Name Space

Zoe is a girl 's name that simply means "life" in Greek. In the United States, it's pronounced as "zoh-ee." In Greek, Zoe is often spelled as Zoi and pronounced as "zoh-eh." Zoe was used in early Greek translations of the Bible to mean Eve – a name perfectly befitting the woman some credit with the beginning of human life.

While modern translations define Zoe as "life," "vitality," or even "soul," Biblical explanations of the word Zoe are more complex. Experts on Biblical scripture define "zoe" as eternal life or life that is possessed by a divine being, such as God. In simpler terms, Zoe can refer to anything or anyone who is full of life.

"Full of life" makes sense for a name that many associate with independent, free-thinking heroines. In movies, TV shows, and books, characters named Zoe are often lively, spontaneous, and fun. For examples, take a look at Jennifer Lopez's determined character in The Backup Plan; the bold and fierce Zoey from the animation Total Drama Island; and the heroine in the novel Zoe Rising.

Though still fairly uncommon in classrooms and on playgrounds, Zoe has been in the top 1,000 names for baby girls on the U.S. Social Security Administration 's list for most of the past century. Its popularity jumped in 2000, when Zoe joined the top 100 names. Since 2009, Zoe has hovered in the top 50 girls' names, with only slight fluctuations in its ranking.

Zoe has many variations around the globe. You may see it spelled as:

  • Zoé
  • Zoë
  • Zoey
  • Zoi
  • Zoie
  • Zooey

Zoe 's popularity may reflect the influence of actresses Zoë Kravitz, Zoe Saldana, and Zooey Deschanel. Or it may be linked to the rising popularity of a rhyming name, Chloe. Either way, this is a sophisticated and meaningful name that deserves its place on top girls' name lists.

The Five Elements:
Also Spelled Like...:
Zoee Zoey Zoie Zowie Zoya
Famous Zoe:

Zoë Porphyrogenita : Empress of the Byzantine Empire from the years 1028 to 1050, daughter of Constantine

Zoë Baird : First woman nominee for U.S. Attorney General

Zoë Bell : Australian actress and stuntwoman

Zoe Kazan : Actress who starred in The Big Sick, It's Complicated, and Netflix 's Clickbait

Zoë Kravitz : Musician, actress (X – Men: First Class, Big Little Lies, It's Kind of a Funny Story), daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet

Zoe Saldana : Actress best known for her roles in the films Avatar, Star Trek, and Colombiana

Zooey Deschanel : Actress who has appeared in numerous TV shows and films, including New Girl, 500 Days of Summer, and Our Idiot Brother

Zoe Bell : actress

Zoe Birkett : singer

Zoe Kazan : actress

Zoe Naylor : actress

Zoe Wicomb : writer

Zoe Wanamaker : actress