ZAAHIR (2) m Arabic
Derived from Arabic ظهر (zahara)
meaning "clear, evident, manifest, outward". In Islamic tradition الظاهر (al-Zahir)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
ZABEL f Armenian
Armenian form of ISABEL
. A 13th-century ruling queen of Cilician Armenia bore this name.
ZACCAI m Biblical
From the Hebrew name זַכָּי (Zakkai)
meaning "pure". This is the name of a minor character in the Old Testament.
ZACCHAEUS m Biblical
From Ζακχαιος (Zakchaios)
, the Greek form of ZACCAI
. In the New Testament he is a tax collector in Jericho who gives half his possessions to charity.
ZACHARIAH m English, Biblical
Variant of ZECHARIAH
. This spelling is used in the King James Version of the Old Testament to refer to one of the kings of Israel (called Zechariah in other versions).
ZACHARY m English, Biblical
Usual English form of ZACHARIAS
, used in some English versions of the New Testament. This form has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation. It was borne by American military commander and president Zachary Taylor (1784-1850).
ZADOK m Biblical
Means "righteous" in Hebrew. This is the name of several characters in the Old Testament, most notably the high priest of Israel during the reigns of David
. Solomon was anointed by Zadok.
ZAHI m Arabic
Means "beautiful, brilliant" in Arabic.
ZAÏRE f Literature
Used by Voltaire for the heroine of his tragic play 'Zaïre' (1732), about a Christian woman enslaved by Muslims. The heroine is named Zara
in some English translations. Voltaire may have based the name on ZAHRAH
ZAL m Persian Mythology
Means "albino" in Persian. In the 11th-century Persian epic the 'Shahnameh' this is the name of a white-haired warrior.
ZALÁN m Hungarian
Possibly from the name of the region of Zala in western Hungary, itself named for the Zala River. This name used by the Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty in his 1823 epic 'Zalán Futása'.
ZALMON m Biblical
Means "shady" in Hebrew. This is the name of one of David
's mighty men in the Old Testament.
ZAN f & m Chinese
From Chinese 赞 (zàn)
meaning "help, support", as well as other characters with a similar pronunciation.
ZANE (1) m English
From an English surname of unknown meaning. It was introduced as a given name by American author Zane Grey (1872-1939). Zane was in fact his middle name - it had been his mother's maiden name.
ZARA (1) f English (Modern)
English form of ZAÏRE
. In England it came to public attention when Princess Anne gave it to her daughter in 1981. Use of the name may also be influenced by the trendy Spanish clothing retailer Zara.
ZARATHUSTRA m History
Possibly means "golden camel" in Old Iranian, derived from zarat
meaning "golden" combined with ushtra
meaning "camel". Zarathustra was the Persian prophet who founded the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism about the 10th century BC.
ZÁVIŠ m Czech
Derived from a Slavic root meaning "envy".
ZAYD m Arabic
Derived from Arabic زاد (zada)
meaning "to increase". This was the name of a slave who became the adopted son of the Prophet Muhammad
ZAYNAB f Arabic
Meaning uncertain. It is possibly related to Arabic زين (zayn)
meaning "beauty"; it could be from the name of a fragrant flowering tree; or it could be an Arabic form of ZENOBIA
, a name borne by a pre-Islamic queen of Palmyra. Zaynab was the name of a daughter, a granddaughter, and two wives of the Prophet Muhammad
ZDISLAVA f Czech
Czech feminine form of ZDZISŁAW
. This name was borne by the 13th-century Czech saint Zdislava Berka.
ZEBADIAH m Biblical
has bestowed" in Hebrew. This was the name of several Old Testament characters.
ZEBEDEE m Biblical
From Ζεβεδαιος (Zebedaios)
, the Greek form of ZEBADIAH
used in the New Testament, where it refers to the father of the apostles James and John.
ZEBULUN m Biblical
Possibly derived from Ugartic zbl
meaning "prince". In the Old Testament Zebulun is the tenth son of Jacob
(his sixth son by Leah
) and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Genesis 30:20 implies two different roots for the name: זָבַל (zaval)
meaning "to dwell" and זֵבֵד (zeved)
meaning "gift, dowry". These are probably only folk etymologies.
ZECHARIAH m Biblical, English
From the Hebrew name זְכַרְיָה (Zekharyah)
remembers", from זָכַר (zakhar)
meaning "to remember" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. This is the name of many characters in the Old Testament, including the prophet Zechariah, the author of the Book of Zechariah. The name also appears in the New Testament belonging to the father of John
the Baptist, who was temporarily made dumb because of his disbelief. He is regarded as a saint by Christians. In some versions of the New Testament his name is spelled in the Greek form Zacharias
or the English form Zachary
. As an English given name, Zechariah
has been in occasional use since the Protestant Reformation.
ZEDONG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 泽 (zé)
meaning "moist, grace, brilliance" combined with 东 (dōng)
meaning "east", as well as other character combinations. A notable bearer was the founder of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong (1893-1976).
ZEFERINO m Portuguese
Portuguese form of the Roman name Zephyrinus
, which was derived from the Greek Zephyros
). Saint Zephyrinus was a 3rd-century pope.
ZEKİ m Turkish
Means "intelligent" in Turkish, ultimately from Arabic ذكيّ (dhakiy)
ZÉLIE f French
Short form of AZÉLIE
. This is another name of Saint Marie-Azélie Guérin (1831-1877).
ZELOPHEHAD m Biblical
Possibly means either "first born" or "shadow from terror" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Zelophehad is a man who dies while the Israelites are wandering in the wilderness, leaving five daughters as heirs.
ZEMFIRA f Tatar, Bashkir, Literature
Meaning unknown, possibly of Romani origin. This name was (first?) used by Aleksandr Pushkin in his poem 'The Gypsies' (1827).
ZENA f English
Meaning unknown. It could be a variant of XENIA
or a diminutive of names featuring this sound, such as ALEXINA
. This name has occasionally been used since the 19th century.
ZENAIDA f Late Greek
Apparently a Greek derivative of Ζηναις (Zenais)
, which was derived from the name of the Greek god ZEUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century saint who was a doctor with her sister Philonella.
ZENO m Ancient Greek (Latinized), Italian
From the Greek name Ζηνων (Zenon)
, which was derived from the name of the Greek god ZEUS
. Zeno was the name of two famous Greek philosophers: Zeno of Elea and Zeno of Citium, the founder of the Stoic school in Athens.
ZENOBIA f Ancient Greek
Means "life of Zeus", derived from Greek Ζηνο (Zeno)
, a prefix form of the name of ZEUS
, combined with βιος (bios)
"life". This was the name of a 3rd-century queen of Palmyra. After claiming the title 'Queen of the East' and expanding her realm into Roman territory she was defeated by Emperor Aurelian. Her Greek name was used as an approximation of her native Aramaic name.
ZEPHANIAH m Biblical
From the Hebrew name צְפַנְיָה (Tzefanyah)
has hidden", derived from צָפַן (tzafan)
meaning "to hide" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. This is the name of one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Zephaniah.
ZERACHIEL m Judeo-Christian Legend
Possibly means "command of God" in Hebrew. The Book of Enoch names him as one of the seven archangels. His name is sometimes rendered as Sarakiel
ZERAH m Biblical
Means "dawning, shining" in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of Judah
and the twin of Perez
in the Old Testament.
ZÉTÉNY m Hungarian
Possibly from the old Slavic root zeti
ZEUS m Greek Mythology
The name of a Greek god, related to the old Indo-European god *Dyeus
, from a root meaning "shine" or "sky". In Greek mythology he was the highest of the gods. After he and his siblings defeated the Titans, Zeus ruled over the earth and humankind from atop Mount Olympus. He had control over the weather and his weapon was a thunderbolt.
ZHEN f & m Chinese
From Chinese 珍 (zhēn)
meaning "precious, rare", 真 (zhēn)
meaning "real, genuine", 贞 (zhēn)
meaning "virtuous, chaste, loyal", or other Chinese characters that are pronounced similarly.
ZHENG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 正 (zhèng)
meaning "right, proper, correct" or 政 (zhèng)
meaning "government", as well as other hanja characters with a similar pronunciation.
ZHI m & f Chinese
From Chinese 志 (zhì)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" or 智 (zhì)
meaning "wisdom, intellect", as well as other characters that are pronounced similarly.
ZHIHAO m & f Chinese
From Chinese 志 (zhì)
meaning "will, purpose, ambition" or 智 (zhì)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" combined with 豪 (háo)
meaning "brave, heroic, chivalrous". Many other character combinations are possible.
ZHONG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 中 (zhōng)
meaning "middle" or 忠 (zhōng)
meaning "loyalty, devotion". Other characters can form this name as well.
ZHOU m & f Chinese
From Chinese 舟 (zhōu)
meaning "boat, ship", in addition to other characters that are pronounced similarly.
ZHUBIN m Persian
Means "spear" in Persian, ultimately from Sanskrit.
ZIBA (2) m Biblical
Means "station" in Hebrew. This was the name of a servant of Saul in the Old Testament.
ZIBIAH f Biblical
Means "gazelle" or "doe" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the mother of King Joash of Judah.
ZIEMOWIT m Polish
From an old Slavic name derived from the elements sem
"family" and vit
"lord, master". This was the name of a legendary Piast prince of Poland. It was also borne by several other Piast rulers.
ZIMRI m Biblical
Means "my praise" or "my music" in Hebrew. This is the name of a king of Israel in the Old Testament. He ruled for only seven days, when he was succeeded by the commander of the army Omri
ZINNIA f English (Rare)
From the name of the flower, which was itself named for the German botanist Johann Zinn.
ZION m Jewish, Biblical
From the name of a citadel that was in the center of Jerusalem. Zion is also used to refer to a Jewish homeland and to heaven.
ZIV m & f Hebrew
Means "bright, radiant" in Hebrew. This was the ancient name of the second month of the Jewish calendar.
ŽIVA f Slavic Mythology, Slovene
Means "living, alive" in Slavic. This was the name of a Slavic goddess associated with life, fertility and spring.
ZIYA m Arabic
Derived from Arabic ضياء (diya)
meaning "splendour, light, glow". This was the name of a 14th-century Islamic Indian historian.
ZIYA AL-DIN m Arabic
Means "splendour of religion" from Arabic ضياء (diya)
meaning "splendour, light, glow" combined with دين (din)
meaning "religion, faith".
ZOE f English, Italian, German, Ancient Greek
Means "life" in Greek. From early times it was adopted by Hellenized Jews as a translation of EVE
. It was borne by two early Christian saints, one martyred under Emperor Hadrian, the other martyred under Diocletian. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, being borne by a ruling empress of the 11th century. As an English name, Zoe
has only been in use since the 19th century. It has generally been more common among Eastern Christians (in various spellings).
ZOLA (1) f English
Meaning unknown, perhaps an invented name. It has been in occasional use in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. It coincides with an Italian surname, a famous bearer being the French-Italian author Émile Zola (1840-1902).
ZOLTÁN m Hungarian
Possibly related to the Turkish title sultan
meaning "king, sultan". This was the name of a 10th-century ruler of Hungary, also known as Zsolt.
ZONA f Various
Means "girdle, belt" in Greek. This name was made popular by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and poet Zona Gale.
ZOPYROS m Ancient Greek
Means "glowing" in Greek. This was the name of a Persian nobleman who aided his king Darius in the capture of Babylon. He did this by mutilating himself and then going to the Babylonians claiming that it had been Darius who did it to him. After gaining their trust he betrayed them.
ZORAIDA f Spanish
Perhaps means "enchanting" or "dawn" in Arabic. This was the name of a minor 12th-century Spanish saint, a convert from Islam. The name was used by Cervantes for a character in his novel 'Don Quixote' (1606), in which Zoraida is a beautiful Moorish woman of Algiers who converts to Christianity and elopes with a Spanish officer.