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Zenobia

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

The name Zenobia is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "force of Zeus". Zenobia and is often added to lists like Badass Princess Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Picky Parents BNG".

From the experts:

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. She's currently Number 753 on Nameberry.

Find other names based on Zenobia using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Zenobia

Zenobia (3rd century), queen of Palmyra
Zenobia al-Asaad, daughter of late Syrian archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad, who was killed by ISIS
Zenobia Camprubi, Spanish-American writer
Zenobia Powell Perry, American composer
Alice Zenobia Richmond (b. 2005), daughter of actress/comedian Tina Fey
Zenobia Jeffries, associate editor at YES! Magazine who covers racial justice

Pop Culture References for the name Zenobia

Zenobia, fictional city in Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities"
Zenobia Forster, character in "The Blithedale Romance" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Zenobia "Zeena" Frome, wife in "Ethan Frome"
Zenobia, character in G. Bernard Shaw's play "Getting Married"
Queen Zenobia, a ship the game "Resident Evil: Revelations"
Psyche Zenobia, narrator of Edgar Allan Poe's short story "A Predicament"
Zuri Zenobia Ross, from the Disney Channel show "Jessie"
Zenobia, character in the Conan the Barbarian series
"Zenobia," elephant in a 1939 comedy starring Oliver Hardy
Zenobia, from "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)

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

Zenobia's International Variations

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

Comments

Mikaio Ren Says:

2018-10-08T21:40:23

This was my maternal grandmother's name. She was a very beautiful and strong person who unfortunately left this earth too soon.

Zenobia Anekwe Says:

2017-08-06T11:03:10

Hello, my name is Zenobia and I've had this name for 46 years at the time of this post. I always receive compliments when I tell someone my name. I have never met another Zenobia, however, people ask me if I've seen certain movies where my name is portrayed. Believe me, I know them all. I have several nicknames depending on the intimacy of my relationship with that person. My employees call me Mrs. Z, siblings and close friends call me Zodi or Nobi, niece's and nephews call me Aunt Zodi and only one person pulled a nickname from my middle name and called me Nel. Nicknames are personal to me and don't always have to sound like the original name. I love the uniqueness of my name and wouldn't change it for anything. One major downfall is I almost always have to spell it out. If you really think about it, the name sounds just like its spelling. If you want your little girl to be different I'd say go for it. She will thank you for it later.

Daiseymae Says:

2017-02-09T16:31:54

A definite no!

eastmanlane Says:

2016-11-17T18:59:07

Absolutely. Zenobia xenophobia. Yikes!

Haids1987 Says:

2016-03-17T14:06:32

This is pleasantly different! I think a little TOO different for my taste, but definitely a guilty pleasure. It seems like a new invention, but to read that it peaked in popularity in 1909 it's inspiring. It's a vintage name with modern flair!

iipostmvh Says:

2015-12-24T18:07:31

Very close, to close to xenophobe, which is not cool.

headintheclouds Says:

2015-08-22T15:50:37

Very unusual, weighty name that I think is strong and lovely, and rather hard to pull off in real life, though it certainly is possible. Zenobia would be the perfect YA heroine with a destiny to fulfill, heroine of a steampunk fantasy sci-fi, or an awesome spunky Zenobia the Zebra children's illustrated book character! Zen, Zeno, Zena or Zenia (this last one reminds me of the car though) would be great nicknames for Zenobia.

Zelliew Says:

2015-07-04T03:01:24

That's what first came to my mind. Zena is more usable

Skittlewiddles Says:

2015-05-13T00:10:31

Could be a fresh new name but sounds and looks to similar to xenophobia for me.

Zoey_Artemisia Says:

2015-05-12T11:10:02

How about Zena?

hamwan Says:

2014-10-13T13:00:07

sounds like it was some kind of phobia. -obia. sounds similar to chernobyl.

AnonymousPerson Says:

2014-10-13T06:39:08

With out a nickname, this would be a bit difficult to carry. Nobby for short would be adorable in a quirky kind of way, and she could always switch to Zen when she got older if she felt she outgrew Nobby.

LadyVanRaven Says:

2014-09-14T18:27:47

Strong, non-frilly, but still very feminine with a sweet (and calm) nickname: Zen. Makes me think of a tall warrior queen (Amazon like). The historical Queen Zenobia just enhances that image. Love love love this name.