צ The eighteenth letter of the Heb. alphabet. The name of the letter, ‘tzadeh’ or ‘tzade’ (צָדֵי), means lit. ‘fishing hook’ and prob. so called in allusion to the ancient form of this letter. It is also called צַדִּיק, ‘tzaddik’, prob. formed from צָדֵי and ק, the letter following it in the Heb. alphabet, under the influence of the word צַדִּיק. צ has a final form, ץ. In PBH צ has the numerical value of ninety and ץ has the numerical value of nine hundred. Heb. צ comprises three orig. different sounds. 1 It corresponds to Aram.-Syr. צ, Ugar. , Arab , OSArab. צ, Ethiop. , Akka. . cp. e.g. Heb. אֶצְבַּע, Aram. אֶצְבַּע, אֶצְבְּעָא, Ugar. ṣb, Syr. צֶבְעָא, Arab. iṣba‘, OSArab. אצבע (as a measure), Ethiop. ’ aṣbā‘t, Akka. ṣubū, iṣbiṭṭu (= finger). 2 צ also corresponds to Aram.-Syr. ט, Ugar. , Arab. , OSArab. ט. cp. e.g. Heb. צֵל, Aram. טְלָלָא, Ugar. ẓl, Arab. ẓill, Syr. טֶלָּלָא (= shadow, shade). 3 צ also corresponds to Aram. ע (sometimes ק), Syr. ע, Arab. , OSArab. צ, Ethiop. , Akka. . cp. e.g. Heb. יָצָא (= he went out), Aram. and Syr. יעא (= to go forth, bloom), Arab. waḍu’a (= was or became beautiful, neat or clean), OSArab. וצא (= to go out). Sometimes in this case the Aram. equivalent is צ (see צמד and צרך). If Aram.-Syr. ע, as the regular equivalent of Heb. צ (see above), is preceded or followed by another guttural, it is usually dissimilated into א. cp. e.g. Heb. עֵץ and Aram. אָע, for עָע (= wood); Heb. צֶלַע and Syr. אֶלְעָא, for עֶלְעָא (= rib), Syr. אַעְפָא, for עַעְפָא (= double), and base צעף ᴵ, whence also Heb. צָעִיף (= veil). צ alternates with ז and ס (see the introductory entries to these letters). It also alternates with שׂ. cp. שׂחק — a collateral form of צחק (= to laugh). The change of צ to ג in JAram.-Syr. גִּחֵךְ (= he laughed) is due to dissimilation. For the rare interchangeability of צ and ק see אֶרֶץ, צֹאן, מחץ, עֵץ and צֶמֶר.