Gender Feminine
Pronounced Pron. və-NEHS-ə(English)

Meaning & History

Invented by author Jonathan Swift for his 1726 poem Cadenus and Vanessa [1]. He arrived at it by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther Vanhomrigh, his close friend. Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly. It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century, at which point it became fairly popular.

Related Names

DiminutivesNess, Nessa(English)
Other Languages & CulturesVanesa(Czech) Vanessza(Hungarian) Wanessa(Polish) Vanesa(Slovak) Vanesa(Spanish)


Depiction of Esther Vanhomrigh by John Everett Millais (1868)Depiction of Esther Vanhomrigh by John Everett Millais (1868)

People think this name is

formal   upper class   natural   wholesome   refined   strange   complex   serious  

Name Days

Finland: February 25


Sources & References

Entry updated November 20, 2020