Vanessa in full flight

Today 7 June I got a little tear in my eye. There are two reasons for this. Firstly because I have been gift wrapping for 365 days, I put out the call for others to assist me in creating beautiful themed wraps for the next 365 days and the wraps are coming in. Secondly and most importantly, one of these wraps sums up what it’s all about for me – wrapping a gift with the care and thought as only a special friend can.

First things first – when I hit the big one year in, I wrote to my favourite people and asked them to do a themed wrap and to pass the request on to their favourite people too. I was most delighted when my younger sister contacted 10 of what she described as her most creative friends and asked them to contribute also. And then in came a wrap from the Linda. Linda is my sister’s dear friend but I have met her a number of times and she is one of the most lovely people around – and a savvy business operator to boot.

Linda wrapped a gift last night for her dear friend Vanessa as a special congratulations because Vanessa has just finished all her chemo and radiation treatments. Go go go go you Vanessa along with my most sincere admiration and my sincerer hope that things go well for you from here.

In true Daily Wrap style Linda’s wrap is more than the sum of its pretty parts. Linda chose delicate aqua lacy paper and matched it with a chiffon ribbon and the most and stunning butterflies.But wait…there’s more…. she chose the butterflies because the name Vanessa is associated with butterfly. Yes..its true.

And so I began an adventure into the derivation of the name Vanessa – all the while thinking of Linda’s most courageous friend. Some say the name Vanessa is a Greek baby name meaning  Butterfly also derived from Phanessa, the mystic goddess of an ancient Greek brotherhood.

According to Behind the Name,Vanessa is actually an invention of Jonathan Swift , and is a partial anagram of the name of his friend Esther Vanhomrigh. He took the “Van” from Vanhomrigh’s last name and added”Essa”, a diminutive form of Esther. 

In 1726 the name Vanessa appeared in print for the first time in Cadenus and Vanessa, an autobiographical poem about Swift’s relationship with Vanhomrigh which led to its use as a female given name. Vanessa was adopted later as the name of a genus of butterfly by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1807.

It was a rare given name until the mid-20th century.  Baby Center says Vanessa is currently the 313th most popular name in 2016. I say any name that starts with V, is fairly rare and has an intriguing derivation is actually top of the pops. Just like you Vanessa.


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