I have observed some differences between Americans and British people when pronouncing /z/ in almost any word. But I don't know exactly what is the difference, I would describe it as Ame /z/ being more exaggerated, more sonorous, while for British I think I have heard them to make quite often the voiced sound but not fully voiced, in the sense that the voiceness stops before the sibilant sound does. I haven't been able to find anything on the internet so maybe you can help me.

1 Answer 1


I think it is the difference between the US "Zeeeeeeee" and the UK "Zed".

Some of the US accents emphasise the "eeeeee", as in "Zeeeeeebra" (ziː.brə), while, as a Brit, I would pronounce it "Zeb.ra" with the 'e' pronounced as 'eh'

You can compare pronunciations here, just under the word.

  • 1
    No, it's not that. I'm not referring to the name of the letter. Nor to the vowels around. I'm referring to /z/, and not necessarily articulated when the letter z occurs.
    – Damaru
    Nov 12, 2019 at 7:51
  • if you scroll down a bit in the link you sent you can see that Americans also pronounce zebra with an 'eh' sometimes
    – Damaru
    Nov 12, 2019 at 11:58

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