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n.  a self-censored spelling of the mild oath “zounds,” a contraction of “God’s wounds.”

<Talking one day of Chinese waggons, which were made so light as to sail over mountains: ‘Z—nds,’ said Peter, ‘where’s the wonder of that?’  —Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub.>

(also z-z-z.)  n.  the sound of a parrot sleeping, as in the comic book Donald Duck and the Pirates by Walt Disney.

n.  the buzzing of bees.

<I knew from past experience that the oxen were afraid of the buzzing sound of bees.  So we made the z-z-z sound and the oxen raised their tails somewhat and went faster.  We were satisfied with the speed and stopped the buzzing, however the buzzing was resumed, not by us, but by a real bee.  The oxen raised their tails very high and went into a gallop.  We knew right away that we could get into serious trouble, because there was no way to stop oxen on the run.  —Nahum Meir Halpern, From Slavery to Freedom.>

n.  a magic spell to conjure blurred vision (Balanced Alternative Technologies Multi-User Dimension,

n.  the “purring or snoring” call of the Yellow-spotted Barbet, as described in Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Dale A. Zimmerman.

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Copyright (c) 2000 Craig Conley