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Origin: Portugal
Region Origin: Southern Europe

Vanessa is a girl's name of British origin, meaning "butterfly". The name was created by Anglo-Irish author Jonathan Swift in 1712 for a character in his poem "Cadenus and Vanessa". Swift was inspired by his lover Esther Vanhomrigh and combined the first syllables of her last and given names to coin the name Vanessa. The name also has Greek and Latin origins, with connections to the goddesses Phanessa and Venus, and is used as the name for a genus of butterflies.

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