Agnes (name)

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Francisco de Zurbarán - Santa Inês.jpg
The name Agnes was widely used due to Saint Agnes of Rome.
Meaning"pure, holy"

Agnes is a female given name, which derives from the Greek name Ἁγνὴ hagnē, meaning "pure" or "holy". The name passed to Italian as Agnese, to Portuguese as Inês, and to Spanish as Inés or Inéz.

It was the name of a popular Christian saint, Agnes of Rome, a fact which encouraged the wide use of the name. Agnes was the third most popular name for women in the English speaking world for more than 400 years.[1] Its medieval pronunciation was Annis, and its usage and many of its forms coincided with the equally popular name Anna, related in medieval and Elizabethan times to Agnes, though Anne/Ann/Anna are derived from the Hebrew Hannah ('God favored me') rather than the Greek.[2] It remained a widely used name throughout the 1960s in the United States. It was last ranked among the top 1,000 names for American girls during that decade. The peak of its popularity was between 1900 and 1920, when it was among the top 50 names for American girls. Agnes was the 16th most popular name for girls born in Poland in 2007, having risen as high as third place in Sweden and Poland in 2006. It was also ranked among the top 100 names for girls in Hungary in 2005.[3] Neža, a Slovene short form, was ranked among the top 10 names for girls born in Slovenia in 2008. French forms Inès and Ines were both ranked among the top 10 names for girls born in Brussels, Belgium in 2008.

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rosenkrantz, Linda, and Satran, Pamela Redmond (2007). Baby Name Bible. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0-312-35220-2
  2. ^ "Shakespeare's Wife." New York Times. 4-27-2008.
  3. ^ Behind the Name