Pronounced zih-zih-vah, this word is accredited/associated with 4 things (2 of them widely accepted/known, 1 not so widely known, and 1 personal opinion, you try and pick which one):

1. Being the last word in the English Dictionary (aside from street names and zzz, the term used by many people to described a drawn character who is sleeping).

2. One of the weirdest spelt words known to man.

3. So says the American Heritage Dictionary:

NOUN: Any of various tropical American weevils of the genus Zyzzyva, often destructive to plants.

ETYMOLOGY: New Latin Zyzzyva, genus name, probably from Zyzza, former genus of leafhoppers.

4. The name of a literary magazine, based in San Francisco, that publishes writing and art by west coast writers and artists
The Last Word (
The American Heritage Dictionary 4th Edition Definition (
Zyzyvva: the last word in the English dictionary (if you can find one that lists it).

Zyzyvva is a calligraphic term describing a method of letter drawing that is almost impossible to describe in words. It involves the way the hand, pen and nib is held to create a certain type of swish for a particular stroke. The stroke created goes from being very thin to thick in a single quick movement.

Doing it correctly and smoothly is very difficult: when I worked for a calligraphy house, I could never get it exactly correct.

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