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Name invented by Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) for his friend Esther Vanhomrigh. It seems to have been derived from the first syllable of her (Dutch) surname, with the addition of the suffix -essa (perhaps influenced by the first syllable of her given name). The name became fairly popular in the 20th century, being borne for example by the actress Vanessa Redgrave (b. 1937).
302nd in the U.S.

Nicknames & variations

Quick facts

Hundreds of thousands
of people in the U.S have this name
235,906
to be exact
237,497
if you include dead people (since the government started keeping track)
New Mexico
has the most people named Vanessa per capita
1985
marked the height of its popularity
99.84%
0.16%
5%
55+
29%
30-54
34%
13-29
32%
0-12

Top state populations

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