Appendix:English dictionary-only terms/zzxjoanw

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The last entry in Rupert Hughes' 1903 book The Musical Guide, defined as a Maori word for “drum”, “fife”, or “conclusion”; either a hoax or a joke.



  1. A ghost word purported to mean, in Maori language, drum, fife, or conclusion.
    • 1990, David Brin, Earth
      Auntie Kapur tapped a steady beat on a miniature ceremonial drum — which some called a zzxjoanw — while making fatidic statements about amorous goddesses and other superstitious nonsense.
    • 2001, Dan Tilque, Maoris in SF
      At one point, Brin has a Maori (I think it was the priestess or whatever she was[1]) playing a native drum called a zzxjoanw.
      The problem is that "zzxjoanw" is not a Maori word and in fact is nothing at all like a Maori word. Furthermore, I understand that the Maori didn't even have drums.
    • 2003, Tony Cooper, OT: What ever happened to Fontana...
      I also found an interesting spelling error. There is a well-known wordplay hoax involving "zzxjoanw"[1]. In the Introduction, I noticed that Morice referred to the "Zzyxjoanw Hoax" (sic). At first, I thought this may have simply been a typo, but when I found the entry "zzyxjoanw hoax", I saw that it was consistently spelled with the "y" throughout. While I thought this might have been a better spelling for this coinage, it had always been "zzx-" in all the gazillions of times I'd ever seen it! I had _never_ seen the word spelled with the "y" in it before, and I wondered what in the world was going on.
    • 2008, Joe Dunthorne, Submarine: A Novel
      I try and find words which we are not supposed to be looking for. The word zzxjoanw: a Maori drum.
    • Date unknown, "Crazyfish", This Is Not Your Mother's Goldfish
      But then one day, whilst whiling away a sunny summer Sunday creating vast mud huts, tributaries and totems to the greatest zzxjoanw player the world has ever seen