Vanessa is a Greek name that was coined by eighteenth century author Jonathon Swift in the poem “Cadenus and Vanessa.” It is believed that Swift invented the name by rearranging the letters in the name of his close friend, Esther Vanhomrigh. Years later, Vanessa was used as a genus for many types of butterflies, where it took upon the meaning "butterfly." The name peaked in popularity in the late twentieth century, and it is still a popular name in the United States.
Similar Names: Vanesa, Venessa, Nessa
Famous Vanessa Names: Vanessa Williams (actress), Vanessa Hudgens (actress and singer)