50 Cool Baby Names That Start With Z
There’s no denying it — “Z” baby names have a unique quality. That’s why we suggest forgetting your ABCs for a moment and checking out the wonderful baby names that this last letter in the alphabet has to offer.
Here are 50 baby names that start with Z — all of which are well worth skipping ahead to.
A Greek name meaning “life,” Zoe is super popular — it ranked at No. 38 on the U.S. baby girl name chart in 2019. The alternate spelling Zoey (as in actress Deschanel) ranks even higher at No. 31.
There’s also Zoie and Zooey, if you really want to confuse people. However you spell it, this is one “Z” baby name that will never go out of style.
Originally a surname, and possibly a form of John, the all-American Zane means “God is gracious.” More popular for boys, it’s nonetheless a solid choice if you want a unisex or non-gendered baby name.
Spelling variations are Zayne and the Arabic Zayn, as in musician and Gigi Hadid baby-daddy Zayn Malik. (Incidentally, Zayn sounds the same as Zane but has a different meaning: “beauty, grace.”)
The Arabic name Zara may have its roots in the Hebrew Sarah, meaning “princess, lady,” or the Arabic Zahra, meaning “blossoming flower, splendor, dawn.”
The first meaning is more apt for one famous bearer of the name — Zara Tindall, aka the daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II.
Zachary, which may also be spelled Zackery, is a popular choice for baby boys born in the U.S. — it ranked at No. 124 on the baby name chart in 2019. This Hebrew name means “the Lord has remembered,” and its biblical connections are strong.
It’s also a presidential name, thanks to 12th president Zachary Taylor. Many shorter versions are available, including Zac, Zach, Zack and Zak.
If you want to name your daughter after a high-fantasy video game princess, what better than Zelda? This German name means “gray battle/strong woman” and was originally a short form of Griselda.
Nintendo’s “Legend of Zelda” aside, famous bearers of the name include Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Zelda Rae Williams, daughter of Robin Williams.
A spelling variation of Xavier, which has Basque or Arabic roots and means "new house or bright,” Zavier has been in the top 1,000 baby names for the last 20 years.
The original spelling is much more popular (No. 91 in 2019), but the “Z” version gets rid of any confusion over its pronunciation.
The perfect flower name choice without being completely obvious, Zaria is an Arabic name meaning “rose.”
It’s also the name of the Nigerian capital city. If you don’t want to go for a place name, spelling variations include Zariah and Zariyah.
A boy’s name of Hebrew origin meaning “given by God,” Zev is a short form of Zevadiah. It also has the meaning “wolf,” so it might make it onto your shortlist if you’re looking for a short yet wild animal name for your little treasure.
It may also relate to the Old Testament villain Ze’ev.
Like the name Isabel but want to go for something a little less, well… overused?
You might consider Zabelle (or the spelling variation Zabel), which is instantly made more contemporary thanks to the “Z.” This fresh name is of Armenian origin.
A completely invented name, Zabe deserves a place on the list.
It’s appealing on many levels — it’s short, it’s snappy, and it sounds similar enough to Abe (short form of Abraham) to trick us into thinking it’s a name with a long history.
A girl’s name of Arabic origin, Zada means “fortunate, prosperous.”
It’s a popular choice in Syria (less so in other countries, so it definitely ticks the “different” box) and lends itself to numerous variations, such as Zaida, Zadah and Zayda.
Giving off the same vibe as Zane and Zabe, Zade is another short, snappy boy’s name.
Said to have Arabic origins, it’s attached to various meanings, from “stylish” to “kind and generous.” So, take your pick.
The most well-known bearer of the Hebrew name Zadie (meaning “princess) is British writer Zadie Smith, who was actually born Sadie but decided to change her name at the age of 14 to make it more distinctive.
It has a definite modern air about it, but it was No. 539 on the U.S. baby name chart way back in 1881 and remained in the top 1,000 for nearly 30 years.
The Arabic boy’s name Zadie means “blossoming, flourishing.”
Alternate spellings are Zuhair, as in the prophet, and Zuhayr, who was a seventh century poet and a contemporary of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
If you want African roots or a strong literary connection (or maybe both), you can’t go wrong with Zola. This girl’s name was Eddie Murphy’s choice for his daughter as well as the choice of Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd, everyone’s favorite TV medical couple, for theirs.
The nod to literature is thanks to Emile Zola, the French novelist who gave the world the scandalous “Thérèse Raquin” in 1868.
An Arabic name meaning “full of virtue, pure,” Zaki is a good option if you’re not sold on Zachary, Zackery, Zach or any of the seemingly endless variations.
It’s actually a completely different name to any of them, and although it might sound similar, it’s way more zippy.
The girl’s name Zamora (meaning “wild olives”) was originally a Spanish surname, denoting people who came from the ancient city of the same name in North West Spain.
Today, Zamora is best known for the Zamora Cathedral, which includes a Byzantine dome, Romanesque tower and neoclassical cloister — home to a collection of Flemish tapestries.
If you don’t want your kid to be in the Jared club, the similar-but-not-too-similar Zared might appeal.
This Hebrew name harks back to biblical times — Zared was the name of the Israelites’ camping spot on their final approach to Moab.
A modern, “invented” name, Zailey combines two popular girl’s names, Zoe (meaning “life”) and Hailey (“dweller in the hay meadow”).
Alternatively, Zailey could be a shortened form of Azalea, an English flower name that made its debut on the U.S. baby name chart in 2012 and ranked No. 531 in 2019.
The perfect name for your little shining star, the Hebrew name Zehari means “gold, brilliantly bright.”
It’s traditionally a girl’s name, but if you have Zoe on your list for a girl and Harry on your list for a boy, this could potentially work for both sexes.
The Hebrew baby boy’s name Zedekiah means “the Lord is just,” and it has royal roots — Zedekiah was the last king of Judea before the city was destroyed by Babylon.
It’s also a versatile name, thanks to the short nickname Zed.
The Arabic name Zaynab, one of the most popular Muslim girl’s names around the world, is a pretty choice with an attractive meaning: “beauty, grace.”
It’s also the name of a rose-bearing tree and was a big name in the family of Prophet Muhammed. His granddaughter, daughter and two of his wives were called Zaynab.
Suitable for either a boy or a girl, Zeke is the short form of Ezekiel (an Old Testament prophet), meaning “God strengthens.”
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot goes by the nickname. There’s also a character called Zeek on “Sons of Anarchy” if you prefer that spelling.
Zeno of Elea was an ancient philosopher, known for a number of ingenious paradoxes. But he wasn’t the only famous Zeno. Zeno of Citium founded the Stoic school of thought. And Zeno Cosini is the protagonist of the Italo Svevo novel “Confessions of Zeno.”
This name has a Godly feel thanks to its similarity to Zeus (the god of the sky, lightning and the thunder in Ancient Greek legend, in case you’ve forgotten).
The female variation of Zephyr, Zephrine is a Greek name meaning “west wind.”
Accordingly, it has a certain delicate quality and offers a less common (and more exotic) option than Justine, Christine or Sandrine.
Another unisex one, Zeren might be slightly more popular for boys, but it could also be a variation of Seren, a girl’s name with both Welsh and Turkish roots meaning “star or sail mast.”
Zeren is also a Mongolian gazelle, if animal names are your thing.
Why go for Bella or Stella when you could have Zella?
This Yiddish name meaning “blessed” brings the somewhat traditional “ella” name back up to date, despite being hugely popular in the late 19th century.
In Greek mythology, Cronus and Rhea named their son Zeus, and there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.
After all, that child became the god of the sky and was considered the ruler, protector and father of all gods and humans. No pressure or anything.
The girl’s name Zena, which has both Greek and Ukranian roots, means “guest.” But for many people, it also means “warrior princess,” thanks to the long-running ’90s TV series of the same name.
Of course, Lucy Lawless’s character was Xena, but it’s pronounced the same.
An Arabic boy’s name meaning — unsurprisingly — “void,” Zero isn’t often heard during roll call.
But if you can get beyond the connection with, well, nothing, it’s a quirky short-but-not-too-short choice.
The Italian name Zeta is also the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet and the last letter in the Roman alphabet. However, most people associate it with Welsh actress Catherine Zeta Jones — Zeta was her grandmother’s first name.
The alternate spelling Zita means “little girl; seeker.”
A girl’s name of German origin, Zilke means “blind one.” It’s actually a common diminutive in its home land for Cecilia and Celia — as is the softer Silke.
But we reckon they stand alone as solid name choices.
Another German diminutive, Ziggy is short for Siegfried (“victorious peace”) and Sigmund (“victorious protection”).
But thanks to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Bob Marley’s son Ziggy (born David), this boy’s name is cooler than cool.
Despite meaning “free man,” Ziska is a girl’s name.
Another meaning is “from France,” which makes sense when you learn that it’s the German variation of Frances.
Zion (meaning “highest point”) is one of those rare names that sounds exotic but is extremely popular. It ranked No. 154 in the U.S. baby boy name chart in 2019 and was in the top 300 in England the previous year.
Famous Zions include the son of singer Lauryn Hill and CFL player (and son of Bob) Rohan Marley and the son of boxer Floyd Mayweather; there’s also a town in Illinois named Zion.
Zora (also spelled Zorah) is a girl’s name with Arabic, Slavic and African origin meaning “dawn.” It’s been a long time since its all-time U.S. baby name chart high of No. 293 in 1885, but it still ranked No. 789 in 2019.
If you like Zara but think it lacks a certain something, Zora might fill the gap. After all, it rhymes with the very trendy baby name, Norah.
The boy’s name Zubin, which is of Persian origin, means “short spear.”
Famous bearers of the name come from all fields, from the Indian Parsi conductor Zubin Mehta to the American physician and YouTuber Zubin Damania, aka ZDoggMD.
If you’re looking for a boy’s name meaning “happiness,” add Zorian to your list.
This Basque name has roots in Greek mythology — it’s a variation of Orion, a legendary hunter who pursued the seven daughters of Atlas and ended up as one of the brightest constellations in the night sky after being killed by the goddess Artemis.
The girl’s name Zoelie is a variation of the Greek Zoe, meaning “life,” but we think it’s different enough to stand alone.
The British YouTuber Zoella offers another option, combining Zoe and Ella (“completely”).
Pronounced “zoo-ko,” Zuko is a Xhosa (Zulu) name meaning “glory.”
You might be aware of a couple of pop culture references, such as Danny Zuko, John Travolta’s character in the movie “Grease,” and Prince Zuko, a character from the show “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”
The Slavic version of Susannah, Zuzanna means “lily” and lends itself to the sweet nickname Zuzu.
You’ll recognize Zuzanna if you’ve read Laini Taylor’s 2018 novel “Daughter of Smoke and Bone.” And relatively well-known real-life bearers are Polish model Zuzanna Bijoch and Polish figure skater Zuzanna Szwed.
A boy’s name of Russian origin meaning “life,” Zhivago is best known for the protagonist in Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel — although it was his surname.
Actress Nia Long chose Zhivago for her son Massai’s middle name in 2000.
A Slavic name meaning “wisdom,” Zofia is used in Poland, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine — among other places — as an alternative to Sophia.
Sophia is a hugely popular choice for baby girls in the U.S., so Zofia is a more exotic option.
Zerrick is considered an “invented” name, but doesn’t sound like someone has just put random sounds together. Perhaps that’s because it’s similar to Derek (meaning “the people’s ruler”) and Eric (“eternal ruler”).
Both of those names are still fairly popular in the U.S. (No. 304 and No. 176 in 2019, respectively), but Zerrick has a cooler, almost space-age vibe.
As Zara becomes more commonplace, the Swahili name Zahara (meaning “flower” and “to shine”) looks increasingly appealing.
Plus, of course, Angelina Jolie chose it for her Ethiopian-born daughter.
The Arabic boy’s name Zaid, a variation of the more common Sayyid, means “increase, growth.” Pronounced “Zah-eed,” it may also be spelled Zayd.
Zayd was a slave adopted by Prophet Muhammed as his son.
Yet another variation of Zoe (meaning “life”), Zoya has Russian and Greek roots.
Expect to see more of this one as parents look for fresher alternatives to the ever-popular Zoe.
What better name for a future rock star than Zeppelin? The English rock band Led Zeppelin shot to fame in the late 1960s and are considered to be one of the best live bands of all time.
Of course, they didn’t invent the word Zeppelin — it was the name of a large German airship used during World War I for reconnaissance and bombing.
The Hebrew name Zipporah, meaning “bird,” may also be a variation of Tziporah (with a silent “T”).
In the Bible, Zipporah was the wife of Moses, but more recent famous bearers include Miss Kenya 1967 Zipporah Mbugua and Zipporah Mary Corser, the daughter of actor Rodger Corser and singer Christine Anu.
A boy’s name of Greek origin, Zenos means “hospitality” and is a variation of Xenos.
If you want to avoid a lifetime of mis-pronunciation, the phonetic Zenos is the safer option.