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Best Z Names for Boys

Best Z Names for Boys

Boy names that start with Z have a very distinct, energetic feel. If you're looking for an offbeat, lively boy name, these might be for you.

Z is uncommon at the start of words in English, so baby names beginning with Z tend to stand out. They also feel full of life, probably because they remind us of upbeat words like zest, zip and zing. If you're looking for an offbeat, lively boy name, these might be for you.

Zaccai

As Zachary finally falls out of the Top 100 after his wave of popularity in the 90s and early 2000s, Zaccai opens up a new door to friendly nickname Zac, or even trendy nickname Cai. Like Zachary, Zaccai is a Hebrew name found in the bible, and Zaccai holds the love meaning of "pure". If you want a faster track to the trendy spelling Kai, Zakai is an alternative form that entered the Top 1000 in 2017.

Zahavi

Another cool Hebrew name starting with Z, Zahavi is used in the Middle East. While rarely heard here, he would make a useable, but distinct choice. Zahavi name means "gold" and has a lively, energetic rhythm.

Zaire

This African place name — Zaire was a state in Central Africa from 1971 to 1997, now The Democratic Republic of the Congo — comes from the Kongo term meaning "the river that swallows all rivers". Zaire entered the US charts in 1999, but started to really take off around 2015. The spelling Zyaire ranks even higher currently, likely appealing to parents by making the pronunciation more intuitive — however, we love the original spelling.

Zayn

This Arabic name is cool as they come, from the zingy sound to the trendy "y" in the middle, to the association with former One Direction member Zayn Malik. The boy-band member was likely the cause of Zayn being the fastest-rising name of 2016. Zain is an alternative spelling of the same root, meaning "beauty" or "grace", while identical sounding Zane is a variation of John.

Zebedee

This name is oh-so-fun to say. Zebedee! Full of energy and glee, Zebedee is a variation of Biblical Zebediah, and is seen in the New Testament as the fisherman father of disciples James and John. Zeb is a super cool nickname as well.

Top Z Names for Boys in the US

Zebulon

Another Biblical route to the cool nickname Zeb is Zebulon. In the Bible, Zebulon was the son of Jacob and Leah, the ancestor of the tribe of Israel which bore his name and settled around Nazareth. The Zebulunites mustered the single largest army to fight for David's installation as king. Zebulon has charted a few times over the years, but not since 1984.

Zen

Cool, calm, and "zen" — this spiritual name may be the next Bodhi. Zen is a Japenese school of Mahayana Buddhism that emphasizes the value of meditation and intuition. In the Western world, the word "zen" has become a synonym for tranquil and calm. Zoe Saldana used Zen for her son in 2016.

Zenith

Zenith is an offbeat word name meaning the top or peak. As an astronomical term, Zenith is the celestial sphere directly above an observer. Zenith has an almost larger-than-life, ethereal feel.

Zephyr

The god of the west wind in Greek mythology is typically referred to as Zephyr or the grander Zephyrus. This breezy and cool name is frequently seen in computer and video games, is a character in the children's book Silverwing, and appears in the Babar books--as a monkey.

Zeppelin

Several rockstar names are in right now, from Bowie to Lennon to Hendrix. Zeppelin feels even more distinct and unique, and is still strongly tied to the English rock band Led Zeppelin. However, Zeppelin is definitely still useable for parents who like the strong assosiation.

Unique Boy Names Starting With Z

Zev

One of the coolest, relatively undiscovered one-syllable boys names is the zippy Zev. This Hebrew name means "wolf", and can be seen in the Old Testament, albeit through a villainous character. Zev entered the Top 1000 in 2018, but hasn't risen much since.

Ziggy

This nickname name is full of energy. A short form of German names Sigmund or Siegfried, Ziggy means "victorious peace". As similar zippy nicknames like Ozzy and Iggy come into style, Ziggy could fit right in. References range from Bowie's song and persona Ziggy Stardust, a comic book character, Bob Marley's son, and a soccer move.

Zimri

Zimri is a Hebrew name meaning "my music" or "my praise". In the Bible, Zimri was one of the kings of Israel, as well as one of the grandsons of Judah. This spunky and unusual name is one we would love to see more of.

Zion

A fact that may be surprising to many, Zion is now the most popular Z name for boys — passing Zachary in 2021. In the Old Testament, Zion refers to the city of Jerusalem as a whole, and came to be symbolic of Jewish national aspirations, and thus was the source of the term Zionism. The name took off in the late 90s after singer Lauren Hill used it for her son and incorporated it into a hit song.

Zuko

Zuko is a Xhosa (Zulu) name meaning "glory". In a world of Zekes, Zachs and Zanes, Zuko could make a refreshing choice for parents looking for something short and snappy. Zuko is also a character in the show Avatar: The Last Airbender.

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About the Author

Brynn McKeon

Brynn McKeon joined the Nameberry team this past August of 2022, and has written blogs featuring names by letter of the alphabet including Best B Names for Boys, Best F Names for Girls, and many more. Brynn currently attends school in New York state, where she is working towards her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy.