Catching z’s

If you read English language cartoon books you will notice that people (or some animals) sleeping will say in their bubble “zzzzzzzz”

Guy catching some z's in a hamock, pic: © Soldeandalucia | Dreamstime.com

Going “zzzzz” means one is sleeping and is snoring at least a little.

Catching z’s is a casual expression and therefore replying “he is catching some z’s” to your bosses question of where your co-worker is is wrong in more then one way.  First you shouldn’t rat out your tired co-worker in the first place but, secondly, if you absolutely must “taking a nap” or “resting” would be more appropriate.

However, if you live in a student dormitory and your roommate asks you: “Dude, what are you up to?” you might as well reply “I am wasted from last night’s party and am going to catch some z’s.”

Who came up with the idea of symbolizing snoring sounds with the letter “z” remains subject of debate.    I checked some German language comics and found “zzrzzr” or “chrrr” for loud snoring and “bssss” for non-snoring peaceful sleeping sound.

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