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Z Names: Beyond Zoe & Zachary

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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:

MAINSTREAM GIRLS

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.

MAINSTREAM BOYS

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.

ZANE — One of the short, strong boys’ names zipping up the list, the cowboyish Zane was long associated with western writer Zane Gray–who was actually christened Pearl!!!

BIBLICAL BOYS

ZACCHEUS
ZACHARIAH
ZEBEDEE
ZEBEDIAH
ZEBULON
ZEDEKIAH

NOUVEAU NAMES

ZABE
ZADE
ZADEN/ZAYDEN
ZAILEY
ZALE
ZELL — hero of video game Final Fantasy
ZEN
ZEPHYR
ZERO
ZERRICK
ZHANE

NICKNAME NAMES

ZAC, ZAK
ZAKO –Hungarian
ZANDER — Diminutive of Alexander on the rise as an independent name, frequently heard as movie and TV characters
ZAZA, ZSA ZSA –Hungarian
ZEB
ZED
ZEKE
ZIGGY
ZUZI
ZUZU –heard annually via It’s a Wonderful Life

EXOTIC GIRLS

ZABANA –Native American
ZAFIRA — Arabic
ZAHARA — Multicultural name chosen by Angelina Jolie for her Ethiopian-born daughter
ZAHRA — Arabic name used for several starbabies
ZALAAfrican
ZANNA — Polish
ZARIA — Arabic
ZENA — Greek
ZETA — Greek
ZILLA — Hebrew
ZINAAfrican
ZINAIDA — Russian
ZITA — Greek

EXOTIC BOYS

ZAFAR — Arabic
ZAHAVI — Hebrew
ZAHIR — Arabic
ZAHNGerman
ZAIREAfrican place name
ZAKI — Aracic
ZAMIELGerman
ZARED — Hebrew
ZEVI — Hebrew
ZIV/ZVI — Hebrew
ZOLTAN/ZOLTEN — Hungarian
ZUBIN –Hebrew
ZURIAfrican

Z VARIATIONS OF S NAMES

ZADIE
ZALMAN
ZANDY
ZANDRA
ZELENA
ZELIA
ZELMA
ZOFIA
ZUZANNA

OTHERS

ZELIG — Yiddish name made famous by the eponymous Woody Allen movie
ZENO — Ancient Greek philosopher name
ZENOBIA — Greek name appearing in Hawthorne and Edith Wharton novels
ZEUS — Supreme Greek Olympian god
ZHIVAGO — Russian literary name
ZION — Hebrew unisex name now rising for both girls and boys
ZINNIA — An appealing floral choice with more zest than most.
ZOLA — French literary name used by Eddie Murphy for his daughter
ZOOEYMale Salinger name now growing in popularity for girls
ZORA — Slavic name associated with writer Zora Neale Hurston, a leader of the Harlem Renaissance
ZULEIKA — Arabic name of the fatally attractive heroine of Max Beerbohn’s Zuleika Dobson

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