Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Vanessa

Interestingly enough, the name Vanessa was invented by the Anglo-Irish writer Jonathan Swift in the early 18th century for a young woman he tutored who would later become his longtime lover, Esther Vanhomrigh. Swift took the first part of Esther’s last name and added the suffix “essa” as a pet form of her first name. Swift also wrote a poem for her in 1713 called “Cadenus and Vanessa” wherein he writes “Each girl, when pleased with what is taught / Will have the teacher in her thought.” Vanessa is also the genus of a type of butterfly, having thought to be derived from Phanessa, an ancient Greek word for a mystic divinity. The name has been popular in English-speaking countries since the 20th century.

All About the Baby Name – Vanessa

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME VANESSA

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME VANESSA

Vanessa made her first appearance on the U.S. popularity charts in 1950 at the lowly position of #942. What’s interesting about the name, though, is that between 1951 and 1953, Vanessa quickly jumped almost 800 spots on the charts. We’re not sure what may have influenced the name’s popularity. Perhaps it was actress Vanessa Brown who worked on some very popular films during this time; she would have given the American public some exposure to the pretty name. She played Jane in “Tarzan and the Slave Girl” (1950) followed by a role in Vincente Minnelli's much-admired “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952). Whatever the reason, Vanessa gained a relatively high spot on the charts and hasn’t lost much position since then. The 1980’s was definitely the best decade for the name Vanessa, during which time it averaged within the Top 50 of most popular girls’ names. Today, it may be slipping out of the Top 100, but that just means fewer girls are given the name, which isn’t always a bad thing.

Quick Facts

ON VANESSA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

150

PRONUNCIATION:

Va-NESS-ah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Butterfly, mystic

Characteristics

OF VANESSA

Multi-talented

Intuitive

Oneness

Idealistic

Philanthropy

Independent

Perfection

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Vanessa

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME VANESSA

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Vanessa

Popular Songs

ON VANESSA

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Vanessa


Famous People

NAMED VANESSA

Vanessa Brown (actress)
Vanessa Carlton (singer)
Vanessa Hudgens (singer/actress)
Vanessa Minnillo (TV personality)
Vanessa Paradis (French actress/singer)
Vanessa Redgrave (British actress)
Vanessa Williams (actress)
Vanessa Johansson (actress/sister of Scarlett Johansson)

Children of Famous People

NAMED VANESSA

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Vanessa

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME VANESSA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Vanessa