The next instalment of the rarities is coming, hopefully it’ll be up next week sometime. Today is a returning entry to my list one that’s been on and off since I was four but somehow isn’t the name of one of my dolls but was always the name of one of barbies whenever I played.
Meaning “life” in Greek, Zoe is the name of two early Christian saints martyred under Hadrian though it has only been in use as an English name since the 19th century, first charting in the US in 1880. That said it hasn’t consistently been been charting only re-entering the charts in 1983 after being on and off the list since the 1940’s. Thought the US was behind the re-emergence of Zoe, in Australia it’s been charted briefly in the 1920’s (with 2 born per year) and has been charting consistently since the 1960’s (when three were born each year) and joined the top 100 in the 1980’s peaking at 18 in 2005-2008 in NSW. Nationally it sits at 18 as well, its at 22 in WA, 3 in the ACT, 8 in NSW, 17 in Tasmania, 15 in SA, 29 in QLD and 19 in the NT. Internationally it’s at 99 in England (it peaked in the 1990’s over there along with Chloe), 32 in the US, 29 in British Colombia, 6 in Quebec, 22 in Belgium, 60 in Catalonia, 11 in France, 54 in Galicia, 9 in Hungary, 32 in Ireland, 49 in Mexico, 7 in the Netherlands, 18 in New Zealand, 74 in Northern Ireland, 46 in Scotland, 69 in Spain and 36 in Switzerland. Making it a great international choice, however there is one potential issue in the US it’s not Zoe thats the most popular form of the name it’s Zoey which is at 22 and being a born in 1999 my only thought with that spelling is Zoey 101 despite that fact that I know a Zoey who would have been born in the 1980’s, throughout the rest of the world it’s only more popular in British Colombia where it’s also at 22, in Quebec it’s at 99, 207 in the Netherlands, 507 in England (where it is rising) and 99 in Tasmania, it has previously charted in other states but currently it only charts in Tasmania.
While Zoe could be seen as a 1990’s/2000’s name it has a long history of use and a simple sound the variant spellings may be an issue to some (along with Zoey, Zoie and Zowie have also been used as well as the French Zoé and the Dutch Zoë) however I think it’s a name that deserves it spot in the top 20.