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Gender: Female Meaning of Fanny: "free man" Origin of Fanny: Diminutive of Frances

The name Fanny is a girl's name meaning "free man". Fanny and is often added to lists like Bad Girl Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Change One Letter".

From the experts:

As this word is less often used to mean derriere, it becomes more possible to view Fanny as the kind of appealingly quaint nickname name, like Josie and Nellie, that many parents are favoring now.

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

Famous People Named Fanny

Fanny Brice (born Fania Borach), American actress/comedian
Frances "Fanny" Burney, English novelist
Fanny Bullock Workman, American geographer and explorer
Fanny Mendelssohn, German composer; sister of composer Felix Mendelssohn
Frances Jane "Fanny" Crosby, American blind composer of more than 8,000 hymns
Francina Elsje "Fanny" Blankers-Koen, Dutch track athlete
Sarah "Fanny" Durack, first Australian female to win a swimming Olympic gold medal
Frances "Fanny" Imlay, daughter feminist author Mary Wollstonecraft; half-sister of novelist Mary Shelley
Fanny Rask, Swedish ice hockey player
Fanny Cradock (born Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey), English restaurant critic and TV personality

Pop Culture References for the name Fanny

Fanny Price, character in Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park"
Fanny Davilow, mother of Gwendolen in George Eliot's "Daniel Deronda"
Fanny "Fan" Keith, younger sister of Millie Keith in "A Life of Faith" series
Fanny Hill, fictional heroine of her own letters to a friend, "describing her sexual experiences in chaste language in pornographic tour de force subject of many legal trials since its publication" (1748)
Fanny Price, character in "Of Human Bondage" (1915) by W. Somerset Maugham
Fanny, character in Enid Blyton's "Faraway Tree" series (in some modern reprints she is now named Frannie because of Fanny's unpleasant connotations)
Aunt Fanny, character in Enid Blyton's "Famous Five" series
Fanny Dashwood, character in 'Sense and Sensibility' by Jane Austen
Fanny Redletts, character in Nancy Mitford's "The Pursuit of Love" and "Love in a Cold Climate"
Fanny Fulbright aka Numbuh 86, character on animated series "Codename: Kids Next Door
Aunt Fanny, character in the movie "Robots"
Fanny, British slang for the vagina
Fanny, American slang for the buttocks

Fannia, Fanni, Fannee, Fania, Fanney, Fan, Fannie


Emilyjayne255 Says:


Nope, no, nope, no way! In Australia it has the same slang meaning as the UK. My mother has two Fannys in her family tree, ones last name is Meats and the other one is Fuz. Safe to say Fanny is a no go.

I'm a Banana Says:


Butts isn't a good association either.

paulapuddephatt Says:


It means vagina in the UK. It may be slightly different in the US and elsewhere.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Don't even *think* of using this name. I can't believe that NB actually seem to rate this one. Is Fanny really more usable than Sheryl or Julie? According to the descriptions on this site, it is. Get real! Fanny is just not usable, not even as a nickname for Frances. Fran or Frankie will do just fine.

QuxxnAphrosephone Says:


I love this name, but the English language has ruined it for me.

ClimenceAliceMarie Says:


Fanny is no different than Virginie/Virgina, which stills sees use today. I quite like the name and it has much history and literary credentials to the name. That if anyone wants to assert that the name means vagina or butts, is not only simple minded but limited in their education and the appreciation of the name itself and its affect on history. The name has far more depth and context beyond two silly little meanings. Children can be cruel, but its far more of an in justice to breed those bad habits (especially by adults) by choosing to only pointing out that the name Fanny is one dimensional and therefore off limits, which, again, anyone who is schooled knows that is not true. I think the name can waver those rough waters of nay sayers, and I applaud any parent who chooses a fine and charming name.

greenfae85 Says:


The slang meaning is actually reference to the butt. As in, "say that again and I'll spank your fanny."

TheSwissCricket Says:


I think that if this name didn't have the slang meaning attached it would be a cute name. The only two reasons I wouldn't name my daughter this is because a) The slang meaning (vagina) and b) She would be teased and bullied for her name.

Floris Says:


If you don't go to school anymore it probably won't be a problem, right?

TheHumanCanvas Says:


Honestly, I don't think anyone has a right to comment on a name like Fanny, wherever you come from. I'm from Britain, and even though the slang meaning is unfortunate, I doubt anyone would bring it up. Not anyone with any decency, anyway. But people should be aware that a whole younger generation exists, who would find it inappropriately hilarious if a girl in their class was called Fanny. That being said, the novelty would soon wear off, as has happened with some people I know with similar kinds of surnames. I hardly think the name is a crime.

Fanny Sheerio Lundström Says:


It's going to be rough.. want to move to England so..

Mona Says:


If your kid ever decided to travel, a name like this could cause some problems.

Ashley1991 Says:


I have a friend from Peru and her name is Fanny. I think you should consider where you live before using this name.

Fox Says:


The association with butts may be kind of cute in the US, but people considering this name should be aware that in multiple countries (like England and Australia) it's not slang for a backside, but a vagina. In the age of cross-border internet communication, it's a rather unkind name to bestow.