Revision History

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11/20/2020, 10:42 PM Mike C update #109
5/29/2020, 9:30 PM Mike C update #108
11/16/2019, 11:04 AM Mike C update #105
2/28/2019, 2:08 PM Mike C update #102
7/2/2017, 10:39 PM Mike C update #95
10/10/2012, 5:50 PM Mike C update #84
2/12/2007, 1:03 AM Mike C earliest recorded revision

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.