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Why Zendaya is Becoming a Favorite Name for Newborn Girls


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Choosing the perfect name for your newborn daughter is one of the most exciting decisions new parents get to make. The name you bestow will become a core part of her identity for her whole life. When considering names, many parents look for options that are meaningful, culturally significant, and that have a beautiful sound or origin story. The name Zendaya checks all these boxes and more, making it an increasingly popular pick for baby girls.

Zendaya has African roots and a lyrical, melodic sound. It means “to give thanks” in the Shona language, a Bantu tongue native to tribes in Zimbabwe. As such, the name has a lovely spiritual connotation reflecting grace, reverence, and joy.  As an uncommon name boasting natural beauty and cultural heritage, it’s no wonder why Zendaya is on the rise for new parents seeking special names for their daughters.

Origins and Meaning

The name Zendaya stems from the Shona dialect of the Bantu tribes of Zimbabwe, as mentioned. Specifically, it means “to give thanks” – a truly wonderful meaning underscoring gratitude, blessings, and positivity.

Beyond just “thanks”, other meanings tied to the name Zendaya include:

  • Showing appreciation
  • Offering praise
  • Paying homage
  • Expressing gratitude

What expectant parent wouldn’t want such uplifting concepts associated with their baby girl’s name? The emphasis on thankfulness provides spiritual depth and timeless significance for this beautiful African name.

The sound and spelling of Zendaya have a graceful, lyrical flow – light and rhythmic with a melodious rhyme of “daya”. The phonetics evoke a carefree, youthful aura. At the same time, the solid strength of the “Zen” beginning hints at the steadfast personality of a future woman in command of herself.

Altogether, the qualities of the name Zendaya combine into a meaning of “giving thanks with grace, dignity, and beauty”. This superbly encapsulates a wish that any loving parent would have for their darling daughter as she grows into a caring, upstanding young lady.

Popularity Trends

Up until recently, Zendaya was an uncommon name not ranking in the top 1000 most popular female names. However, its melodic sound and spiritual significance are now propelling it up the charts as the next generation of parents seek one-of-a-kind names for their precious girls.

The name Zendaya first started appearing in baby name databases in the mid-2000s. But it was still extremely rare, with just several dozen babies receiving the name in a given year across the United States.

That changed when Disney actress and singer Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman rose to fame playing Rocky Blue on the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up. Born in 1996, Stoermer Coleman was named Zendaya by her mother. As she grew into a successful Hollywood star and role model, the name’s profile skyrocketed too.

In the 2010s, more baby girls started getting named Zendaya in honor of Stoermer Coleman and the positive qualities she represented. The number of babies named Zendaya doubled between 2010 and 2013. It cracked the top 1000 most popular names for the first time in 2014.

The name Zendaya breached the top 500 names for American girls in 2020. After seeing greater exposure from actress Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman’s starring turns in Spiderman: Homecoming, The Greatest Showman, and especially HBO’s hit teen drama Euphoria, more and more parents are selecting it for their daughters.

The name Zendaya currently ranks as the 275th most popular girl’s name in America as of 2022 – an incredible rise fueled by exposure from actress Zendaya and positive word of mouth. With its lyrical sound and spiritual significance continuing to attract fans, there is no sign of the name Zendaya slowing down or dropping off the charts any time soon. Instead, more baby girls than ever will answer joyfully to this graceful moniker.

Zendaya Rank in the US Top 1000

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Names Similar to Zendaya

Parents who love the sound and rhythm of Zendaya but want to consider some alternatives can try these similar names, both in style and African origin:


Famous People Named Zendaya

Here are 20 celebrities, historical figures and other famous women bearing the graceful name of Zendaya:

Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman – American actress known for Disney Channel roles and blockbuster superhero movies
Zendaya Shokoofeh – Iranian-American actress in indie films like A Standpoint and In Bed with Victoria
Zendaya Coleman – Reality TV personality on VH1’s Basketball Wives LA
Zendaya Binx – American social media influencer on TikTok and Instagram
Zendaya Akuol – South Sudanese track athlete who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics
Zendaya Diop – Contemporary fine artist and painter based in London who focuses on Black female empowerment
Zendaya Jones – American R&B singer who was almost signed to Beyonce’s music label
Zendaya Zaire – American plus-size model recently featured in Vogue and Elle editorials
Zendaya Maree Stoermer – Mother of actress Zendaya who gifted her daughter the now-famous name
Zendaya Kachingwe – Zambian journalist recognized for political reporting across Africa
Zendaya Mtimbuka – Zambian singer and songwriter known for afropop and R&B tracks like “Sheke Sheke” and “Njuchi”
Zendaya Maree – Australian painter recognized for acrylic seascapes and wave paintings
Zendaya Chitsa – Zimbabwean actress who starred in soap operas “Njani Ine” and “Pfumojena”
Zendaya Tembo – Zambian model recently featured on the cover of Lusaka Fashion Week magazine
Zendaya Imani – Trinidadian calypso singer known for advocating African cultural pride in her music
Zendaya Uzoma – Nigerian technology entrepreneur and app developer focused on educational apps for girls
Zendaya Mwanambuyu – Tanzanian wildlife activist working to end poaching in Serengeti National Park
Zendaya Mkandawire – Zambian journalist reporting on women’s rights and gender equality issues
Zendaya Msechu – South African musician blending house, tribal, and soul influences into a distinct Afro-electronic style
Zendaya Mosi – Kenyan distance runner who competed in the 2016 Olympic marathon

Choosing Zendaya – Things to Consider

When considering Zendaya for your baby’s name, reflect deeply on the cultural and spiritual significance of its African origin and meanings rooted in positivity. The name’s prominence today links back to these core qualities that still resonate with beauty and grace.

The lyrical tone of Zendaya naturally lends itself to cute nicknames like Zen, Z, or even Daya. See which ones sound best with your daughter’s full name and test them out loud with family and friends.

Also carefully think through how compatible Zendaya is with current or future siblings’ names, as well as family naming traditions. Does iitflow and fit in rhythmically? Will it complement or stand out too starkly? Getting input from grandparents and other relatives can help weigh the name’s consistency with family heritage.


The musical name Zendaya is rapidly emerging as a new favorite among parents seeking meaningful, culturally resonant names for their baby girls that will make them feel truly special. With roots in Africa, spiritual connotations of gratitude and grace, and a melodic lyrical tone, Zendaya beautifully encapsulates timeless beauty, dignity, and uniqueness.

This lyrical name grants little princesses a special identity to be joyfully proud of. Its core meanings around Thanksgiving provide an uplifting worldview to carry forward as well. As more parents learn about the rich cultural heritage and striking sound of the name Zendaya, it will keep rising in popularity.

So if you are looking for a memorable name that stands out from the crowd for your darling daughter, consider the blossoming favorite Zendaya – soon to be heard around playgrounds, classrooms, and dance studios!

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