One can’t think of the name Vanessa without thinking of the 80s. Along with Jessica and Tiffany, Vanessa was one of the names of the neon and synthesizer-filled decade. It’s fared much better than its fellow 80s superstar name sisters, and is still a popular choice today. Interestingly enough, Vanessa was a name that was invented from thin air by author Jonathon Swift as a nickname for his close friend Esther Vanhomrigh. He then used it in his poem Cadenus and Vanessa, and it has been adopted as a bonafide name ever since.