From mini Zoe – no matter how you spell it – to elaborate Zariyah and Zaniyah, more girl names starting with Z appear in today’s Top 1000 than nearly any year prior.
That hasn’t always been the case. In some years, zero names beginning with Z appear on the girls’ charts.
But now, the final letter of the alphabet comes in a respectable eighteenth place in terms of popular first initials – even ahead of the letter T.
Maybe it’s because we love our high-value Scrabble letter names these days. After all, along with Q, Z offers a whopping ten points. Name your twin girls Zoey and Quinn, and their names would add up fast.
But there are some plain great Z names, inspired by a mix of foreign imports, creative inventions, and names that just sound a little zippier when they begin with the letter Z.
MOST POPULAR Z NAMES FOR GIRLS
Nickelodeon series Zoey 101 prompted us to add a ‘y’ to Zoey, just like Joey.
This mini Greek import comes with a big meaning: life.
Sarah is down-to-earth and classic, but Zara? Zara sparkles.
A Swahili name, Zuri means beautiful.
Zariah might be Arabic in origin. Or possibly Hebrew. What’s certain is that Zariah is on the rise.
An Arabic name with a great meaning – bright.
A name meaning happy, Zelda is forever associated with the jazz age thanks to Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald, a novelist in her own right.
A cousin to Hailey and Kaylee, but maybe with a nod to the saintly Zelie, too.
A third spelling in the Zaria/Zariah category.
Maria-with-a-Z … or Zariah-hold-the-h.
A Slavic word meaning dawn, and a slightly more daring alternative to Nora, Cora, and Aurora.
Possibly borrowed from Zaniah, the traditional Arabic name for a star.
An Arabic name possibly meaning beauty. Thanks to a significant figure in Islam, it’s been embraced by Muslim families across the world, in multiple spellings.
Another Zoe/Zoey spelling.
Popular at the turn of the twentieth century in the US, this name’s origins are unclear. But it fits in perfectly with girl names beginning with Z today.
A Shona name meaning thankful, Zendaya makes the charts thanks to a talented young actor.
UNCOMMON GIRL NAMES BEGINNING WITH Z
Likely Hebrew in origin, this name means shining. It’s familiar thanks to Jolie-Pitt daughter Zahara Marley.
Zahava means golden, again with Hebrew roots.
An Arabic name with two possible meanings: shining, or helper.
Possibly short for Suzanne, or maybe a feminine form of John.
It’s Sadie-with-a-Z, thanks to London-born author Sadie Smith.
In French, Zazie is short for Isabelle or Frances, a sparky short name put on the map by actor Zazie Beetz.
Either a cousin to Adelaide or a French form of Azalea, Zelie is on parents’ radar thanks to Saint Zelie Martin, canonized by Pope Francis in 2015.
A so-slightly different spin on Bella and Stella, Zella offers several possible origins and meanings.
An ancient Greek name related to the god Zeus, Zenaida is also a genus of doves. They’re named for Napoleon’s niece, Zénaïde.
Another take on Zenaida, Zenobia was the name of an ancient queen. Nathaniel Hawthorne used it for a character in his 1852 novel The Blithedale Romance.
Zephyr is the western wind in Greek myth; lovely French feminine form Zephyrine is occasionally heard.
Mozart gave this name to a character in his legendary 1787 opera Don Giovanni. She’s the beautiful peasant girl Don Giovanni pursues.
An unusual flower name with a zippy Z.
It might be short for many names ending with the right sound, but there’s also a thirteenth century Saint Zita.
An Arabic name, Zoraida is most famous as a character in Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
In Polish, Sophia becomes Zofia, and Zosia is the nickname. Actor Zosia Mamet rhymes her name with Sasha.
A nickname for Susan and related names, Zuzu is forever famous as the youngest daughter of George Bailey in Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life.