Vanessa - girls name

Vanessa name popularity, meaning and origin

Name Popularity: 91%

Vanessa name meaning:

The name Vanessa is of Greek origin and derives from the name Phanessa, which means "butterfly". It gained popularity in the English-speaking world due to the 18th-century Anglo-Irish writer Jonathan Swift, who invented the name for his close friend, Esther Vanhomrigh. He combined the first syllable of her last name, Van, with the first syllable of her first name, Essa, to create the name Vanessa. The name Vanessa has since become an independent given name, widely used across different cultures.

Symbolically, butterflies represent transformation, beauty, and grace. Thus, the name Vanessa is associated with these qualities, suggesting a person who undergoes personal growth, adapts to change, and exhibits a captivating charm. Girls named Vanessa are often seen as vibrant, social, and artistic individuals. They possess an innate sense of curiosity and a desire for adventure, seeking to explore the world around them. With their natural charisma, they have the ability to bring joy and lightness to those around them. Overall, the name Vanessa signifies a free-spirited and enchanting young woman who embraces the beauty in life's transformations.

Origin: Greek


Related names

Vanessa , Vanesa , Vania, Vanna, Vanny

Other girls names beginning with V


Overall UK ranking: 517 out of 5581

79 recorded births last year

Change in rank

  • 10yrs

  • 5yrs

  • 1yr


    Regional popularity

    Ranking for this name in various UK regions

  • Scotland (652)

Historical popularity of Vanessa

The graph below shows the popularity of the girls's name Vanessa from all the UK baby name statistics available. It's a quick easy way to see the trend for Vanessa in 2024