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The Hottest Z Names of 2020

October 2, 2020 Clare Green
names starting with Z

Names starting with Z could be zooming up the charts this year — they’re certainly hot with Nameberry readers!

Writing that makes me wonder if it’s because many of us have been saying “Zoom” a lot more than we used to, so the Z sound is on our minds.

Whether that’s the case or not, a lot of Z names have grown popular in recent years. On the girls’ side, Zoey is a Top 20 name when all the spellings are combined, and Zara is climbing steadily through the Top 300. Trending Z names for boys include cool nickname Zeke and pop prince Zayn.

But this is all from last year’s name data. How do we know what parents are interested in right now?

We analyzed pageviews for the names in our database over the last month, to see which names increased the most compared to the same time last year. In other words, the names our readers are more interested in now than they were a year ago.

A significant chunk of them begin with Z — more than you’d expect for a relatively uncommon initial. Of these, most are short with prominent vowels, especially for girls. Many are a twist on other names that are fashionable now: Ella, Bella and Stella lead to Zella, while Leon and Ryan are a short step away from Zion.

In order of the biggest increase in views, here are our 15 hottest Z names this year.

A couple of notes on the figures. On average, the traffic on our name pages grew by 17% in the last year. Zuko, the top name on this list, grew 15 times more than that, so it’s rising much faster than most names on the site. Also, in our database name pages are either boy or girl, even if the name is unisex.

Boy names

Zuko
264% more views in 2020
We can thank Avatar: The Last Airbender for the surge of interest in this name — Fire Lord Zuko is a major character in the TV series. So far that hasn’t translated to a huge amount of use for babies, but we could see it taking off.

Zuriel
145% more views in 2020
Hebrew names ending in -el are one of the hot trends of the year. The meaning “God is my rock” gives it extra appeal. 

Zev
94% more views in 2020
A punchy syllable, a high Scrabble score, and the meaning “wolf”: Zev packs a lot of good things into three letters.

Zaccai
89% more views in 2020
An Old Testament name that deserves a lot more attention. Zaccai blends the best of Zack and Kai, and was only given to 23 boys in the US in 2019.

Zachariah
64% more views in 2020
The longest name on this list, biblical Zachariah continues to interest parents looking for a sweet-spot name that’s stylish, familiar, but not super popular.

Zion
63% more views in 2020
No surprise that this spiritual name is popular. Zion is falling a little as a girl name, but for boys it continued to rise in 2019, and looks to be headed towards the Top 100.

Zeno
46% more views in 2020
Zeno ticks several trend boxes: it’s an O-ending name that’s every bit as cool as Enzo and Theo, and it’s related to Zeus so it counts as a mythological name.

Girl names

Zira
219% more views in 2020
As internationally appealing as Mira and Kira… but with a Z! 

Zariyah and Zaria
95% and 69% more views in 2020
Arabic flower name Zaria got its initial boost from the 1990s sitcom The Parent ‘Hood. The similar sound to popular Aria is what’s keeping it — and alternative spellings like Zariyah — in style today.

Zuri
59% more views in 2020
One of the most popular Swahili names in the US charts, Zuri — which means beautiful — is now in the Top 300.

Zella
58% more views in 2020
A fun member of the “Ella” name group, the recent boost in interest is probably from singer Zella Day, who released a new record this summer. Her parents got her name from a book in a museum.

Zora
58% more views in 2020
This Slavic name meaning dawn is red-hot. It entered the Top 1000 in 2018, and shot up nearly 200 places in 2019.

Zada
46% more views in 2020
A rare (in the States) Arabic name with a lucky meaning. The visual similarity to Ada may have helped to spark interest.

Zola
41% more views in 2020
Not just a zippy twist on Lola, but also a literary surname and a Grey’s Anatomy character. Zola entered the Top 1000 in 2018.

So will we see a big rise in baby names starting with Z in 2020? Or are they just popular on Nameberry because name enthusiasts love reading about unusual sounds? We look forward to finding out.

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles

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