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Vanessa meaning and name origin
Vanessa \v(a)-nessa, van(es)-sa\ as a girl's name is pronounced va-NESS-ah. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Vanessa is "butterfly". The name of a genus of butterflies that includes the Red Admiral and the Painted Lady. Also possibly an early-18th-century literary name of English origin created by Jonathan Swift for "Gulliver's Travels" as a pseudonym for Esther Vanhomrigh, based on the first syllable of her surname, and possibly the Latin verb "esse", meaning "to be". Jenessa, Vanita and Vannaleigh are compound forms. See also Venetia. Actresses Vanessa Redgrave, Vanessa Williams; celebrity Vanna White.
Vanessa has 50 variant forms: Jenessa, Nessa, Nessie, Nessy, Van, Vanassa, Vaneeta, Vanesa, Vanesha, Vaneshia, Vanesia, Vanesse, Vanessia, Vanetta, Vaneza, Vania, Vaniece, Vaniessa, Vanija, Vanisa, Vanissa, Vanita, Vanna, Vannaleigh, Vannesa, Vannessa, Vannetta, Vanneza, Vannie, Vanya, Varnessa, Venesa, Venesha, Venessa, Venesse, Venetta, Venessea, Veniesa, Venisha, Venishia, Venna, Vennesa, Vennessa, Vennisa, Vinesha, Vinessa, Vinisha, Vonessa, Vonesse and Vonnessa.
For more information, see also related names Janessa and Nissa.
Baby names that sound like Vanessa are Vanecia, Venezia, Venecia and Venusa.
View a list of the 6 names that reference Vanessa.
Popularity of Vanessa
Vanessa is a very popular first name for women (#195 out of 4276) but an uncommon surname or last name for all people. (1990 U.S. Census)
Displayed below is the baby names popularity of the name Vanessa for girls. (2010 statistics) Compare Vanessa with its variant forms and related girl baby names.