One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A mark (¸) written under the letter c, especially in French, to show that it is pronounced like an s rather than a k (e.g. façade).
- ‘This new accentual emphasis sometimes stems from a mere cedilla.’
- ‘His publicity pictures show a perky looking man - puckish perhaps - with a cheery grin of white teeth and lightly raised eyebrows like cedillas.’
- ‘We apologise to our more pedantic readers for the absence of a cedilla on the word ‘soupcon’. But do you really think I've got time to write this drivel and go the Windows Character Map to look for French accents?’
- ‘Elsewhere, especially in some loans, c is soft before ae, oe in Latin caesura and Greek coelacanth, soft in French façade (often written without the cedilla, as facade), and generally hard in Celt/Celtic.’
- 1.1 A mark similar to a cedilla written under s in Turkish and other languages.
Late 16th century: from obsolete Spanish, earlier form of zedilla, diminutive of zeda (the letter Z), from Greek zēta.
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