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Cool Baby Names That Start with Z

The zippiest, zestiest first initial for baby names around must be Z. Zoe and Zachary are the top baby names starting with Z in the US. Along with all the versions of Zoe and Zachary, names beginning with Z on the US Top 1000 include Zion, Zayden, Zane, Zara, Zuri, Zander, and Zaylee. Unique cool names starting with Z range from Zelig to Zelda.

Zara, the name of one of the Queen's granddaughters, is the top-ranked Z name in England, while Zelie makes the Top 100 in France. And names starting with Z are among the hottest on Nameberry, rising more than 100% year over year.

Z as an initial is so intrinsically cool it may be that there are no baby names starting with Z that aren't cool. Here are some of the best Z-starting names for baby boys and baby girls.
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ZacharyHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord has remembered"
  • Description:

    Zachary is the English variation of Zacharias, which itself is derived from the Hebrew name Zechariah. The name Zachary is attached to eight different people in the Bible, the most prominent being the father of John the Baptist, and it's also presidential, via 12th president Zachary Taylor. Zackery is an alternate spelling, and nicknames include Zack, Zach, Zac, and Zak.

ZaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew and Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "blooming flower; God remembers"
  • Description:

    Zara has multiple origins, but most notably is a variation of Zahrah, a name derived from the Arabic zahrah, meaning “blooming flower.” Zara can also be a diminutive of the Bulgarian name Zaharina, a feminine form of the Hebrew Zechariah. Today, Zara is heavily associated with the Spanish fast fashion empire of the same name.

ZionHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "highest point"
  • Description:

    Zion has taken off in recent years, especially after singer Lauryn Hill used it for her son in 1997 and incorporated the name into a hit song. It combines a user-friendly Ryan-Brian sound with the gravitas of religious significance. The Hebrew pronunciation is 'tzeeyon'.

ZoeHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    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.

ZaneHeart

  • Origin:

    Possible variation of John
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Western novelist Zane (born Pearl!) Grey made this name famous. Now, it's in tune with the style of our times, retaining that appealing cowboy image.
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ZephyrHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "west wind"
  • Description:

    If you're looking for a boy's name that's light and breezy, this could be it. A name from mythology: Zephyrus/Zephyr was the Greek god of the west wind-- with many European variations, it's a name that's 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.

ZoraHeart

  • Origin:

    Serbo-Croatioan
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Zora is a meaningful literary heroine name honoring Zora Neale Hurston, an important black writer and leader of the Harlem Renaissance.

ZekeHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Ezekiel
  • Meaning:

    "God strengthens"
  • Description:

    Zeke is a casual form of the name Ezekiel, an important prophet from the Old Testament. How well Zeke holds up depends on the boy: it could be a cooler alternative of Zack, or it could prove too close to "geek." Both Zeke and Ezekiel lag behind in popularity on the UK charts.

ZeldaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Griselda
  • Meaning:

    "gray fighting maid"
  • Description:

    Classified as an early exotic, Zelda has long and often been used as such for characters in books and films. Since 1986, Zelda has been a prime Nintendo name, as in the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

ZiggyHeart

  • Origin:

    German, diminutive of Siegfried and Sigmund
  • Description:

    The ultimate nicknamey name, à la Ziggy Stardust or the comic-strip character Ziggy. Then again, there's Ziggy Marley, and most anything Marley is cool. Originally named David, his father Bob Marley gave him the nickname "Ziggy" due to the soccer move of the same name.
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ZachariahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, form of Zechariah
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord has remembered"
  • Description:

    This distinguished name still feels a bit ancient, but with the rise of such former graybeards as Jeremiah and Elijah, it also sounds child-friendly again, as does the Latin-Greek form Zacharias.

ZanderHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    On the rise as an independent name: Zander and Xander are both widely used can increasingly be found as characters in movies and on TV.

ZanderHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    On the rise as an independent name: Zander and Xander are both widely used can increasingly be found as characters in movies and on TV.

ZariahHeart

  • Description:

    Zariah has three possible origins: the Arabic ‘Zara’ which means ‘flower’, the Hebrew name ‘Azaria’, meaning ‘God has helped’, or the Russian word “Zaria” which means ‘sunrise/dawn’. Either way, it is a pretty name with a range of lovely meanings

ZevHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "wolf"
  • Description:

    Zev is a short, simple, animal name that may relate to the Old Testament Ze'ev -- except he was a villainous character.
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ZukoHeart

  • Origin:

    Xhosa
  • Meaning:

    "glory"
  • Description:

    No, this name is not an homage to Grease! Zuko is a Xhosa (Zulu) boys' name meaning glory. In a world of Zekes, Zaks and Zanes, Zuko could make a refreshing choice for parents looking for something short and snappy.

ZeusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    The supreme Olympian god represents a mighty image for a little fella to live up to, but more and more parents are beginning to consider it seriously. The Roman equivalent Jupiter has also come down to earth. And Zeus wasn't just the supreme god, he was also the god of the sky, thunder, lightning, and fate, among other weighty responsibilities.

ZephyrineHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Zephyr, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "west wind"
  • Description:

    Zephyr may not be a name often heard in the U.S., but its variations are used throughout Europe. Zephyrine, a cousin in sound and feel if not in fact to such lovely names as Severine and Seraphina, has distinctive possibilities.

ZenHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese, form of Buddhism
  • Description:

    A spiritual word name used by actor Zoe Saldana for her son.

ZuriHeart

  • Origin:

    Kiswahili
  • Meaning:

    "good, beautiful"
  • Description:

    Zuri migrated, at least to American sensibilities, to the feminine side when an Ohio zoo used it for a female giraffe. For either gender, Zuri is an attractive name with the usual Z-initial zest.
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ZinniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from German surname
  • Meaning:

    "Zinn's flower"
  • Description:

    Zinnia is an unusual floral choice with a bit more edge and energy than most and beginning to find its way onto namers' wish lists of botanical possibilities. Named after an eighteenth German botanist called Johann Gottfried Zinn, it appears in Roald Dahl's Matilda as the young protagonist's mother.

ZebedeeHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Hebrew Zebediah
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Zebedee is an adorable and unusual New Testament name--which may sound like but is not a contradiction in terms. Unlike some of the longer biblical Z-names, Zebedee has a more lighthearted usability, with its gleeful ee-ending. And Zeb makes a fabulous nickname.

ZenoHeart

  • Origin:

    Anglicized form of Greek Zenon, related to Zeus, king of the gods
  • Description:

    Zeno, the name of two ancient philosophers, has a muscular dynamism that's lightened by its cheerful final vowel, resulting in a kind of offbeat sci-fi feel. Zeno of Citium was the founder of the Stoic school of thought, Zeno of Elea was another early, original Greek thinker, famed for his Paradoxes.

ZariaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "rose"
  • Description:

    Zaria, the name of the Nigerian capital city, could be another Z name for parents to consider. It currently ranks lower than variations Zariah and Zariyah.

ZolaHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Congolese; also literary name
  • Description:

    When the Eddie Murphys named their fourth daughter Zola, it affirmed the up-and-coming status of the name, which has African roots, but also literary links to Emile Zola.
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ZipporahHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Tziporah, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "bird"
  • Description:

    There are many variations of this name, with or without the initial T and the final h, with one p or two. In the Bible she was the wife of Moses.

ZebulonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "exaltation or little dwelling"
  • Description:

    An Old Testament name with a Puritan feel and post-Zachary possibilities--one of several routes to the cool nickname Zeb.

ZadieHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Sadie
  • Meaning:

    "princess"
  • Description:

    When aspiring British writer Sadie Smith decided to change her name to the more distinctive and zippy Zadie at the age of fourteen, this attention-magnet name was born. But though it might sound like a modern initial-switch, Zadie was actually Number 539 in 1881, remaining in the Top 1000 for almost thirty years.

ZurielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my rock"
  • Description:

    Biblical name from the Old Testament.

ZaharaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew; Swahili
  • Meaning:

    "to shine; flower"
  • Description:

    Zahara, a delicate but strong multicultural name, came into the spotlight when Angelina Jolie bestowed it on her Ethiopian-born daughter, and we predict other parents will adopt it as well. If you want something simpler than Zahara, consider Zara, a royal name in England--but also the name of a Spanish-based clothing store chain.
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ZeroHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "void"
  • Description:

    Zero Mostel took on this name for its comedic value, but there would be nothing funny about giving it to an unfortunate child.

ZaireHeart

  • Origin:

    Place name
  • Description:

    An African place name—Zaire was a Central African state from 1971 to 1997—it comes from a Kongo term meaning "the river that swallows all rivers." A bold and wearable choice for a son.

ZacHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Zachariah/Zachary
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord has remembered"
  • Description:

    A popular nickname that, over the past few decades, has acquired enough standing to work on its own, a la earlier equivalents such as Jack and Max; an alternative to Zach/Zack. Actor/singer Zac Efron--born Zachary--is an attractive current bearer.

ZaccaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Cool biblical name that could get you to the nicknames Zac or Cai.

ZenithHeart

  • Origin:

    American word name
  • Description:

    Zenith is an uplifting if quirky word name, meaning the top or the peak. Eight boys received the name in one recent year, only a third of those who were called Nadir -- the low point!
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ZebHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Zebediah or Zebulon
  • Description:

    Short and to-the-point, it turns an ancient biblical name into a friendly cowboy.

ZellaHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Bobangi
  • Meaning:

    "lacking nothing, one who knows the way"
  • Description:

    This is an African name that would fit into any culture.

ZimriHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my music, my praise"
  • Description:

    This unusual and spunky biblical name was one of the Kings of Israel as well as one of Judah's grandsons and has a wonderful meaning. We'd like to see Zimri being used more.

ZenobiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "force of Zeus"
  • Description:

    With historical roots as a beautiful and intelligent ancient queen and literary ties to Hawthorne and Edith Wharton novels, this rarity could appeal to adventurous parents seeking the exotically unusual. Tina Fey used it as her daughter Alice's middle name.

ZebediahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "gift of Jehovah"
  • Description:

    Biblical names are expanding (literally) as some parents move from Isaiah and Elijah to more elaborate choices with simple short forms, like Jedidiah and Zebediah.
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ZelieHeart

  • Origin:

    French short form of Azalea, Zelia, or Solene
  • Description:

    There are many conflicting theories about the origins of the cute, popular French name Zelie. The one certainty is that Zelie is rising through the ranks in France but is nearly unknown -- though eminently usable -- in the English-speaking world.

ZedekiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is just"
  • Description:

    The name of an Old Testament king, and yet another 'Z' choice from the Bible that still retains some zip, especially with the appealing nickname Zed. Zedekiah was the name of the last king of Judea before the city was destroyed by Babylon.

ZeviHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "gazelle, roebuck"
  • Description:

    Zevi is an alternative transcription of the Hebrew name Zvi or Tzvi, the latter of which is a Top 100 pick in Israel. It's a cool, sharp-sounding name which would make for a great distinctive alternative to Levi.

ZadeHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Zesty brother of Cade and Slade.

ZaleHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sea-strength"
  • Description:

    Appealing sound and meaning, but there is that discount-store association.
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ZoltanHeart

  • Origin:

    Hungarian
  • Meaning:

    "sultan"
  • Description:

    Though a common name in Hungary, it has a bit of Mandrake the Magician exoticism here. Penn Gillette used the Zolten spelling for his son; it was also the name of Dracula's dog, and was also a robotic character in Dude, Where's My Car?. But its main recommending feature is that it's one of the

ZahraHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "flower"
  • Description:

    Abbreviated form of Zahara that was used by Chris Rock for his daughter and as a middle name by both Eddie Murphy and David Bowie. Compared with the even-more-abbreviated Zara, Zahra may create more spelling problems but clarify pronunciation.

ZariyahHeart

  • Description:

    Zariyah has three possible origins: the Arabic Zara which means flower"; the Hebrew name Azaria, meaning "God has helped"; or the Russian word Zaria which means "sunrise, dawn." Either way, it is a pretty name with an overly complicated spelling. We suggest consider the simpler Zaria or Zariah to avoid this name becoming dated by its trendy y.

ZosiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variant of Sophia, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "wisdom"
  • Description:

    This unusual and exotic choice was used by David Mamet for his daughter, who is now grown and an actress on the hit show Girls.

ZamielHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Samuel
  • Description:

    For Sam-lovers who want to make a slight detour off that well-traveled road.
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