*zugzwang \TSOOK-tsvahng\ (noun) –
A position where one is forced to make an undesirable move.
"Alan’s company suddenly found itself in zugzwang, where every move it made worsened its position against an invisible opponent."
From German Zugzwang, Zug (move) + Zwang (compulsion, obligation).
zeugma \ZUG-meh\ (noun) –
The Greek correlate of the Latinate word, "syllepsis" [si-‘lep-sis], a syntactic construction in which a single word governs at least two other words or phrases even though its sense applies to them in different ways, e.g. "He flew off the handle and straight to Rio."
"Miss Nipper shook her head and a tin canister, and began, unasked, to make the tea." – Charles Dickens, ‘Dombey and Son’
"Councilwoman Hamilton would rather press flesh than clothes…
Zeitgeist \TSYT-guyst; ZYT-guyst\ (noun) – [Often capitalized] The spirit of the time; the general intellectual and moral state or temper characteristic of any period of time.
"Yet being a man, as I say, with his hair a little stirred by a Zeitgeist that made for change, Gates did at times display a disposition towards developments." — Herbert George Wells, ‘The New Machiavelli’
Zeitgeist is from the German: Zeit, "time" + Geist, "spirit."
zarf \zahrf\ (noun) –
In the Middle East, coffee is often drunk from cups without handles and tea, from glasses. A zarf is a decorative holder, usually from metal, with a handle that prevents the hot cup or glass from burning fingers. Some zarfs also have no handles, such as the insulation jackets that hold glasses to keep their contents cold.
"My dear, I am your zarf: you are just my cup of tea and I want to hold you forever."
Today’s word is an Arabic word meaning "…
zany \ZAY-nee\ (adjective) –
Amusingly strange, comical, or clownish.
"The annual variety show, designed for children in kindergarten through the sixth grade, is full of zany illusions, silly jokes, and features plenty of audience participation."
>From French zani, from Italian zanni, a nickname for Giovanni.