When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

Zella Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Zella Overview

  • Meaning: Zella means “happy” or “blessed.”
  • Gender: Zella is traditionally a girl’s name.
  • Origin: Zella originated in Africa and the Yiddish languages.
  • Pronunciation: Zella is pronounced “zel-luh.”
  • Popularity: Zella is not a popular name.
  • Nicknames: Zee, Zell, Zelly, Zeezee
  • Variations: Zelda, Zela, Zila, Zelle
  • Namesakes: Zella Jackson Price, Zella Caull, Zella Day.

What Does Zella Mean?

Zella can have multiple meanings, coming from several different cultures. The Yiddish meaning is “happy” or “blessed.”

Another meaning is the German word for “warrior maiden,” Griselda (often shortened to Zelda).

The third meaning of Zella is often translated as “one who knows the way” or “one who lacks nothing.” This definition is an African meaning and a popular name in the western parts of the continent. The moniker could also come from the Mayan culture, the Arabic culture, or Latinate roots, as all have similar names.

What is the Origin of the Name Zella?

Zella is a unique name in that it comes from multiple cultures. It likely originated in several places at once with different meanings. Although the name isn’t in the Bible, the Yiddish Zella has biblical origins. It comes from another Yiddish name, Selig, which means “happy and blessed.”

Selig and Griselda likely come from the same root word, even though they have different meanings. However, the African meaning of Zella, “one who lacks nothing,” probably originated on its own as part of a Western African tribal language.

How Popular Is the Name Zella?

Zella is not a famous name. Since 2000, Zella has never been in the top 1,000 baby names in the United States (1). However, its close variants, Zelda and Ella, are often popular names. The latter ranked as the 16th most popular baby name for girls in 2021.

How Do I Pronounce Zella?

Zella is pronounced “zel-luh.” Although different cultures might emphasize vowels or consonants in various ways, there aren’t many variations.

Is Zella a Boy or Girl Name?

Zella is traditionally a female name.

Variations of Zella

Zella is an African variation of Zoe, an American variation of Zelda, and a German variation of Selig. However, there are other variations of Zella common to several countries.

  • Ella (English, German)
  • Gizelle (French, German)
  • Griselda (German)
  • Marcella (Latin)
  • Selig (German, Yiddish)
  • Xela (Greek, Mayan)
  • Zela (Greek)
  • Zelda (German)
  • Zelle (German, Dutch)
  • Zila (Hebrew)
  • Zilla (Hebrew)
  • Zoe (Greek)

Nicknames for Zella

Nicknames for Zella are unique to the baby’s family and what they decide to call her. In most cases, nicknames can be unrelated to the name and special to a baby’s personality. However, here are a few nicknames common to Zella:

  • Ella
  • Zee
  • Zeezee
  • Zell
  • Zelly

Similar Names to Zella

Just like variants, there are many names similar to Zella. If you’re looking for unique and non-traditional baby monikers, try any of these similar girl names:

  • Adella
  • Azalia
  • Bella
  • Celia
  • Della
  • Ella
  • Ellie
  • Gizelle
  • Griselda
  • Helen
  • Lela
  • Stola
  • Xenia
  • Xyla
  • Zadie
  • Zelda
  • Zelia
  • Zoe
  • Zola
  • Zyla

Middle Names for Zella

Any beautiful first name has to have a stunning middle name. If you’ve decided to go with Zella as a first name, you should have a middle name that flows well and goes with your last name. Here are some lovely middle names for Zella:

Sibling Names for Zella

Sibling names are crucial for parents to consider. Whether you’ll be shouting kids’ names across the playground or writing them on a Christmas card (or both), they must flow well together. Here are some of the best sibling names for Zella.

Famous People Named Zella

Zella is a unique name. Unlike many variants of the moniker, there are not many famous namesakes for Zella. Zelda Fitzgerald is the most famous Zelda, and Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most famous people named Ella. However, there’s no famous Zella Fitzgerald (at least, not yet).

  • Zella Caull: American actor.
  • Zella Day: American singer.
  • Zella Allen Dixson: American author.
  • Zella Ingraham: American actor.
  • Zella Lehr: American singer.
  • Zella O’Connor: Performer and musician.
  • Zella Jackson Price: Gospel singer.

Zella in Popular Culture

Because it’s not a very popular name, Zella lacks extensive representation in pop culture. Zelda is a much more famous pop culture icon, made famous by the “Legend of Zelda” video games. However, there are a few prominent uses of Zella:

  • Zella: an activewear brand by Nordstrom.
  • Zella: a character in “Zella, Zach, and Zodiac” (a children’s book).
  • Zella: a Nebulan scientist from the “Transformers” comics.
  • Zella: a minor character on “My Little Pony.”

Zella FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the name Zella and its origins and meanings.

Is Zella a biblical name?

Zella as a name isn’t in the Bible. However, it’s a variant of the Hebrew name Selig, which means “happy.” This word is often found in the original texts of the Old Testament and other ancient manuscripts. Although no biblical characters are named Zella, it’s referential to the Bible.

Is Zella short for something?

Zella can be short for many things, such as Gizele and Gizella. However, it’s also a name on its own, and people can make it shorter. If you have a friend named Zella and are curious about whether it’s short for something, you can ask them and also ask them what they prefer to be called.

Is the name Zella rare?

Zella is a rare name. It’s been more popular lately because of an increase in names ending in “Ella” — from Ella to Isabella. However, Zella is still low on the list of popular names and is rarely seen in preschools and classrooms.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?