cedilla
Definition - The name of a diacritic used under the c in French words to indicate a soft pronunciation.

Example -
façade

Etymology -
The word derives from the Spanish cedilla, the feminine diminutive of the letter z, thus it means "little z." Originally, a z was written after the c to indicate that its pronunciation was soft; eventually, it was written underneath.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1599:
"Marked with a dash vnder it thus, ç, called ç Cerilla, or ç Cedilla, is proper to the Arabique tongue, from whence it was first taken."
(Minsheu Span. Gram. 6)



Please comment

Email: