Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Vanessa

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 150
Simple meaning:
Butterfly, mystic

Characteristics of Vanessa

  • Multi-talented
  • Intuitive
  • Oneness
  • Idealistic
  • Philanthropy
  • Independent
  • Perfection

Etymology & Historical Origin - 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.

Popularity of the 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.
Popularity of the Girl Name Vanessa
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Vanessa

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Vanessa

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Vanessa

    Vanessa We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Vanessa.

  • Popular Songs on Vanessa

    Popular Songs on Vanessa

    Vanessa - We cannot find any well-known or significantly popular songs featuring the name Vanessa.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Vanessa

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Vanessa

    Vanessa and Johnny: The Cabinets (Whitney Lauren) - Ten-year-old Vanessa is used to teachers at Book Smith Elementary being a little strange. Mrs. Charlston, the homeroom teacher, likes to pick her nose, while Mr. Pickle, the math teacher, has a serious drooling problem. But compared to the mysterious Ms. Gavin, her other teachers are pretty normal. Ms. Gavin has a thing about cabinets. Usually, Vanessa is free to get what she needs from teachers' cabinets-construction paper, crayons, anything-but not around Ms. Gavin. Vanessa has tested her before, lingering near Ms. Gavin's cabinets. Her teacher gets nervous even when someone just wanders in the area of her cabinets. So what is Ms. Gavin hiding? What on earth could be in those cabinets? Nothing can keep Vanessa's curiosity in check ... even possible detention. It's a grand mystery, but she can't solve it alone. She finds an unlikely ally in eight-year-old Johnny, who's a lot wiser than he lets on. Together, they can open the doors to Ms. Gavin's secret. But what if her secret is scary? And what if the adventure is dangerous? Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Vanessa and the Angel (Beatrice Rich) - This delightful book will transport the reader on a fanciful, magical journey. Imagine having your very own angel teach you how to create a garden with thoughts alone! What could be more fun than to travel with your favorite dog and cat--and your guardian angel? Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Vanessa and the Enchanted Painting (Beatrice Rich) - Imagine stepping into a painting and finding yourself in a landscape filled with strange and wonderful sights; or taking your seat in a theater and enjoying the spectacle of dogs dancing and cats singing. These are only a few of the adventures awaiting Vanessa and her pals, Max and Pauline, as they set out on their journey. And, at the heart of our story, find out how the Angel shows Vanessa the path home...just when Vanessa thinks that she is lost, and may never return again. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Vanessa Hudgens: Breaking Free (Grace Norwich) - Vanessa Hudgens is burning up the charts with her debut album, V, and has admiring fans the world over, thanks to her starring role as Gabriella Montez in Disney Channel’s smash hit High School Musical. With recurring roles on several TV shows, a sequel for High School Musical in production, a High School Musical tour, and a tour to promote her new album with Disney’s The Cheetah Girls, Vanessa is one busy babe. Now get to know this up-and-coming starlet on and off the set! Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Vanessa

    Famous People Named 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

    Children of Famous People Named Vanessa

    Famous People who Named their Daughter Vanessa - Danielle Steel (author); Jane Fonda (actress); Joan Van Ark (actress); John Kerry (politician); Stephen Nichols (daytime actor)

  • Historic Figures

    Vanessa - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Vanessa - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first 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.

Variations of the Baby Name - Vanessa

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