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

Agnes Origin and Meaning

The name Agnes is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "pure, virginal".

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.

16 names similar to Agnes

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Popularity

- this week

Famous People Named Agnes

Pop Culture References for the name Agnes

Nessie, Agnus, Agnis, Oona, Annisha, Agnesse, Annis, Annais, Agye, Aneska, Annice, Ag, Anaise, Nesa, Agie, Neysa,

Agnes's International Variations

Agnese, Ynes, Inesa, Ynez (Spanish) Agnesca, Anete, Agnella, Agnesina, Agnola, Hagne (Italian) Oanez (Breton) Agnethe, Agneta, Agnek, Agne (Scandinavian) Anka, (Czech)

Comments

marlena1300 Says:

2018-12-04T14:58:29

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:

2018-04-08T21:30:07

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

slooming Says:

2017-09-08T23:41:58

not a very pretty name tbh

bordercollie Says:

2017-07-09T18:33:55

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:

2017-04-13T04:06:54

love this, not super crazy about the meaning?

paulapuddephatt Says:

2017-02-26T22:31:51

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

paulapuddephatt Says:

2017-02-26T22:29:57

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:

2017-02-05T18:09:06

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:

2016-12-21T19:43:00

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

beachbear Says:

2016-08-26T03:42:49

Agnes Crumplebottom, anyone?

celie Says:

2016-06-18T09:49:12

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:

2016-06-18T05:30:56

I am English and pronounce it ag-ness.

Marlaina Says:

2016-05-16T03:34:40

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

John&Fani Dou Says:

2016-02-26T16:28:02

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:

2015-11-28T12:35:52

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:

2015-11-19T00:38:13

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

AriellaBar Says:

2015-10-30T00:30:22

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

priviledgedpistachios Says:

2015-10-29T21:01:31

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

mjohnson8698 Says:

2015-06-02T06:54:54

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

snowsbeloved Says:

2015-04-10T14:46:11

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

headintheclouds Says:

2015-04-04T06:25:21

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:

2014-12-16T18:56:40

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

LcLauver Says:

2014-10-08T13:42:17

in english speaking countries it's not pronounced ag-knees...at 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:

2014-10-08T12:06:58

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

EryGasai Says:

2014-07-19T15:41:55

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

Theodora_Phoenix Says:

2014-06-28T14:03:22

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

Nooshi Says:

2014-06-28T05:55:59

It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!

kitchi1 Says:

2014-06-28T04:54:35

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

Theodora_Phoenix Says:

2014-06-28T02:01:38

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:

2014-06-28T01:51:56

Those girls weren't cute? Whaat?!

Guest Says:

2014-06-17T04:21:06

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:

2014-05-24T02:42:20

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

Theodora_Phoenix Says:

2014-05-23T21:16:27

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:

2014-05-20T03:56:20

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!