Recently, zero-shot action recognition (ZSAR) has emerged with the explosive growth of action categories. In this paper, we explore ZSAR from a novel perspective by adopting the Error-Correcting Output Codes (dubbed ZSECOC). Our ZSECOC equips the conventional ECOC with the additional capability of ZSAR, by addressing the domain shift problem. In particular, we learn discriminative ZSECOC for seen categories from both category-level semantics and intrinsic data structures. This procedure deals with domain shift implicitly by transferring the well-established correlations among seen categories to unseen ones. Moreover, a simple semantic transfer strategy is developed for explicitly transforming the learned embeddings of seen categories to better fit the underlying structure of unseen categories. As a consequence, our ZSECOC inherits the promising characteristics from ECOC as well as overcomes domain shift, making it more discriminative for ZSAR. We systematically evaluate ZSECOC on three realistic action benchmarks, i.e. Olympic Sports, HMDB51 and UCF101. The experimental results clearly show the superiority of ZSECOC over the state-of-the-art methods.