Word Origin & History

1712, from Fr. zigzag (1680), perhaps from Ger. Zickzack (though this only is attested from 1703), possibly a reduplication of Zacke "tooth, prong." Earliest use in Ger. is in ref. to military siege approaches. Originally in Eng. used to describe the layout of certain garden paths. The verb is recorded
from 1787.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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