Word Origin & History
c.1847, short for Zoological Gardens of the London Zoological Society, established 1828 in Regent's Park to house the society's collection of wild animals. From comb. form of Gk. zoion "an animal," lit. "a living being," from PIE base *gwei- "to live, life" (cf. Gk. bios "life," O.E. cwicu "living;"
). Slang meaning "crowded and chaotic place" first recorded 1935.