zebra crossing: n the black-and-white striped pathways drawn across roads where pedestrians have right of way and motorists have to stop if anyone is waiting by them. The phrase has been slightly usurped by the less exciting term “pedestrian crossing.” While this very concept of “it’s alright, on you go, the cars all have to stop” is dangerous enough, a great deal of them are positioned straight after roundabouts where motorists are least likely to be ready for them. I swear these things are part of some sort of population control policy. To make them marginally easier to see, some of them are marked with Belisha Beacons.
zed: n Z. The letter that the Americans pronounce “zee,” the Brits pronounce “zed.” Products with the super-snappy prefix “EZ” added to their names don’t tend do quite so well in the U.K. And yes, this does mean that British schoolchildren never hear the “alphabet song” that ends “now I know my A-B-C / next time won’t you sing with me?” as it relies somewhat on the G / P / V / Z rhyme. Perhaps G, P and V could be renamed “ged,” “ped” and “ved” in order to adopt it. I might write to the education minister saying as much.
Zimmer: n also “Zimmer frame” walker. One of those four-legged frame devices that the elderly use in order to help them get around the place. Zimmer is the brand name of a manufacturer of these things.