Zakia is an Arabic female name with two possible meanings depending on the spelling used, such as زكية meaning “pure” or ذكيه meaning “intelligent”.
Zebulon is a name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Ugartic zbl meaning “prince”, linked to the same root word as Jezebel meaning “where is the prince?” or “not exalted”. Zebulon may originally have been used as an epithet for the god Ba’al. Other theories of the name link to Hebrew zabal meaning “to exalt, to honor”; zeved “gift, dowry”; or “dwelling”. Zebulon is the name of the youngest son of Jacob and Leah in the Bible and the Torah, as well as the founder of the Tribe of Zebulon.
Origin: Ugartic, Hebrew
- Zebulun (Biblical)
- Zaboulon (Biblical Greek)
- Zevulun (Biblical Hebrew)
- Zabulon (Biblical Latin)
Zelda was originally used as a nickname for Griselda, a female given name meaning “gray battle” from Germanic elements gris (gray) and hild (battle), though it’s now used as a given name in its own right.
Zelda is also a Yiddish name, the feminine form of Selig, meaning “blessed, happy” in Yiddish.
Origin: Germanic, Yiddish
- Selda (English)
- Grizel (Scottish)
- Griselda (Spanish)
- Zelde (Yiddish)
- Zilda (English)
- Selig (Yiddish)
- Zelig (Yiddish)
Zafir is an Arabic male name, a variant spelling of Zafar meaning “victory, triumph, success”. It’s also a surname derived from the given name.
Spelled zafír (with the accent on the i), it becomes the Hungarian word for “sapphire”.
Zoe is a Greek female name meaning “life”. It was used as a calque of Eve by Jews (a calque being a loan translation of a word or phrase that means the same thing in another language), as well as being the name of several figures in the Ancient world such as the Byzantine empress Zoe Porphyrogenita (purple-born), as well as another Byzantine princess (whose name was later changed to Sophia) who married Ivan III, Grand Prince of Moscow, and was the grandmother of Ivan the Terrible, who became the first tsar of Russia.
- Zoë (Dutch, English)
- Zoé (French)
- Zoey (English)
- Zoie (English)
- Zowie (English)
- Zoja (Macedonian, Polish)
- Zoya (Russian, Ukrainian)
- Zoa (English, Spanish)
Zeus is the main god in the Greek pantheon, the god of the sky and thunder, law and order, and oaths. According to mythology, he was the youngest son of the Titan Cronus and Rhea. Because his father was told that a son of his would overthrow him just as Cronus had overthrown his own father Uranus, Cronus would swallow every child Rhea bore, boy or girl. When Zeus was about to be born, Rhea devised a plan to save him by swaddling a bundle of blankets or clothes with rocks and switching it out with the baby Zeus whom she gave to some nymphs to take care of. When Zeus came of age, he somehow managed to make his father gorge out the children he had swallowed and together they banded together to fight against the Titans, ending in victory for the Olympians.
Zeus’s name comes from Indo-European *Dyeus likely meaning “shine” or “sky, heaven, god”.
- Zeno (Ancient Greek, Italian)
- Zenon (Ancient Greek, Polish)
- Zinon (Modern Greek)
- Zenais (Ancient Greek)
- Zenaida (Late Greek)
- Zénaïs (French)
Zara is a Bulgarian diminutive of Zaharina, the Bulgarian and Macedonian feminine form of Zechariah, a Hebrew masculine name meaning “Yahweh remembers”, though it could also be a variant spelling of Sara meaning “princess, lady, noblewoman”.
Zara is also the English form of Zaïre, a name created by French writer and philosopher Voltaire for his play Zaïre. He may have based it on the Arabic name Zahrah meaning “flower” or “blooming flower” or from Zahara “shine, sparkle”.
Origin: Hebrew, Arabic