Gender Feminine
Pronounced Pron. və-NEHS-ə(English) VA-NEH-SA(French) va-NEH-sa(German)  [key·IPA]

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(Croatian) Vanesa(Czech) Vanessza(Hungarian) Wanesa, Wanessa(Polish) Vanesa(Slovak) Vanesa(Slovene)

People think this name is

formal   upper class   natural   wholesome   refined   strange   complex   serious  

Name Days

Finland: February 25


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


Sources & References

Entry updated January 21, 2022