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The letter zed

by Alison
(Nashville, Tennessee USA)

It was in a collection of books called journey through book land and recently someone from South Africa was telling how the letter z is really supposed to be zed . .and it made me think of this particular nursery rhyme that mentioned the letter zed and I never understood it as a kid.


Hi Allison,

What I found matches up a bit with what you heard someone from South Africa say. In some countries, particularly those associated with Great Britain, the letter "Z" is pronounced "Zed".

Whereas, Americans pronounce the letter "Z" as "Zee".

So with the nursery rhyme 'Alphabet Song', in the American version the end of the rhyme is written to rhyme with "Zee".

It reads, "Now I know my ABC's, Next time won't you sing with me."

In the UK & Canadian version, it is written to rhyme with "Zed".

In that version the rhyme ends as, "Sugar on your bread, Eat it all up before you are dead."

Personally, I like the American version better.

I hope this answers your question.

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