The Origin and Meaning of the Name Vanessa

The origin of the feminine name Vanessa (pronounced va-NES-a) can be found back in 1726. It was created by the poet Jonathan Swift.

The meaning of Vanessa is “genus of butterfly”. This name was rarely used until sometime in the 20th century, in which the popularity of Vanessa increased.

Popularity of the Name

“Vanessa” is geographically used in England, Italy, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. The name can also occasionally be found in Mexico, Canada, France, Austria and Poland.

Variations of Vanessa

Other variations of the name “Vanessa” are “Nessa”, “Ness” and “Nesa”.

Variations of the spelling include “Vanessa”, “Vannesa”, “Vannessa” and “Vanesa”.

Famous People with the Name

Famous women around the globe with the name “Vanessa” include the following:

Vanessa Redgraves, American Actress
Vanessa Hugens, American Actress
Vanessa Merrell, YouTube Star
Vanessa Marano, Television Actress
Vanessa Paradis, French Pop Singer
Vanessa Simmons, American Television Reality Star
Vanessa Williams, former Miss America, United States

Songs about women named “Vanessa”:

“Vanessa” by M-Flo
“Vanessa” by Banana Fish Bones

The song “Get Off” by the American pop artist “Prince” has the words “Vanessa bet” in the lyrics.

Books about “Vanessa” include:

“Princess Vanessa” by Felicia Harper
“Say Hello, Vanessa” by Lillian Hoban
“Vanessa’s Bad Exam” by Vanessa Wraight
“Vanessa and the Dragon” by Emilia Magana

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and origin of other English girls names.