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Gender: F Origin of Vanessa: Literary invention; also a species of butterfly Vanessa's Popularity in 2013: #150

Popularity: this week.

Vanessa was one of the ultra-feminine three-syllable hits of the eighties, but has proved to have had more staying power than others like Tiffany, Kimberly, and Melissa, due to its classic beauty.

Vanessa was invented by Jonathan Swift for lover named Esther Vanhomrigh--he combined the first syllable of her last name with the initial syllable of her first and used it in the poem Cadenus and Vanessa in 1713.

Vanessa Redgrave is the doyenne of the renowned Redgrave family; Vanessa Hudgens, the young actor and singer on High School Musical is a more youthful bearer. On TV there have been Vanessas on The Cosby Show, Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries.

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Famous People Named Vanessa

Vanessa Paradis, French model,singer, actress & Johnny Depp's ex
Vanessa Brown, American actress
Vanessa Bruno, Parisian Clothing Designer
Vanessa Bell, English painter; sister of Virginia Woolf
Vanessa Anne Hudgens, American actress
Vanessa Redgrave, English actress
Vanessa Williams, American actress/singer
Vanessa Mae, English violinist
Vanessa Joy Minnillo, American TV host and actress
Vanessa Kirby, English actress
Vanessa Carlton, American singer
Vanessa Traina, daughter of novelist Danielle Steel
Vanessa Vadim, daughter of actress Jane Fonda
Vanessa Marcil, American actress
Vanessa Bayer, American actress
Vanessa Alice Bensimon, French graffiti artist, known as "Miss Van"
Vanessa Marano, American actress
Vanessa Morgan, Canadian actress
Vanessa Jane Zima, American actress
Vanessa Paul, American actress & producer
Vanessa Beecroft, Italian performance artist

Pop Culture References for the Name Vanessa

Vanessa Abrams, character on the US show Gossip Girl
Vanessa Huxtable, character on the sitcom The Cosby Show
Vanessa Turnbill, character on "Cut"
Vanessa Doofenshmirtz, character on the cartoon Phineas and Ferb
Vanessa Kensington, from "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"
Vanessa, Sonny's girlfriend in the movie Big Daddy
Vanessa Loring, Jennifer Garner's character in Juno
Vanessa Monroe, character on the Vampire Diaries
Vanessa Hansen, from the movie "City by the Sea"
Vanessa, character on the show "Da Vinci's Demons"
Vanessa, character from "Corvette Summer"
Vanessa Ives, main character in the TV series, "Penny Dreadful"

Nessa, Nessie, Nessy, Van, Vana, Vanesha, Vanessah, Vanesse, Vanetta, Vania, Vanija, Vanna, Vannessa, Vannetta, Vanni, Vannie, Vanny, Venesa, Venetta, Vinessa, Vonessa, Vonesse, Vonnessa

Vanessa's International Variations

Vanesa, Venessa (Spanish)