Marianne is a British writer and researcher who has always been fascinated by names and where they come from.
Here is a list of baby names beginning with the letter Z. Currently, Z is the seventh-least popular letter to start a name with in the United States. There aren't many traditional English language names that start with Z, so many of these names have a unique and special feel.
Z Names in This Article
- Most popular names for girls
- Most popular names for boys
- Names from history
- Names from the Bible
- Celebrity-inspired names
- Names from around the world
Top 15 Girls' Names Beginning With Z
This Greek name means life. It originally comes from a translation of Eve. In recent years this name has been really popular in the U.S., peaking at number 20 for 'Zoey' and number 30 for 'Zoe' in 2012. Zoe is also popular in the Netherlands, France, Australia, France, the UK, Hungary and other countries around the world.
Possibly derived from the Arabic meaning blooming flower. Play by Voltaire. This name has only been in the top 1000 in the U.S. since 2005. This name became well known in 1981 after Princess Anne of England named her daughter (the Queen's granddaughter) Zara.
Zuri means beautiful in Swahili. This name has been in the top 1000 in the U.S. since 2010 and is especially popular with African Americans.
Zariah has been a top 1000 name since 1996 and is another name that is especially popular with African Americans.
There are many possible sources for this name. Zariah could come from:
- Same Arabic route as Zahra
- Name of a city in Nigeria.
- Hebrew name Azaria is a male name from the Bible
- Russian word for dawn and sunrise
The spelling Zariyah is probably a modern invention, but it can also be an alternate spelling for Sariyah, from the book of Mormon.
This name derives from two distinct routes, it can be the feminine form of the Yiddish name Selig, meaning blessed or happy, or it can be a nickname for Griselda which means grey battle.
Zelda is the most consistently popular girl Z name. Zelda reentered the U.S. girls' top 1000 names in 2015, after leaving in 1967. Peaked at 376 in 1911. The most famous Zelda is the cartoon character from the Legend of Zelda.
Zaylee is probably a modern invention based on Kaylee or Haylee.
According to some sources, Zaniyah is the Aztec word for forever/always. Other sources say this is a modern invention inspired by other names ending in -yah.
Traditional Arabic/Urdu name which means a father's precious jewel. This name has been in the top 1000 in the U.S. since 2013.
Read More From Wehavekids
A version of the traditional Shona name Tendai, a language from Zimbabwe, meaning to give thanks. This name has become more popular due to the Disney Channel star/actress/singer Zendaya.
Zion is more common as a male name, but it is currently in the top 1000 for both boys and girls.
Russian/Ukranian version of Zoe.
Probably a modern invention, perhaps inspired by Layla.
Zola was in the top 1000 from 1880 to 1941. Means quiet in Zulu.
Another Z name with several different origins. This is a Mongolian word for fate, luck, destiny, and also Tibetan for a victorious woman.
A version of Sadie which means princess.
Top 14 Boys' Names Beginning With Z
Biblical name, English version of the name of John the Baptist's father, and other biblical characters. This is currently a top 100 name, but Zachary was most popular in the 1990s when it was in the top 20.
Probably a modern invention inspired by Jayden or Hayden. Zayden first appeared in the top 1000 in 2006 and is now a top 200 name.
Another Z name with several spellings and possible meanings. Zane has been in the top 1000 since 1921 but has become a top 300 name in the last 20 years peaking at 211 in 2016.
Zayn means beauty or grace in Arabic. This name entered the top 1000 in the U.S. in 2013. Its popularity was undoubtedly inspired by the fame of Zayn Malik, the former member of the boyband One Direction. Zayn Malik comes from England, but his family is of Pakistani origin.
Hebrew name which means raised up or redemption. It's also used to refer to the Jewish homeland. This name has been in the top 1000 since 1998.
Derived from Alexander. This name entered the top 1000 in 2000 and was most popular in 2013 when it was number 230.
From the same routes as Zachary, this boys' name has been in the top 1000 since 1972.
A shortened version of Ezekiel. This name has been in the top 1000 since 2011, although it also appeared a few times in the nineteenth century.
An alternative spelling of Zachariah which has been in the top 1000 since 1986.
Zaire has been a top 1000 name since 1999.
Zavier has been in the top 1000 names since 2001 and was most popular in 2010.
An Arabic baby boy name which means abundance. Zaid has been in the top 1000 since 2003.
A short version of Zachary or Zacharias. This name was in the top 1000 in the US until 1927 and reappeared from 2002 until 2010.
Arabic name meaning evident or outer. This name has never been in the top 1000, but is next on the list in popularity.
A name of many meanings in different languages. Zamir is; a Hebrew name meaning singer or nightingale, an Arabic name meaning heart or conscience, an Albanian name meaning good voice, or a Slavic name possibly meaning peace.
Z Names From History
Here is a list of Z names that used to be fairly popular in the U.S. in the past. These are all girls' names because there are hardly any boy Z names that fall into this category.
- Zella: Zella is a short form of Marcella. It was in the top 300 girl names from the 1880s to 1904 and last in the top 1000 in 1950.
- Zelma: This version of Selma was the 216th most popular girls' name in the U.S. in 1912. It was last in the top 1000 in 1955.
- Zora: The Slavic word for dawn. Last in top 1000 in 1939. The 257th most popular name in 1884.
- Zula: Last in the top 1000 in 1935, this name peaked at number 301 in 1881. Its origins could be related to the African tribe the Zulas, meaning brilliant. Zula is also a Polish nickname for Zuzanna.
- Zola: Zola means quiet/tranquil in the Zula language. Peaked in 1924 at number 529. Last in the top 1000 in 1941. Possibly also used due to the French author Emile Zola (1840-1902).
Z Names That Used to Be in the Top 1000
The following Z girl names have been in the top 1000, although they were always rare.
- Zenobia: The name of the third-century queen of the Palmyrene, now Syria. Zenobia was last in the top 1000 in 1925.
- Zona: This name has the unusual meaning of a girdle. Zona peaked at number 412 in 1887 and was last in the U.S. top 1000 in 1941.
- Zada: Zada is an Arabic word for huntress and was in the top 1000 girls' names between 1880 and 1889.
- Zena: This name was sometimes in the top 1000 between 1880 and 1918 and also from 1963 to 1965, at its most popular in 1964.
- Zadie: An alternative version of Sadie that was most popular in 1900.
- Zita: Zita means little girl in Italia, and was the name of a thirteenth-century saint. Zita is also a Hungarian nickname for Felicitas meaning good fortune. Occasionally in the top 1000 in years prior to 1927.
Biblical Names Beginning With Z
Various Z names appear in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. The most popular biblical Z name is Zachariah and its variations, but here are a few more:
- Zaccheus: Means pure or innocent. Zaccheus was a tax collector in the Gospel of Luke.
- Zadok: Means righteous
- Zebulun: The tenth son of Jacob
- Zedekiah: The last king of Judah
- Zephaniah: May mean God is hidden or God is revealed. The name of several biblical characters.
- Zipporah: Means bird. The wife of Moses.
- Zillah: The second wife of Lamech.
- Zurisadai/Zurishaddai: A male name in the Bible, but Zurisadai is sometimes used for girls. This name means rock of the almighty.
Celebrity Inspired Names Beginning With Z
- Zowie: David Bowie gave this as a middle name to his son. In 2016, 24 baby girls born in the U.S. were given this name, although perhaps this is just an alternative spelling of Zoe.
- Ziggy: In 2016, 45 baby boys and 15 baby girls were named Ziggy in the U.S. Perhaps inspired by Ziggy Stardust.
- Zsa Zsa: In 2016, 8 baby girls were given this name. Zsa Zsa Gabor was a famous Hungarian American socialite who had nine husbands. The Hungarian "Zs" is pronounced a bit like a cross between "az" and "aj."
- Zeppelin: A German airship or more likely a name inspired by the band Led Zeppelin. In 2016, 76 baby boys born in the U.S. were named Zeppelin and 20 girls. Also, 12 boys were named Zeplin.
Z Names From Around the World
- Zwanga: A male name in the Venda language, which is spoken in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The name means mine or that which belongs to me.
- Zikomo: Boys' name which means thank you in Chewa from southern Africa.
- Zakiyyah: A Muslim name for girls meaning sharp, intellectual or pure.
- Zinachimdi: Nigerian girls' name meaning shows that there is god.
- Zuberi: A boys' name meaning strong in Swahili.
- Zeev: Hebrew name meaning wolf.
- Zvi: Hebrew boy name meaning gazelle. Used in Israel.
- Zissel: Yiddish for sweet. In 2016, 10 girls in the U.S. were given this name.
- Zimri: A ninth-century king of Israel. In 2016, 5 girls and 8 boys born in the U.S. were given this name.
- Zoraiz: Boys' name meaning distributor of light.
- Zaafir: Boys' name that means victorious.
- Zuleika: Girls' name that means fair, brilliant and lovely.
- Zale: Boys' name meaning power of the sea.
- Zarek: Means may God protect the king.
- Zephyr: Greek god of the west wind.
- Zoelle: From the same Greek roots as Zoe, meaning life.
- Zofia: Version of Sophia, meaning wisdom.
- Zoltan: Hungarian name that possibly comes from the Turkish sultan. Name of a medieval Hungarian king.
- Zarko: Male Slavic name meaning zeal.
- Zoran: This boys' name means dawn and is a male version of the Slavic name Zora.
- Zorka: Slavic nickname for Zora.
- Zuzanna: Alternate spelling of Susanna used in some Eastern European countries.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can you add the name Ziana or Zendaya?
Answer: Zendaya is already on the list!
Ziana sounds nice. I've looked it up and it seems rare. It is a Hindu/Muslim name meaning bold and is used in India. It could also perhaps related to Xenia or Xiana (a Galician version of Juliana).
© 2018 Anna Sherret
Maurice Glaude from Mobile on June 18, 2018:
I didn't think I would know many of these names but I was shocked to find out I knew or heard a lot of them before.
Liz Westwood from UK on June 11, 2018:
Wow! This is a comprehensive list.
Travel Chef from Manila on June 07, 2018:
I will add one more name for a baby girl, Zenaida! It's an Spanish - Portuguese translation derived from from the Greek name Zeus. Actually, it's my auntie's name!