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Phoebe Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Phoebe including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Phoebe Overview

  • Meaning: The name Phoebe translates to mean radiant, bright, and shining one from the Latin word phoibos.
  • Gender: Female.
  • Origin: Phoebe comes of Greek origin and is commonly seen throughout Greek mythology.
  • Pronunciation: “fee-bee”
  • Popularity: The name Phoebe is only somewhat popular, having peaked in the early 1900s and later in the early 200s.
  • Nicknames: Pheebs, Pheebo, Bibi, Bea, Beebs, Deeter, Evie, Fifi.
  • Variations: Ferobe, Fhobe, Pheabe, Pheba, Phebe, Pheby.
  • Namesakes: Phoebe Dynevor, Phoebe Snow, Phoebe Tonkin.

What Does Phoebe Mean?

The name Phoebe quite literally translates to mean the word radiant. Similar meanings of this name include brilliant, bright, and shining one.

What Is the Origin of the Name Phoebe?

The name Phoebe originates from Greek. It is the Latin version of the Greek girl’s name Phiobe, which comes from the word phoibos. Phoibos translates to bright, giving the title its illuminating meaning.

Phoebe also holds a significant place in Greek mythology. Phoebe was a Titan whose powers included prophecy and a connection to the moon. Phoebe’s granddaughter was Artemis, who is the goddess of the moon and hunting. Her by-name was also Phoebe (1).

How Popular Is the Name Phoebe?

The name Phoebe has been used on record in the United States since the year 1880. The name often ranks in the 400-200s of most popular girl names in the U.S (2).

Phoebe was most popular in 2021, when it ranked at No. 247. That year, a total of 1,235 baby girls got the name Phoebe. It was also a popular name in the late 90s and early 2000s, which many people attribute to the hit series “Friends.”

When ranked against other female names starting with the letter P, Phoebe is listed at number 11 — just shy of the top 10. Overall, it ranks No. 652 for girl names.

How Do I Pronounce Phoebe?

People most commonly pronounce the name Phoebe as “fee-bee.” Its phonetic spelling is officially [ˈfēbē].

Is Phoebe a Boy or Girl Name?

Parents often use the name Phoebe as a female name. Of the people in the United States given the name Phoebe, 99.99% of them have been girls, while only 0.01% have been boys, and the SSA doesn’t have any records of Phoebe being a popular name for boys at any time (3).

Variations of Phoebe

If you love the name Phoebe, you may also enjoy these other variations of the name:

  • Fariba (Persian)
  • Feby
  • Ferobe
  • Fhobe
  • Pheabe (Greek)
  • Pheba
  • Phebe (Greek)
  • Pheby (Greek)
  • Phobe (Greek)
  • Phoebee

Nicknames for Phoebe

Every name has to have a good nickname. If you’re having trouble thinking of some nicknames for Phoebe, check out this list:

  • Bea
  • Bebe
  • Beep
  • Bibi
  • Bibby
  • Deeter
  • Evie
  • Fee
  • Fefe
  • Pebbles
  • Pheebers
  • Pheebs
  • Pheebo

Similar Names to Phoebe

Phoebe may be on your list, but if you’re not decided yet, you may like some of these similar names. These names either sound like Phoebe, or they have a similar meaning: bright or radiant:

Middle Names for Phoebe

A middle name needs to go well with the first name. Here are a few middle names that sound great with Phoebe:

Sibling Names for Phoebe

Sibling names are almost as crucial as middle names. Check out these brother and sister name ideas to go with Phoebe:



Famous People Named Phoebe

Sharing your name with a famous person can be a fun little piece of trivia to share with friends. Here are some famous people named Phoebe:

  • Phoebe Bridgers: American Musician.
  • Phoebe Cates: American Actress.
  • Phoebe Dynevor: English Actress.
  • Phoebe Gates: Daughter of Bill Gates.
  • Phoebe Ryan: American Singer-Songwriter.
  • Phoebe Snow: American Singer-Songwriter.
  • Phoebe Tonkin: American Actress and Model.

Phoebe in Popular Culture

Phoebe is a unique name, so there aren’t a lot of people with the title in popular culture. However, there are a few worth noting:

  • Phoebe Banks: Character in the Disney film “Enchanted.”
  • Phoebe Buffay: Main character on the sitcom “Friends.”
  • Phoebe Caulfield: Character in the book “The Catcher in the Rye.”
  • Phoebe Halliwell: Character on the TV series “Charmed.”
  • Phoebe North: Character in film “Yours, Mine, and Ours.”
  • Phoebe: Various figures in Greek mythology.
  • Phoebe: Character in the cartoon series “Adventure Time.”

Phoebe FAQs

If you’re interested in learning a few more tidbits about the name Phoebe, you can continue reading about it in our frequently asked questions section below.

What Is Phoebe’s Name Numerology?

In numerology, the name Phoebe has the number six. This number indicates a sense of duty to protect others and care for people. It also represents a very hands-on kind of love, but one that often seeks perfection too much.

Is the Name Phoebe From the Bible?

Phoebe was a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. Paul mentioned her in chapter 16 of the book of Romans. It is likely that because Paul addressed her by name, Phoebe was either a letter bearer or accompanied the people who delivered it to Rome.

Paul refers to her as “our sister.” He speaks highly of her, asking the Christians of Rome to receive her in a friendly and open manner (4).

What Is the Biblical Meaning of Phoebe?

Some Christians believe the biblical meaning of Phoebe is pure, which relates to its literal translation of radiant and bright.

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