zaftig: Having a fuller figure, usually of women. Rubenesque and pleasing. From Yiddish “zaftik”=juicy < Old High German “saf”=sap.
zeal: Passionate desire to do something. From Middle English “zele” < Latin “zelus” < Greek “zelos”=strong feeling or fervor.
zealot: Fanatical enthusiast; member of 1st century Jewish sect. From Greek “zelotes”=zealous follower < “zelus”=ardent feeling or fervor.
zealous: Enthusiastic and passionate about something. Latin “zelus”=ardent feeling + “-ous”=adjective-forming suffix meaning “full of.”
zenith: Highest point reached in the heavens by a celestial body. Latin “cenit” < Arabic “samt ar-ras”=path over the head.
zephyr: West wind, of god of the west wind. From Latin “zephyrus” < Greek “Zephyros”=west wind < possibly related to “zophos”=darkness.
ziarat: A Muslim shrine or the journey to that place. Hindi < Urdu < Arabic “ziyarat”=pilgrimage < “zvr”=to visit.
zoanthropy: Psychiatric condition where a person believes he/she can become an animal. From Greek “zoion”=animal + “anthropos”=man.
Zoilus: (adj) Being severely critical. Eponym after Zoilus, 4th century BC Greek critic and grammarian who was severely critical of Homer.
zombie: Dead body brought back to life by voodoo magic. Modern zombie mythology has them as cannibals. From Bantu “zonbi=ghost.
zomotherapy: The use of raw meat, or its juices, to treat tuberculosis. Greek “zomos”=soup + “therapeia”=healing.
zoolatry: The worship of animals. Greek “zoion”=animals + “latriea”=worship, service to god.
zucchetto: Small skull cap worn by Catholic clergy, different colors indicate rank. Diminutive of Italian “zucca”=gourd < Latin “cucutia.
zwischenspiel: Gap between two parts of a stage production or musical piece. German “zwischenspiel” < zwischen”=between + “spielen”=to play.
zymurgy: Study of fermentation or brewing of alcoholic drinks. From Greek “zymo”=ferment + “ourgia”=working.