Saturday, August 25, 2012

Shenoa, Shenoah, Chenoa

A Shenoa Diamond

Shenoa is a bit hard to dig up info on regarding the meaning and origin. Variants include Shenoah and Chenoa, and multiple pronunciations including SHEN-oh-ah, CHAY-no-uh and CHEE-no-ah, so take your pick, as no one is going to fight you on the right version. Most baby name websites have it listed as a Native American name meaning "dove," from the word chenowa, "dove of peace" or "white dove," which is inaccurate according to various Native Americans, but is backed up by the state of Illinois in this bio, where there is a city called Chenoa, supposedly pronounced CHEE-no-uh. The more likely possibility is that it was once a Native American place name, and Wikipedia claims it is based on one of the Native American words for the Kentucky River here. Some sites even claim it means "a radiating presence of love," which has nothing backing it up. Considering the listed meanings, there is only evidence to support it as a unisex name. A possibility for nicknames is Shea or Noah for boys, Shay or Noa for girls, although Shen is an option as well.

The name is usually as common in Australia as it is in America. There is a jeweler called Shenoa Diamonds, a famous Spanish pop singer named Chenoa, and a rock band called Shenoah. There were no babies named Shenoa in 2011, but there were 23 baby girls spelled Chenoa. I believe this name would be a great way to honor realtives or ancestors in the Kentucky area or those with a Native American background. It would be a good idea to get the insights of your relatives, and they might have something to contribute to the meaning of this name that I couldn't find online. If anyone has any new information, I'd love to hear it.

5 comments:

  1. i wondered i was always told my name meant white dove this was insightful thanks and my named me Chenoa I always hear it is unusual or pretty

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  2. CHENOA: Baby name books claim that it means "white dove," "mourning dove" or "dove of peace" in Cherokee. This is false. As far as we know it does not have any meaning in Cherokee, nor is it a traditional name at all. There is a town in Illinois called Chenoa, which is probably the source of the name. The origin of the town's name is not clear either. Local history suggests Chenoa may have been named after a town in Kentucky, where the town's founder came from. In that case, the original Kentucky town might well have had a Cherokee name. However, what that original name might have been has been lost to time. It probably did not have anything to do with doves. The Cherokee word for "dove" is woya, "mourning dove" is guledisgonihi, and "white dove" is unega woya.

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  3. My name is Shenoa
    It's spelled the way it's written
    And many people get it wrong
    Mostly in high school
    But my mum told me it's Spanish
    And I'm Portuguese

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  4. what a coincidence that my name, Chenoa, means "white dove" as you would generally associate it with love and peacefulness. It just so happens my middle name is Serenity. Chenoa Serenity.

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  5. That's a really lovely combination!

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