalveolar fricative [ʒ], now written j.

Ƶ was used in the 1992 Latin Chechen spelling as voiced postalveolar fricative [ʒ]. It was also used in a 1931 variant of the Karelian alphabet for the Tver dialect.

The 1931-1941 Mongolian Latin alphabet used Ƶ to represent [d͡ʒ].

Use in heraldryEdit

Vertical form of the Wolfsangel hearaldic charge
Municipal arms of Oestrich-Winkel
Municipal arms of Marpingen
Municipal arms of Eppelborn

The Ƶ character is similar to the vertical form of the Wolfsangel (or "wolf trap") heraldic charge from medieval Germany and eastern France.

The Wolfsangel symbol was an early 15th-century symbol of Germanic liberty and freedom that also appears as a mason's mark and was also used as a German medieval forestry boundary marker.[1] The Wolfsangel symbol uses the reversed (mostly, but not exclusively) Ƶ character in both horizontal and vertical forms, and in heraldry, the vertical form is associated with a Donnerkeil (or "thunderbolt").[2]

Appropriation by NazisEdit

In World War 2, the Wolfsangel symbol was appropriated into Nazi symbolism by both military and non-military groups and now remains listed as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League database.[1][3] In 2020, there was a brief trend of Generation Z users of TikTok tattooing a "Generation Ƶ" symbol on their arm as "a symbol of unity in our generation but also as a sign of rebellion" (in the manner of the 15th-century Germanic peasant's revolts), however, the originator of the trend renounced it when the appropriation of the symbol by the Nazis was brought to her attention.[4]

Use in UkraineEdit

Far-right movements in Ukraine like the former Social-National Assembly and the former Azov Battalion have used a 90-degree rotated Ƶ symbol with an elongated center stroke for the political slogan Ідея Нації (Ukrainian for "National Idea", where the symbol is a composite of the "N" and the "I"); they deny any connection with Nazism, or with the Wolfsangel symbol.[5][6]

Use as a variant of the letters Z and ŻEdit

In Polish, the character Ƶ is used as an allographic variant of the letter Ż. Many people often use it as a handwritten variant of Z.[citation needed]

In Greek, the character Ƶ is a handwritten form of the letter Xi (ξ), where the horizontal stroke distinguishes it from Zeta, ζ.

Ƶ and ƶ are also used by mathematicians, scientists, and engineers as variants of Z and z in hand-written equations to avoid confusion with the numeral 2.

Use as a currency symbolEdit

Ƶ was sometimes used instead of Z to represent the zaire, a former currency of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In video games, Ƶ has been used as a fictional currency symbol, particularly in Japanese games where it can stand for zeni (a Japanese word for money). The Dragon Ball franchise, as well as Capcom games, use Ƶ in this way. It can also be found in the games EVE Online and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, where it stands for, respectively, the "Interstellar Kredit" (ISK) and the "Osean Zollar".

Use in modern runic writingEdit

 
Armanen runes and the 18th Gibor rune based on Ƶ

A 45-degree rotated Ƶ forms the basis of the Gibor rune, which is a pseudo-rune (i.e. not an actual ancient rune) invented in 1902 by the 19th-century Austrian mysticist and Germanic revivalist Guido von List, and features prominently in modern runic writing.

Use in computersEdit

The Unicode standard specifies two codepoints:

  • U+01B5 Ƶ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z WITH STROKE
  • U+01B6 ƶ LATIN SMALL LETTER Z WITH STROKE

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Ahmed, Akbar (February 2018). Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity. Brookings Institution. p. 77. ISBN 9780815727583.
  2. ^ Yenne, Bill (October 2010). Hitler's Master of the Dark Arts: Himmler's Black Knights and the Occult Origins of the SS. Zenith Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0760337783.
  3. ^ "Wolfsangel: General Hate Symbols, Neo-Nazi Symbols". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  4. ^ Greenspan, Rachel (22 September 2020). "TikTok users recommended a Nazi symbol as a Gen Z tattoo idea to represent 'rebellion'". Insider. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Profile: Who are Ukraine's far-right Azov regiment?". Al Jazeera. 1 March 2022. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  6. ^ Schipani, Andres (29 March 2022). "'Don't confuse patriotism and Nazism': Ukraine's Azov forces face scrutiny". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 May 2022.

External linksEdit