1. Ben Zimmer says:

    The Wikipedia entry for Zot discusses some other uses: on the one hand associated with the sound of laser guns in comic book usage (as in the Zot gun of Flash Gordon), and on the other hand associated with the sound made by the anteater in Johnny Hart’s comic strip B.C. (as in the rallying cry of UC Irvine, whose mascot is an anteater).

  2. Yes, that’s true, but there is no documentation of the verb form there and Wikipedia, due to its ever-changing nature, is not a reliable source.

  3. Just a thought about “zot”:  in addition to the quoted usage, the cartoon strip “B.C.” has used “zot” for years as the noise the aardvark makes when “zotting” an insect or similar critter.  Probably worthy of some mention in the “etymology.”

  4. IMP says:

    The Internet Oracle, which has been for an eternity in internet time, used *ZOT* to signify when someone was zapped by the angered Oracle.

    From the wiki entry:  “A *ZOT* (administered with the Staff of Zot, see LART) is earned when the Oracle is irritated. *ZOT*s are something like lightning strikes and are usually fatal. Unscrupulous participants will sometimes administer undeserved *ZOT*s. (The particular word *ZOT* may be a reference to the comic strip B.C. Alternately, it may be an allusion to Walter Karig’s 1947 novel entitled Zotz, in which a person could point at anyone or anything, say “Zotz!” and make that thing or person instantly disintegrate.)”

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