Zakaria, Zachary, Zachariah and More

I was wondering about my name which by virtue of being in the Bible and the Quran has spread into many languages. So I tried to find the original Hebrew version. This is how it is written I think.


If I have made a mistake, please let me know. These Hebrew characters look too similar to each other to my untrained, wary of new languages eye. I do, however, recognize some of the letter names (Alef, He, Vav, Kaf, Mem, Nun, Ayin, Pe, Fe, Qof, Shin) as similar to Urdu ones (Alif, Hay, Vow, Kaf, Meem, Noon, Ayin, Pay, Fay, Qaf, Sheen).

From Hebrew to Greek:


And on to English with Zechariah, Zachariah, Zachary, Zachery, Zackary, Zackery, Zach, Zack, Zak, and other variants.

It also passed from Hebrew to Arabic and is mentioned in the Quran as the father of John the Baptist. My name in Arabic and Urdu is written as follows:


There are multiple English transliterations of that, but I use “Zakaria.”

One interesting thing about the Hebrew name is that its root words are zakar (זכר), which means “to remember or mention” or “to make remembrance”, and Yah (יה), which is the shortened version of Jehovah (God). Arabic probably got the word “zikr” (ذکر) from the same root. However, notice that in Arabic, zikr (ذکر) and Zakaria (زکریا) have different first letters.

I know this post is lame and not of any interest to anyone but me, but I am on the road to Atlanta right now. You’ll have to wait until I get to Atlanta for more blogging.

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. At least to one reader it’s going to be of some interest.

    Zack in Britain or Zachary in the States or Zikrya in Pakistani or Zakaria in Persia; I really love my name (though I hate it when people say Zach instead of Zack)

  2. i really love the name zakariya and we were even going to name our son that but had to settle for zaki because we didn’t want to have an often mispronounced and misspelled name, not that zaki (pronounced zucky) isn’t already being pronounced weirdly, as is our daughter’s seemingly easy name (aliyah, often shortened to allie). we’ve also had to deal with my name (umair) and my wife’s name (sadia) misunderstood almost all of the time.

  3. kianoush: That seems correct.

    Jalal: Not in Urdu or Farsi they are not. They are definitely different in Arabic.

    Zachary: 🙂

    Umair: Pronunciation is the most common problem with such ethnic names.

  4. Hey I was trying to find the meaning or Zachariah in the Quran meaning and what’s the Arabic story behind it.. Help me

  5. u got the greek wrong. it’s supposed to be Ζαχαρίας. Also, I still dont get its meaning!

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