Latin form of Berenice, influenced from an early date by association with the Church Latin phrase vera icon ‘true image’, of which this form is an anagram. The legend of the saint who wiped Christ's face on the way to Calvary and found an image of his face imprinted on the towel seems to have been invented to account for this derivation. Use of the name in modern times may to some extent be influenced by the flowering plant so called from the personal name.
Spanish form of Basque Agirre, a topographic name from Basque ager, agir ‘open space’, ‘pasture’. This is found as the first element of several place names, reflected in surnames such as Aguirrezabal(a) ‘broad open space’; the modern surname may be a shortening of any of these.