So what is an izard? It's another name for a chamois, which is a small (less than a metre tall) goat-antelope:
photo by Doronenko
Do we need another word for a chamois? Well, the way my family pronounced chamois (we used its soft leather for washing windows) was shammy, and I spent several years trying to find that word in the dictionary, so for me the answer is yes. Izard would have made things much less baffling.
While we're here, izzard, though said the same way, is a completely different word: it's an old term for the letter z.
Now, Z is also a causer of difficulties because of the split between those who say zed and those who say zee.
On the whole I think we should all switch to izzard. And izard. It'd solve two problems. And it's ever such good fun to say.
Word To Use Today: izard and/or izzard. Izard comes from the Gascon isart, and before that probably from some Iberian word. Izzard appeared in the 1700s. Before that it was ezed, probably from the Old French et zède, which means, endearingly, and zed.