not a native letter in Old English; in Anglo-French words it represents the "ts" sound (as in Anglo-French fiz, from Latin filius, modern Fitz); from late 13c. it began to be used for the voiced "s" sound and had fully taken that role by 1400. For letter name, see zed.
Thou whoreson Zed, thou vnnecessary Letter. ["King Lear," II.ii.69]
Series of zs to represent a buzzing sound first attested 1852; zees "spell of sleep, a nap" is slang first recorded 1963, American English student slang.
*dhē(i)-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to suck."
It forms all or part of: affiliate; affiliation; effeminate; effete; epithelium; fawn (n.) "young deer;" fecund; fellatio; Felicia; felicitate; felicity; Felix; female; feminine; femme; fennel; fenugreek; fetal; feticide; fetus; filial; filiation; filicide; filioque; fitz; infelicity.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dhayati "sucks," dhayah "nourishing;" Greek thēlē "mother's breast, nipple," thēlys "female, fruitful;" Latin felare "to suck," femina "woman" ("she who suckles"), felix "happy, auspicious, fruitful," fetus "offspring, pregnancy;" fecundus "fruitful, fertile, productive; rich, abundant;" Old Church Slavonic dojiti "to suckle," dojilica "nurse," deti "child;" Lithuanian dėlė "leech;" Old Prussian dadan "milk;" Gothic daddjan "to suckle;" Old Swedish dia "suckle;" Old High German tila "female breast;" Old Irish denaim "I suck," dinu "lamb."
"put a ring on" (late 14c.); "make a circle around" (c. 1500); from ring (n.1) and probably in part from Old English ymbhringan "surround, encircle," from the root of ring (n.1). Related: Ringed; ringing. Compare Frisian ringje, Middle Dutch and Dutch ringen, Old High German ringan, German ringen, Old Norse hringa, hringja.
The intransitive sense of "gather in a ring" is attested by mid-15c. The sense of "provide or attach a ring or rings, affix a ring to" is from late 14c.; that of "adorn with rings" is from 1550s. The meaning "move in a circle around" is from 1825. The meaning "cut out a ring of bark from (a tree) to obstruct the flow of sap" is by 1800. It also meant "put a ring in the nose of (swine, cattle) to keep them from rooting or violence" (1510s), and this was used figuratively in 17c.-18c.
I apprehend also, that the wife, when she found she was to be rung, very wisely made a virtue of necessity, and added jewels to the ring .... ["Adam Fitz-Adam," "The World," Edinburgh, 1776]