- this week

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)