About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I actually know a Zarek (don’t we all know someone with one of these NotDs?). He says ZAIR-ek (rhyming with Darek), but says it was intended to be ZAHR-ek.

  2. I agree with Julie-this sounds too much like a sci-fi/comic book character (as it has been obviously, with BG and all) than a real person. It is unusual but easy to say and pronounce, but it also sounds made up, even if it is legit. It would make a cool middle name, though, so Adrian-go for it! I hope the little guy/gal lets you guys in on the secret next time. Congrats on the new little one!

  3. I generally like ends-in-c/k boys’ names, but with this one I keep wanting to say Zurich. Because of that, I don’t love it as much as I might have otherwise.

  4. I want to like this! I too pronounced it at first as Zahr-eck (if it’s Zair-ick I’m not a fan)… And as soon as I said it, I remembered the surname of a childhood bully… slightly different spelling! Drat.

  5. I don’t like it. Zarek might be a legitimate (nick)name, but unusual names with z’s or x’s, make me think of comic book super-villains. I’m not a fan of Balthazar either, probably because Hollywood has keeps using the name for demons and sorcerers.

  6. Thanks for highlighting my name recommendation today. My wife came across this name through the Sherrilyn Kenyon series — she had me read the book, and Zarek does indeed appear to be the character’s given name. She wants to use it as a middle name if we have a boy. We were supposed to find out the sex of our baby on an ultrasound this week, but the little one hid the goods! All curled up, feet pressed together. Seems we have a troublemaker in the making already. 😉

  7. Is Zarek supposed to rhyme with Eric? If so, I like it a lot less than I thought I did. As it’s short for Balthazar, I was saying the Zar like that ending (rhyming with bar, not air). In fact, before reading the post my first thought was that it’s Tarek with a Z!

    I don’t really like it as a stand-alone, but as a nn for Balthazar, Zarek is pretty cool.

    1. In the Sherrilyn Kenyon audiobook that features the Zarek character, the narrator’s pronunciation of the name rhymes with Derek. I imagine the Eastern European pronunciation would be something like ZAHR-ehk.

  8. Zarek – rhymes with Derek and Eric – I like the sound. Adding this one to my list of names for parents who want something different. I like that it’s different than the norm, but as Lola pointed out, easy to spell and say.

  9. I would be more likely to use Balthazar nn Zarek then just Zarek. I am not at all eastern European but my husband is Romanian so this.would fit in with the Tiberius’ and Constantines. Though my husband refuses to let me use them on the firestone place spot.

  10. Well, seeing as how Balthazar is the big family name for me, Zarek does appeal as a nickname for that fearsome, ponderous dude. But as a standalone? Not so much. For me.

    Zarek on someone else’s kid would be awesome. is zippy feeling, easy to both say & spell and doesn’t sound like a sea of other, similar names. Makes Zarek sound like a good thing today! Huzzah, Zarek! 😀