Gender: Female Pronunciation: zoh-ee Meaning of Zoe: "life" Origin of Zoe: Greek Zoe's Popularity in 2019: #38

Zoe Origin and Meaning

The name Zoe is a girl's name of Greek origin 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. Alternate spellings include Zoey, Zoie, and Zooey.

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. The phonetic Zoey spelling ranks even higher. All forms of the name are among the elite and appealing group of girl names that mean life.

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 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.

16 names similar to Zoe

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Zoe. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Zoe, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


Rank in US: #38

- this week

Famous People Named Zoe

Pop Culture References for the name Zoe

Zoie, Zoee, Zooey, Zoeline, 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.