Are There Any More Z Names?
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:
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.
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.
Enzo, Renzo: 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.