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Gender: Female Meaning of Agnes: "pure, virginal" Origin of Agnes: Greek

The name Agnes is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "pure, virginal". Agnes and is often added to lists like Old Lady Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Octuplet Game - Girls!".

From the experts:

Agnes, though it was the third most common English girls' name for four hundred years, has long been stuck in the attic. But now it looks like Agnes was so far out it's just about ready to come back in. It did look cute on a little girl in Despicable Me, and nickname Aggie has lots of retro appeal.

Agnes has also been making inroads in the celebrisphere—first actress Elisabeth Shue chose Agnes for her third child, and more recently Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany named their daughter Agnes Lark.

In medieval times, St. Agnes was a very popular saint, leading to its popularity as a girl's name. Agnes Grey is the title of one of the two novels written by Anne Brontë.

The French pronunciation—ahn-YEZ—could make it more attractive, but few Americans would comply. Other interesting variations: the Welsh Nesta, the Latin/Scandinavian Agneta, the Spanish Inez/Ines/Ynez, and the Scottish Senga—which happens to be Agnes spelled backwards.

Find other names based on Agnes using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Agnes

Saint Agnes of Rome, 3rd century virgin-martyr
Saint Agnes of Assisi, sister of Clare of Assisi, abbess of the Order of Poor Ladies
(Marie) Agnes Henriette, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg; Hereditary Princess of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
(Frederica Amalia) Agnes, Princess of Anhalt-Dessau; Duchess consort of Saxe-Altenburg
Agnes Sorel, mistress of King Charles VII of France
Agnes George de Mille, American dancer and choreographer
Agnes Ayres (born Agnes Eyre Henkel), American silent film actress
Agnes Bruckner, American actress
Agnes Robertson Moorehead, American actress
Agnes (Emilia Carlsson), Swedish pop singer
Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel, Danish singer-songwriter
Agnes Varis, American businesswoman and philanthropist
Agnes Nixon, American soap opera writer and producer
Agnes Catharina Kant, Dutch politician
Agnes Schierhuber, Austrian politician
Agnes Varda, French New Wave film director
Agnes Martin, 20th century American Abstract artist
Agnes Mary Nolan Cohan, American dancer
Agnes Randolph, Countess of Dunbar and March, was better known as Black Agnes, a Scottish heroine who famously withstood a siege of her castle by the English - "Cam I early, cam I late, I found Agnes at the gate"
Agnes Monica, Indonesian singer and actress
Agnes Yorke (b. 2004), daughter of singer Thom Yorke of Radiohead
Agnes Charles (b. 2006), daughter of actress Elisabeth Shue
Agnes Lark Bettany (b. 2011), daughter of actors Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany
Agnes Bro Asbæk (b. 2012), daughter of actor Pilou Asbæk and Anna Bro

Pop Culture References for the name Agnes

"Agnes Grey," novel by Anne Bronte and its main character
Agnes Rackam, delusional wife of William Rackam in Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
"Agnes," novel by Peter Stamm and its main character
"Agnes," comic strip by Tony Cochran and its main character
Agnes, birth name of Esmeralda in Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame"
Agnes Fleming, mother of the title character in Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist"
Agnes Gru, little girl in movie "Despicable Me"
Agnes de Villeroy, character in G. A. Henty's, At Agincourt
Agnes Andrews, character in the Gossip Girl series
Agnes, character in movie "The Poker House"
Agnes Holland, character on TV's "Upstairs Downstairs"
Agnes Pitt, character in the American Girl Samantha series, twin sister of Agatha Pitt
Agnes Adler, character in movie "It's Complicated"
Agnes Wickfield, character in Charles Dickens' "David Copperfield"
Agnes Gooch, homely character in "Mame"
Agnes de Burg, character in G. A. Henty's, Wulf the Saxon
Agnes Harmon, Arthur's deceased wife on TV's "Maude"
Agnes, nerdy character on TV's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"
Agnes, witch on TV's "The Originals"
Agnes Prout, character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
Agnes Crumplebottom, character in "The Sims" (1 - 3) video/computer games
Agnès Oblige, character in the Square Enix game series "Bravely Default"
Agnes Towler, character on TV's Mr. Selfridge
Agnes, Kristofferson's love interest in the movie 'Fantastic Mr Fox'
"Agnes", song by Glass Animals

Agnes's International Variations

Agnese, Ynes, Inesa, Ynez (Spanish) Agnesca, Anete, Agnella, Agnesina, Agnola, Hagne (Italian) Oanez (Breton) Agnethe, Agneta, Agnek, Agne (Scandinavian) Anka, Anezka, Agnesa, Agneska (Czech) Agnessa, Agnia, Nessa, Inessa (Russian) Neza (Slavic) Ines, Inez (Portuguese) Anneke (Dutch) Nesta (Welsh) Agna, Antje, Anke (German) Aignéis (Irish Gaelic)


marlena1300 Says:


Agnes is one of my guilty pleasure names. I'm not sure I would use it, but there is definitely something about it I love.

beachbear Says:


ON-yay sounds pretty. AG-ness sounds like a lip curling.

slooming Says:


not a very pretty name tbh

bordercollie Says:


I've started crushing on this name after hearing it in a few different movies. Though I don't think I would use it, Agnes is weirdly adorable and really sweet, if clunky. I'm not sure why I prefer it so strongly to Agatha, but I find Agnes far less severe, possibly because of the cute little girl in Despicable Me. I don't like Aggie or Nessie, but it's a two syllable name, I don't think it really needs a nickname.

Margot23 Says:


love this, not super crazy about the meaning?

paulapuddephatt Says:


That's how I pronounce it too, as I'm also English. It's wonderful. 😃

paulapuddephatt Says:


I've started falling in love with this name, but I'm not a fan of Aggie. Maybe I will come around. I never thought I would love Agnes, but I totally do.

StefLang Says:


Agnes Obel is a Danish musician and she is beautiful and her music is gorgeous. I love the name Agnes because of my association with her.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I could almost see Agnes growing on me, but I dislike Aggie.

beachbear Says:


Agnes Crumplebottom, anyone?

celie Says:


My daughter is called Agnes, aggie for short and it really suits her sweet, nature. So glad we stuck with it! I'm English and pronounce it ag - ness 😊

lissrose30 Says:


I am English and pronounce it ag-ness.

Marlaina Says:


Agnes sounds too harsh and I can imagine a lot of teen Agnes' changing their name because they resent it.

John&Fani Dou Says:


Agnes - derives from Greek - Agni meaning purity - The name "Agnes" is actually derived from the feminine Greek adjective hagnē (ἁγνή) meaning "chaste, pure, sacred".
Agnes' feast day is 21 January. Often also being depicted as St. Agnesse of Rome who is also holding a lamb - the lamb signifies the purity of the child as a sacrifice to God and Jesus. - Agnes is the patron saint of young girls.

Impwood Says:


Agnes is such a sweet name. Its beauty lies in its austerity, I think. I love both the meaning of "pure" and the association with lambs.

priviledgedpistachios Says:


Aggie is not my style at all. Nessie isn't too bad

AriellaBar Says:


I'm guessing you don't like aggie. What about Nessa or Nessie?

priviledgedpistachios Says:


I love this name, but would probably use it as a middle because of little nickname options

mjohnson8698 Says:


I always picture some extremely strict and cruel old woman when I hear this name. Not a "good girl" name at all.

snowsbeloved Says:


Yuck! Sounds like someone gagging on cough medicine! Although, it did go up a tiny bit with the Despicable Me character...

headintheclouds Says:


Agnes is a great name, and I'm glad for the Despicable Me movies which has rehabilitated the images of "old lady" type names of Agnes, Edith and Margo! Hopefully there will be a revival of little girls named Agnes in the future :)

Daiseymae Says:


I loathe this name. It reminds me of "agony" or someone who has scabies.

LcLauver Says:


in english speaking countries it's not pronounced least not that i have ever heard and i've known a handful with the name. It's pronounced ag-ness or ag-niss

AnonymousPerson Says:


Pronounced the French way, "ann-yes" this is pretty, but pronounced "ag-knees", I'm not too keen on it.

EryGasai Says:


I didn't like it before I watched "Despicable Me". Now I think it's kinda cute. :3

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


LOL, yeah I'm gonna try and edit that.

Nooshi Says:


It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!

kitchi1 Says:


Ah, okay. It's all cool, haha. I just don't get how the Gru girls aren't cute!

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Okay,.. here's the problem. I made the mistake of staying logged in, somebody went and wrote those things. Now I can't delete it, because it just stays and says guest. I am, not letting any body borrow my tablet again.

kitchi1 Says:


Those girls weren't cute? Whaat?!

Guest Says:


It's growing on me but it's so nerdy! I do love the variations Ines and Agnesa. Or if it's the French pronunciation

Claredelune Says:


It's growing on me. Am I crazy? :) I picture a pre-Raphaelite maiden praying in a tower.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


This name is okay if you like old-fashioned names. Agnes also has different pronunciations, the one I prefer is ON-yay. It is also the name of one of the girls on Despicable Me.

chlardmarham Says:


I used to not like this name but it started growing on me when I watched "despicable me" and its sequel. She's SO cute!