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Gender: Female Origin of Vanessa: Literary invention; also a species of butterfly Vanessa's Popularity in 2017: #204

The name Vanessa is a girl's name of English origin. Vanessa is ranked #204 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Vintage Baby Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Adding Then Eliminating -- Girls Themed".

From the experts:

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 a 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 from High School Musical is a more youthful bearer. On TV there have been Vanessas on The Cosby Show, Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries.

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

Famous People Named Vanessa

Vanessa Redgrave, English actress
Vanessa Anne Hudgens, American actress
Vanessa Bell, English painter; sister of novelist Virginia Woolf
Vanessa Lynn Williams, American actress and singer, Miss America 1983
Vanessa A. Williams, American actress
Vanessa Kirby, English actress
Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson, British violinist
Vanessa Joy Minnillo, American TV host and actress
Vanessa Lee Carlton, American singer-songwriter
Vanessa Zahorian, American ballerina
Vanessa Vadim, French-American film producer, daughter of actress Jane Fonda
Vanessa Alice Bensimon, French graffiti artist, known as "Miss Van"
Vanessa Beecroft, Italian performance artist
Vanessa Haydon Trump, daughter-in-law to President Donald Trump
Vanessa Marie Bryant, wife of basketball player Kobe Bryant
Vanessa Bruno, French fashion designer
Vanessa Fallon Rohanna, Australian children's performer
Vanessa Evigan, American actress
Vanessa Jo Merrell, twin sister of Veronica Merrell, YouTuber, fashion designer

Pop Culture References for the name Vanessa

Vanessa Abrams, character on TV's "Gossip Girl".
Vanessa Huxtable, character on TV's "The Cosby Show".
Vanessa Bennett, character on American soap "All My Children".
Vanessa Turnbill, character in 2000 movie "Cut".
Vanessa Doofenshmirtz, character on animated series "Phineas and Ferb".
Vanessa Kensington, character in the Austin Powers series.
Vanessa, character in movie "Big Daddy".
Vanessa Loring, character in movie "Juno".
Vanessa Monroe, character on TV's "The Vampire Diaries".
Vanessa Hansen, character in movie "City by the Sea".
Vanessa Moschella, character on TV's "Da Vinci's Demons".
Vanessa, character in movie "Corvette Summer".
Vanessa Ives, main character on TV's "Penny Dreadful".
Vanessa, Ursula's human form in Disney's "The Little Mermaid".
Vanessa Pike, The Baby-sitters Club character.
Vanessa, Wade Wilson's girlfriend in the movie "Deadpool".
Vanessa Morita, character on Disney's Backstage.
Vanessa Wrigley, character on TV's "Odd Mom Out".
Vanessa, character in In The Heights.

Vanessa's International Variations

Vanesa, Venessa (Spanish)