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’d really like to read this but the article is missing! Any chance you could restore it please? 🙂

  2. I really like Zoe, it’s in my top ten girl names actually. I’ve never heard of Zoelie but it seems nice.

    Also, I know a woman whose name is pronounced Zoe, except it’s spelled… (get ready for it!…) Xoeiey! It’s terrible, I think, just terrible!

  3. My name is Zoe(no diacritics or anything). I love the name. I ended up on this site because I was trying to prove a point to someone who keeps annoying me by telling me I need to add the dots. I have always hated all variations of the name, but this site was really helpful. I like Zoelie! and Zoi is kind of cool too. Thank you for creating this conversation, because it really let me accept all variations of Zoe.

  4. I’m pregnant and just found out I’m having a girl. I picked out her name over a year ago and it was inspired by the oh so talented Zooey Deschanel. My husband wasn’t accepting of the name, in any variation, until he found out Zoe Saldana played the main character in Avatar.

    When I chose her name, my concern was more about the popularity of the name. I grew up with one of he most common names in my class and I still have about 15 friends with the same name.

    Zoe was ranked #28 most popular names for US girls at babycenter.com in 2009. I just love the name so much that I’m sticking with it. As far as the spelling, even though I’m naming my baby girl after Zooey D, I’m pretty sure I’ve decided on spelling her name Zoe.

    1. Jenn, I still love Zoe, too. My daughter has a Zoe in her childcare – they’re a few weeks apart. It wears really well on a child, without seeming at all immature on an adult.

      I just caught part of an old Sex and the City episode – Carrie is dating a writer, and his sisters are named Frannie and Zooey, after the JD Salinger story. It’s the same story that inspired Deschanel’s parents, so you wouldn’t be the first to opt for the Zooey spelling, but I like Zoe’s spare, straightforward style.

  5. I’ve always loved the name Zoe, since I was 13 and my mother was pregnant & I was trying to help her choose names. Something about the letter Z is what originally attracted me to it, as my maiden name begins with Z. My first choice when I finally became pregnant was to be Zooey Joy. My husband didn’t like it and we ended up going with Zoelie Joy! I wish I could get everyone to pronounce it correctly with the “ay” in the middle, but no one does. Everyone calls her “Zo-lee” and people who just meet her never hear the L in her name and she gets miscalled Zoe on a regular basis. I love her name and would not change it at all, but its tiring to correct people all the time on the pronunciation, which I didn’t foresee.

  6. When we named our daughter Zoe in Boston MA, we were not permitted “the two dots” on top of the e, but the record-taker told us we could “pretend” they were there.

  7. I just had a baby girl last month and we decided to name her Zooey. I am not going to lie was not a fan of the spelling at first when my husband wanted it. It is different, but has grown on me! I couldnt see my baby’s name being spelled any different now! Zooey Brielle!