Are There Any More Z Names?

Jan 21st 2016


Z is the ultimate letter, in more ways than one. It's the end of the alphabet; the 10-point Scrabble hit; the mark of Zorro; the epitome of cool. In baby names, Z is a little extra oomph you can't ignore. But are we running out of Z names?

In theory, a letter is an infinitely renewable resource. You can always invent new names, import foreign ones, or adapt common words or place names. In practice, though, not every innovation works. The same turbo boost that makes Z so appealing can push a creative name over the edge to cartoonishness. That has put a premium on traditional Z names like Zachary and Zoe, and even internal Z's like Hazel and Ezekiel. All have soared in popularity in the past generation.

Are there any hidden gems remaining for Z lovers? Here are 14 best bets for established but uncommon Z names:

GIRLS

Zara: This name is staple in England, but in the U.S. it remains surprisingly uncommon. The Spanish clothing retailer Zara is a primary association here.

Aziza: Two separate Z's surrounded by vowels give this name a uniquely snappy flow. It's Arabic, meaning "powerful" and "precious."

Zanna, Zuzu: In many languages of Eastern Europe, the name Susanna is spelled with Z's. The resulting nicknames like Zanna and Zuzu can be used as given names, or as Z-powered nicknames for any form of Susan/Susannah.

Ziva: This rare Hebrew name meaning "brightness, radiance" became familiar to Americans via a character on the tv series NCIS. It's quite smashing in English, but remains rare in Hebrew because of a sound-alike disease.

Azalea: This flowing floral name is a natural as a baby name. Some may think of Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, but that association doesn't overwhelm the name's botanical essence.

Zora: Zora is a Slavic name meaning "dawn," but like many short and simple names it has other lives as well. Some will think of the Harlem renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston; others of aquatic humanoids in the Legend of Zelda games.

 

BOYS

Zeb, Zev: Zeb is a nickname for the biblical names Zebediah, Zebedee and Zebulon. As a given name, it is now more popular than any of them. If you like the short punch of Zeb but want a "whole" name, Zev is Hebrew for wolf.

EnzoRenzo: These names are both used as short forms of Lorenzo, though Enzo has a longer, separate history as a given name. If you're choosing between the two, Enzo comes across as a bit more classic and global, Renzo a bit saucier.

Raz: This modern Hebrew name means "secret" or "mystery." It's simple but energetic.

Zayd: This Arabic name's strong single syllable sets it apart. It means "growth, abundance" and is also commonly spelled Zaid.

Zeno: A name of several ancient philosophers, Zeno is unquestionably classic yet as stylistically bold as any modern invention.

 

 

Comments

1
By PJ
January 21, 2016 7:40 PM

There's also Zephyr for boys and Zinnia for girls.

There is definitely a trend to seeking out Z names, I know several kids with names on this list.

2
January 21, 2016 8:31 PM

I know a girl named Zandria, which I see is not in the Namipedia.  Presumably her mom was looking for a snappy, modern take on Alexandria.  Not something that appeals to me, but not bad, really, for a made-up / nickname-as-full- name.  Her sister's name also starts with Z, but I don't remember what it is.  Maybe Zoe.

3
January 21, 2016 11:00 PM

I'm partial to Zvi, but it's pronounced "Tsvi" and, unlike Raz, strikes me as an odd choice for anyone who isn't Jewish.

-Judy M, mom of H. Zvi T.

4
January 21, 2016 11:59 PM

I love Azaria! The Z has always caught my eye, Zari is a great nickname, and it's Biblical. Win, win, win to me.

I like Enzo a lot! And I know a 3 year old Zara. I also named a book character Zahra.

5
January 22, 2016 11:37 AM

I had a student named Zaria once.  I really liked the peppiness of the name.

 

6
January 22, 2016 4:15 PM

Zephyr can also be used for girls.  See Zephyr Rain Teachout who ran for governor of NY.  My DIl has three generations of Zenos in her family.  Zephaniah is a little-used (but not un-used) biblical name.  Zeva/Zeeva is the female form for Zev/Zeev, Hebrew for wolf.  Zipporah is another less used biblical name (wife of Moses, from word meaning bird), as is Zillah.  Zaynab (transliterated different ways) is an Arabic female name.   Names with internal Z include biblical choices like Lazarus, Eliezer, Boaz, Keziah, Tirzah, Hephzibah and her husband Hezekiah.  Also with internal/final z: Aliza (Modern Hebrew from word for joy), Alonzo, Gonzalo, Balthazar, Beatriz, Denze/il, Cruz, Fritz, Inez, Paz (peace in Spanish, gold in Hebrew).  Less used names with initial Z: Zane, Zelda, Zelma, Zena, Zenaida, Zenobia, Zita, Zion, Zoltan.

7
January 23, 2016 1:24 PM

Hmm what about Turkish names? 

Akuz(b)

Alaz(b)

Anaz(u)

Arkuz(b)

Avaz(b)

Ayaz(b)

Ayzit(g)

Baz(b)

Bazda(g)

Bediz(g)

Boz(b)

Deniz(u)

Ediz(g)

Erez(g)

Erzi(b)

Ezgi(g)

Gediz(g)

Gizem(g)

Iraz(g)

Ilkyaz(g)

Izgi(b)

Kazu(b)

Kenize(g)

Kozan(b)

Kuzey(b)

Oguz(b)

Ovlaz(b)

Oza(g)

Ozan(b)

Sezgi(g)

Talaz(b)

Tamiz(g)

Turkuaz(g)

Uzay(b)

Yavuz(b) 

Yazal(g)

Yeliz(g)

Yildiz(g)

Honestly letter z is a hard letter 

8
January 25, 2016 8:59 PM

What about…

Zola;Zula;Zoila (all know variations of my great grandmother's name

Eliza

the male Aziz

This might be made up but I think it's pretty… Zira or Zyra.

9
January 27, 2016 2:47 PM

How about <i>Zoete</i> (pronounced 'zoo-teh')?  It's a Dutch name, identical with the word for 'sweet'.

10
January 29, 2016 1:57 AM

I know a Fritz (on the fritz would rule that out) and a Franz. 

11
February 2, 2016 1:45 PM

I love the name Zailie, Zailey, Zaylie, or Zaylee! I can't choose between which spelling however!!

Zuly and Uziel isn't unheard of among Spanish names in TX. I've met more than one Zayden, Zavion, and Xzavion also.

13
February 9, 2016 5:59 PM

Zulekha (daughter of Iman)

Zsa Zsa (Gabor)

14
February 15, 2016 2:32 AM

My grandson Ezekiel aka Zeke would be happy to meet other kids with Z names.

16
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