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Gender: F Meaning of Zenobia: "force of Zeus" Origin of Zenobia: Greek

Popularity: this week.

With historical roots as a beautiful and intelligent ancient queen and literary ties to Hawthorne and Edith Wharton novels, this rarity could appeal to adventurous parents seeking the exotically unusual. Tina Fey used it as her daughter Alice's middle name.

Zenobia was the intriguing third century Queen of Palmyra who for a time ruled the eastern Roman Empire, Ethan Frome's wife Zeena was born Zenobia, and Zenobia Moodie was one of the most colorful characters in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance.

Zenobia reached a high of Number 683 in 1909; by 1925, she was below Number 1000.

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Famous People Named Zenobia

Zenobia (3rd century), queen of Palmyra
Alice Zenobia Richmond (b. 2005), daughter of American actress/comedian Tina Fey
Zenobia Camprubi, Spanish-American writer
Zenobia Powell Perry, American composer

Pop Culture References for the Name Zenobia

Zenobia Forster, dark and queenly character in "The Blithedale Romance" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Zenobia "Zeena" Frome, whining hypochondriac wife in "Ethan Frome"
Zenobia (Mrs George Collins), character in G. Bernard Shaw's play "Getting Married" (1908)
Queen Zenobia, a cruise ship in the game "Resident Evil: Revelations"
Zuri Zenobia Ross, character on the Disney Channel show "Jessie"
Zenobia, character in the Conan the Barbarian series
"Zenobia," elephant in a 1939 comedy starring Oliver Hardy
Zenobia, character in "The Vampire Chronicles" by Anne Rice

The second element (-bia) is identical to the name of a personification of Violence, Force; in Greek mythology Bia was the daughter of Pallas and Styx. Together with Hephaestus and her brother Cratos, she chained Prometheus to the rock.
Alternatively Zenobia may be a Greco-Latin form of some Semitic name (e.g., perhaps one akin to the Arabic Zaynab)

Cenobie, Zeba, Zeena, Zenaide, Zenayda, Zenda, Zenina

Zenobia's International Variations

Zenia, Zenaida, Zenobie, Zenna (French) Zenovia, Zinovia (Russian) Cenobia, Senobia (Spanish)