How does one Google an accent mark when one doesn’t know it’s name. Try putting in “little squiggly below a c” and see how far it gets you. When I began writing yesterday’s post on soupçon, this was exactly the issue I faced. So what does this mean? According to the O.E.D. it was a mark derived from the letter z used in French, Portuguese, and formerly Spanish. It is used to soften the c in front of vowels that would often call for a hard sound.
Although the Spanish no longer use it, it seems to be a Spanish word. It comes from zedilla, as in a little zeda (the letter z).
It is also used in Turkish, but don’t ask me how.