Zoe Origin and Meaning

The name Zoe is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "life".

Zoe is one of those surprising names that has been on the Top 1000 nearly every year since 1880, but it's only since the turn of this century that it's ranked in the Top 100.

Despite its popularity in several spellings -- Zoey ranks nearly as highly -- Zoe still manages to sound distinctive. Credit the initial Z, the sleek simplicity, the not-silent final e, and the name's compelling. meaning: life.

The history of Zoe begins in the third century when the Alexandrian Jews translated Eve, which means 'life,' to the Greek equivalent Zoe. Zoe was in use as far back as the Roman classical period, and was popular with the early Christians, who bestowed it with hopes of eternal life, but it didn't migrate to the English-speaking world until the mid-nineteenth century.

Zoe Washbourne was a strong warrior in the sci-fi show Firefly, Zoe Hart the leading female character on Hart of Dixie, Zoe Barnes a journalist on House of Cards, and kids might recognize Zoe from Sesame Street.

Zoe is currently hot around the world, popular in countries from Scotland to Spain, France to New Zealand.

Zoe has spawned a number of variant spellings, including Zoey, Zoie, and Zooey. Zoey has been embraced by TV scripters--she has been seen on the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101, The West Wing and How I Met Your Mother. Zoie ranked in the Top 1000 for 20 years but has just dropped out.

Wide-eyed actress Zooey Deschanel, whose first name is pronounced the same as Zoe, was named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist of the J. D. Salinger novella Franny and Zooey.

# 37 in the US

Zoe Rank in US Top 1000

# 144 on Nameberry

Zoe Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Zoe Popularity

Famous People Named Zoe

  • Saint Zoe of Romemartyred noblewoman
  • Zoe PorphyrogenitaByzantine empress
  • Zoë SaldanaPeregro, American actress
  • Zoë Isabella KravitzAmerican actress and musician; daughter of actors Lisa Bonet and singer Lenny Kravitz
  • Zoé Victoire Taloncomtesse du Cayla, mistress of Louis XVIII of France
  • Zoe Swicord KazanAmerican actress
  • Zoë WanamakerAmerican,British actress; daughter of actor Sam Wanamaker
  • Zoë Kate Hinde HellerEnglish journalist and novelist
  • Zoe ListerJones, American actress and singer
  • Zoe Rowlands CassavetesAmerican film director; daughter of director John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands
  • Zoé ValdésCuban writer
  • Zoë (Pollock)British singer
  • Zoe BuckmanAustralian Olympic runner
  • Zoe Elizabeth SuggBritish Youtuber
  • Zoe WisemanAmerican model
  • Zoë E. BellNew Zealand actress and stuntwoman
  • Zoe TapperEnglish actress
  • Zoë Tamerlis LundAmerican musician, model, and actress
  • Zoe YinAmerican painter and novelist
  • Zoe StraussAmerican photographer
  • Zoe NewmanCanadian actress
  • Zoë JohnstonBritish singer,songwriter
  • Zoë Byrd AkinsAmerican playwright, poet, and author
  • Zoë TylerEnglish singer and reality TV show judge
  • Zoe LevinAmerican actress
  • Zoë Elizabeth SuggBritish beauty vlogger known as "Zoella"
  • Rachel ZoeAmerican designer
  • Zoe Jackson (b. 1982)daughter of actor Samuel L. Jackson
  • Zoe Perry (b. 1984)daughter of actors Jeff Perry and Laurie Metcalf
  • Zoe Bearse (adopted 1993)daughter of actress Amanda Bearse
  • Zoe Edelman (b. 1995)daughter of actors Gregg Edelman and Carolee Carmello
  • Zoe Blue Sidel (b. 1995)daughter of actress Rosanna Arquette and John Sidel
  • Zoe Harrelson (b. 1996)daughter of actor Woody Harrelson
  • Zoe Glaser (b. 1997)daughter of actor Paul Michael Glaser
  • Zoe Madeline Donovan (b. 2001)daughter of actress Audra McDonald and Peter Donovan
  • Zoe Petit (b. 2001)daughter of footballer Emmanuel Petit and actress Agathe de La Fontaine
  • Zoe Jane Lewis (b. 2003)daughter of singer Aaron Lewis of Staind
  • Zoë Chinook Bogue (b. 2004)daughter of actor Robert Bogue
  • Zoe Hancock (b. 2005) daughter of actress Dee Smart and Chris Hancock
  • Zoe Larsen (b. 2007)daughter of singer Blaine Larsen
  • Zoe Grace Quaid (b. 2007)daughter of American actor Dennis Quaid
  • Zoe Søgaard (adopted 2012)daughter of singer Carola Häggkvist and Runar Søgaard
  • Zoe Rae Spearman (b. 2013)daughter of World Cup winner Shannon Boxx
  • Zoe Mahan (b. 2013)daughter of golfer Hunter Mahan and dancer Kandi Harris
  • Zoe Leano Mabalane (b. 2015)daughter of singer Kabelo Mabalane and actress Gail Nkoane
  • Zoë Madison Zegers (b. 2015)daughter of actor Kevin Zegers
  • Zoë Dylan Nicholas (b. 2016)daughter of actor Thomas Ian Nicholas and DJ Colette

Zoe in Pop Culture

  • Zoe Cartercharacter on TV's "Eureka"
  • Zoe Washburnecharacter on TV's "Firefly"
  • Zoe Murphycharacter on Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen.
  • Dr. Zoe Hartmain character on TV's 'Hart of Dixie'
  • Zoe Nightshadecharacter in the series "Percy Jackson and the Olympians"
  • Zoe MacPhersonoldest child in newspaper comic strip Baby Blues
  • Zoe Slatercharacter on British soap "Eastenders"
  • Zoe Heriotcompanion on TV's "Doctor Who"
  • Zoe Graystonecharacter on TV's "Caprica"
  • Zoe Bensoncharacter on TV's "American Horror Story Coven"
  • Zoeautumn fairy in video game "Spyro the Dragon"
  • Dr. Zoe Hannacharacter on British TV's "Casualty"
  • Zoe Beancharacter on TV's "Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane"
  • Zoe Richardsoncharacter on American soap "General Hospital"
  • Zoe LoveEdward Travilla Jr.'s wife in Elsie Dinsmore series
  • Zoe Davischaracter on Australian soap "Neighbours"
  • "Zoe Jane"song by STAIND
  • Zoe Barnescharacter on TV's "House of Cards"
  • Zoe Rivascharacter on TV's "Degrassi"
  • Zoe Trentcharacter in Littlest Pet Shop (2012)
  • ZoeMuppet on TV's "Sesame Street"
  • Zoe PoundFlorida street gang
  • Zoe GirlChristian musical group
  • Zoë Castillomain character in video game "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" and "Dreamfall Chapters"
  • Zoe Monroecharacter in The CW's "The 100"
  • Zoe Vaughncharacter on MTV's "Scream"
  • Zoecharacter in "Hidden"
  • Zoe BelmontCharacter in the Castlevania series
  • Zoe Madraa character in the Greek television series "Deligianneion Parthenagogion"

Zoe in Nameberry Blog Posts