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Baby Names That Start With "Z" That Have A Special Zing

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When it comes to choosing baby names that start with a certain letter, "Z" often goes overlooked. Maybe it's because parents are afraid of their kids being last when they're are told to line up in alphabetical order at school, maybe it's because all the "Z" monikers are at the end of most baby name lists, or maybe it's because people tend to assume there just aren't that many "Z" names in existence. But guess what? There are actually lots of cool, unique baby names that start with the letter "Z" — even if you've never heard of some of them.

When you think about it, the fact that so many of these names aren't already on your radar is technically a good sign if your main concern is coming up with something distinct. Of course, names have a way of getting popular, fast — which explains why, for example, my daughter Charlotte had no fewer than five friends named Sophia (or Sofia) in preschool. Blame it on the zeitgeist, I guess (yet another "Z" word, though one I wouldn't necessarily recommend as a name, personally). So if you're looking to stay on top of the trends, you might want to jump on this whole "Z" thing before it's too late!

1. Zoe

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Another fairly common "Z" name, Zoe (also spelled Zoey and Zooey, as in Deschanel) is of Greek origin and means "life," according to Nameberry. While Zoe dates all the way back to the third century, it's also "one of those surprising names that has been on the Top 1000 nearly every year since 1880, but it's just recently been zooming toward the top."

2. Zachary

Probably one of the more common "Z" names out there, Zachary comes from the Hebrew Zecharya (a derivative of zĕcharyah) meaning "God remembers, memory," according to Baby Name Wizard. If you're a parent of a certain age, this name probably makes you think of a certain Zach Morris (from Saved by the Bell, of course).

3. Zared

Nope, it's not just a misspelling of Jared — Zared is a name all on its own of Hebrew origin with a somewhat odd meaning ("trap"), Nameberry described. As BabyNames.com reported, people who like the name Zared also showed interest in the names Zachary, Zeke, and Zander.

4. Zephyr

A lovely name which means "a light or west wind," according to Baby Name Wizard, Zephyr is equally cool for girls or boys. Of Greek origin, Zephyrus was the Greek god of the west wind, and "all names associated with him have a pleasantly gentle, breezy feel," reported Nameberry.

5. Zebulon

It might sound like the name of a star in some faraway galaxy, but Nameberry explained that, Zebulon is actually of Hebrew origin and means "exaltation or little dwelling" (little dwelling... as in a small planet, perhaps?). Pike's Peak was named for Zebulon Pike, perhaps the most famous Zebulon thus far.

6. Zelda

First made famous by F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, or the popular Nintendo video game, Zelda is a name of Old German descent meaning "grey battle" or "Christian battle," according to She Knows. With any luck, your little Zelda will grow up to inspire great legends and novels (or maybe write a few of her own).

7. Zeno

Of Greek origin, Zeno is derived from the name of Zeus, king of the gods, according to Behind the Name. That's quite a legacy to live up to, but nobody necessarily has to know the roots of your kid's name. (Then again, if that rather intimidating example works to motivate your child, that works too.)

8. Zola

Apparently there are different schools of thought when it comes to the meaning and origin of this name, as Baby Name Wizard explained: Some think Zola is from Latin, meaning "earth" or "ball of earth," while others say it's a Zulu name meaning "quiet, tranquil". Either way, it's super cute!

9. Z'ev

A Hebrew baby name meaning "wolf," according to She Knows, Z'ev pretty much guarantees your kid will be hip for life. Or as one Nameberry user put it: "Short, zippy and lively, with a cool meaning."

10. Zinnia

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A flower name (like Rose or Poppy), Zinnia is the name of a blossom that's particularly popular with butterflies, Baby Name Wizard stated. As a flower, the Zinnia is thought to represent enduring love and friendship; it's also known for being a hearty bloom, according to FlowerMeaning.com.

11. Zane

A Hebrew name that means "gift from God," according to She Knows, Zane isn't just the last name of the actor who played Leo's rival in Titanic. The Arabic name Zayn (like musician Zayn Malik) sounds the same as Zane but has a different root, according to Nameberry.

12. Zahara

A part of pop culture since Angelina Jolie named her daughter, Zahara is of Hebrew and Swahili origin and means "to shine" or "flower," according to Nameberry. It's also a form of Zohar, according to eBabyNames, which lists an alternate meaning as "brilliance."

13. Zebediah

Another biblical "Z" name, Zebediah is of Hebrew origin and means "gift of Jehovah," according to Think Baby Names. There's lots of cute nickname potential here with "Zeb," or even just "Z" (if your kid prefers to be mysterious).

14. Zendaya

Rising in popularity lately (most likely thanks to a certain celeb of the same name), Zendaya is of African origin and means "to give thanks" (as reported by Nameberry). Perhaps your little Zendaya will grow up to give thanks for a very successful career, too.

15. Zenas

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Traditionally a boy's name, Zenas is a Greek name meaning "hospitable," according to Think Baby Names. Apparently, Zenas reached its peak rank of #1392 in the U.S. in the 1880s, but isn't currently on the list of popular names... which just makes it all the more unique.

16. Zadie

A variant on the English name Sadie, Zadie (or Zaidee) means "princess," Baby Name Wizard claimed (so you'll have an excuse for treating your little one like royalty). Notable Zadies include the critically-acclaimed author Zadie Smith (quite an inspiration should you end up with a budding scribe on your hands).

17. Ziggy

Of German origin, Ziggy is a diminutive of Siegfried and Sigmund and means "victorious peace," according to Nameberry (though you probably associate it with Ziggy Stardust or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the cartoon character).

18. Zuzu

Fans of the classic film It's a Wonderful Life will love this whimsical moniker, which can have several different meanings, according to Baby Name Wizard: Zuzu means "sweet" in Yiddish and "lily" in Czech, while in China it means "little pearl" (or perfect child).

19. Zander

A name of Greek origin meaning "defending men," according to Nameberry, Zander is a diminutive of Alexander but appears to be getting popular as a name all by itself. Why not turn a name into a "z" name if given the opportunity? Because there really aren't all that many opportunities, it turns out.

20. Zamora

Yet another "Z" name of Hebrew origin, Zamora means "praised" (according to She Knows), which isn't a bad way to go through life, TBH. As one Nameberry user pointed out, this first name also comes with a perfect built-in nickname: Mora.

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