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zig-zag

Word Origin and History for zig-zag
zig-zag
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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