Latinized form of the Greek name Φοιβη (Phoibe)
, which meant "bright, pure" from Greek φοιβος (phoibos)
. In Greek mythology
Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis
. The name appears in Paul
's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament
, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation
. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).