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c.1400, from Middle French zede, from Late Latin zeta, from Greek zeta, from Hebrew zayin, letter name, literally "weapon;" so called in reference to the shape of this letter in ancient Hebrew. U.S. pronunciation zee is first attested 1670s. Other dialectal names for the letter are izzard, ezod, uzzard, and zod.
1978. Software Portability Group, U Waterloo. Eh, with types added. Similar to C. Implementation language for the Thoth realtime operating system. Added a few simple types for greater efficiency on byte-addressed machines. String constants in case statements. Enforces the naming convention: MANIFESTS, Externals and locals. "Porting the Zed Compiler", G.B. Bonkowski et al, SIGPLAN Notices 14(8):92-97 (Aug 1979).