There were 10,000 Zacharys born last year and almost 5,000 Zoes, but that was about it for Z-starting names in the Top 100. This doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of other names with this distinctive initial worth considering, from the contemporary sounding Zayden to the ecclesiastical Zebediah. Here’s a categorical breakdown:
ZELDA –The longest running American Z-girl, in the Top 1000 for most of the years from 1880 to 1967, the now dated sounding Zelda was long attached to the troubled wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, though that could change through its association with a Nintendo game character.
ZOE — Sharing mega-popularity with cousin Chloe, the Greek Zoe–which means life–is currently at #56, with offshoots ZOEY and ZOIE following behind. Though it sounds and feels modern, its use dates back to the third century.
ZARA –This name entered the mainstream in the early 1980s when England‘s Princess Anne bestowed it on her daughter.
ZACHARY –In the Top 100 for a quatrter of a century, peaking at #12 in 1994, Zachary is the one classic Z name. The English version of the Hebrew Zahariah, it also has historic cred via 12th President Zachary Taylor, and several coolizing spellings and short forms.
Yes, some celebrity parents do seem to be intent on making little gods and goddesses–instant objects of worship– of their infants right from the get-go. Names that were previously considered too powerful for a baby to bear (after all, Atlas did carry the weight of the heavens on his shoulders, and Mars was the Roman god of war) now seem to have descended from Mt. Olympus into the realm of mortal possibility.
And there are lots of other names of ancient Greek and Roman gods, goddesses and muses that could work for a contemporary American baby, some of which are still commonly used in Greece, such as:
AJAX (beware the foaming cleanser)