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Gender: Female Pronunciation: zo-ee Meaning of Zoe: "life" Origin of Zoe: Greek Zoe's Popularity in 2017: #41

The name Zoe is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "life". Zoe is ranked #41 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Saints' Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Baby a Day".

From the experts:

Zoe is one of those surprising names that has been on the Top 1000 nearly every year since 1880, but it's just recently been zooming toward the top. As popular as it has ever been, Zoe still sounds distinctive despite its popularity, and Zoey ranks even higher. All forms of the name are among the elite group of girl names that mean life.

The history of the name 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, most successful of which is the phonetic Zoey, embraced by TV scripters--she has been seen on the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101, The West Wing and How I Met Your Mother. Zoie has also been adopted by enough parents to bring it into the Top 1000.

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.

Find other names based on Zoe using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Zoe

Saint Zoe of Rome, martyred noblewoman
Zoe Porphyrogenita, Byzantine empress
Zoë Saldana-Peregro, American actress
Zoë Isabella Kravitz, American actress and musician; daughter of actors Lisa Bonet and singer Lenny Kravitz
Zoé Victoire Talon, comtesse du Cayla, mistress of Louis XVIII of France
Zoe Swicord Kazan, American actress
Zoë Wanamaker, American-British actress; daughter of actor Sam Wanamaker
Zoë Kate Hinde Heller, English journalist and novelist
Zoe Lister-Jones, American actress and singer
Zoe Rowlands Cassavetes, American film director; daughter of director John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands
Zoé Valdés, Cuban writer
Zoë (Pollock), British singer
Zoe Buckman, Australian Olympic runner
Zoe Elizabeth Sugg, British Youtuber
Zoe Wiseman, American model
Zoë E. Bell, New Zealand actress and stuntwoman
Zoe Tapper, English actress
Zoë Tamerlis Lund, American musician, model, and actress
Zoe Yin, American painter and novelist
Zoe Strauss, American photographer
Zoe Newman, Canadian actress
Zoë Johnston, British singer-songwriter
Zoë Byrd Akins, American playwright, poet, and author
Zoë Tyler, English singer and reality TV show judge
Zoe Levin, American actress
Zoë Elizabeth Sugg, British beauty vlogger known as "Zoella"
Rachel Zoe, American 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 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

Pop Culture References for the name Zoe

Zoe Carter, character on TV's "Eureka"
Zoe Washburne, character on TV's "Firefly"
Zoe Murphy, character on Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Dr. Zoe Hart, main character on TV's 'Hart of Dixie'
Zoe Nightshade, character in the series "Percy Jackson and the Olympians"
Zoe MacPherson, oldest child in newspaper comic strip Baby Blues
Zoe Slater, character on British soap "Eastenders"
Zoe Heriot, companion on TV's "Doctor Who"
Zoe Graystone, character on TV's "Caprica"
Zoe Benson, character on TV's "American Horror Story Coven"
Zoe, autumn fairy in video game "Spyro the Dragon"
Dr. Zoe Hanna, character on British TV's "Casualty"
Zoe Bean, character on TV's "Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane"
Zoe Richardson, character on American soap "General Hospital"
Zoe Love, Edward Travilla Jr.'s wife in Elsie Dinsmore series
Zoe Davis, character on Australian soap "Neighbours"
"Zoe Jane", song by STAIND
Zoe Barnes, character on TV's "House of Cards"
Zoe Rivas, character on TV's "Degrassi"
Zoe Trent, character in Littlest Pet Shop (2012)
Zoe, Muppet on TV's "Sesame Street"
Zoe Pound, Florida street gang
Zoe Girl, Christian musical group
Zoë Castillo, main character in video game "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" and "Dreamfall Chapters"
Zoe Monroe, character in The CW's "The 100"
Zoe Vaughn, character on MTV's "Scream"
Zoe, character in "Hidden"
Zoe Belmont, Character in the Castlevania series

Zoee, Zoeline, Zooey, Zoie, Zoelie, Zoya

Zoe's International Variations

Zoey, Zoelle, Zoyechka, Zoia, Zoyenka, Zoa (Russian)


myfriendsarefurry Says:


In Ancient Greece, zoe was a slang term for low life or filthy animal.

Piteco Says:


My favorite form is Zoe with dots.

bordercollie Says:


There's something so bright and electric about Zoe. I prefer Zoe to Zoey, the latter looks a little made up to me.

Thepandaprincess223 Says:


Zoe is a very pretty name, it is popular for a reason. My only disliking about this name is that Zoe looks like Joe but with a z inplace of the j. So that is why I prefer the Zoey spelling. Although I do like both variations.

Miri Says:


I love Zoe! Especially something like Zoe Delilah. It sounds spunky and cute.

paulapuddephatt Says:


This name is lovely, and becoming a classic. I'm not a fan of accents in English spellings, which applies to other names, too - notably, Chloe. I also don't like spellings such as Zoey. Even if, strictly speaking, Zoe is "zow", rhyming with Joe or Jo - does it matter, given that the majority of English speakers would pronounce both syllables, in the regular way?

Daiseymae Says:


I am most definitely not a fan of this name.

hermioneameliastyles Says:


I fell for this name when I started watching Zoella on YouTube. It fits her so well. However I'm afraid to use this for my child because this is a semi popular name that might be too overused.

headintheclouds Says:


Zoe is lovely, and its meaning of life suits its bright and lively sound. I hate the Zoey spelling, which just looks made-up and strips Zoe of its elegance. I do think Zoe is a pretty name, but there's an element about it that I do agree with the previous commenters about, that it doesn't really age very well- I can only see Zoe on little girls, despite high-profile adult Zoes Saldana and Kravitz.

RoddyThlayli Says:


I don't mind Zoe, but I do prefer Chloe.

alyssum Says:


I don't care if this name has been overused, I still love it. I'm also a fan of the Russian form, Zoya.

zoemaks Says:


My name is Zoe and I don't think it's childish at all! It's also not very popular where I live. I've only met one other person named Zoe, so I believe it's very unusual, yet still classy and a pretty name. I love the meaning as well. I think my name is wonderful and I'm glad my parents didn't go for a more popular name or the more popular spelling Zoey.

Tardis Says:


I only like it with the spelling zoë if it doesn't have the trema it just looks like zo and so whats the point of not having it?

Tardis Says:


Same thing happens with me with the name Madison! But I can also hear it as like a fancy-ish kind of woman from 1900's or so who looks like Nora Montgomery from American Horror Story

DolphinLover17 Says:


I think its a cute name! It's not my favorite but i still like it in my opinion.

Angelicaecb Says:


My young niece Adyson has loved this name for years (It's a relative's name) and always wants to be called Zoe during play pretend, lamenting that she wishes it was her name instead. I do prefer Zoey myself though.

mamaof4 Says:


I like it. I wanted Cloe but my husband said no way. I think this is a good alternative.

Leah3456 Says:


I like the sound of this name. It sounds good with the names Ava, Eva & Liam.

Guest Says:


There's something too cutesy and childish about this name. Even on grown women like Zoë Kravitz and Zoë Saldaña I hear a child's name. 😕

jordalini Says:


I don't really care for this name, the Zoey spelling is better, but I don't care for it either. It is also you grow out of.

jasminegarden Says:


I think this name is so pretty, but it's massive popularity is a reason to avoid it.