Agnes (name)

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Fr Guarino Santa Inés 1650.jpg
The name Agnes was widely used to honor Saint Agnes of Rome
Meaning"pure, holy"

Agnes is a female given name derived from the Greek Ἁγνή Hagnḗ, meaning 'pure' or 'holy'. The name passed to Italian as Agnese,[1] to French as Agnès, to Portuguese as Inês, and to Spanish as Inés. It is also written as Agness. The name is descended from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁yaǵ-, meaning 'to sacrifice; to worship,' from which is also the Vedic term yajña.

It was the name of a popular Christian saint, Agnes of Rome, which encouraged its wide use. Agnes was the third most popular name for women in the English speaking world for more than 400 years.[2] 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.[3] 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 baby girls during that decade. The peak of its popularity was between 1900 and 1920, when it was among the top fifty given names for American girls. Agnieszka was the sixth-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 one hundred names for baby girls born in Hungary in 2005.[4] Neža, a Slovene shortened variant of the name, was ranked among the top ten names for baby girls born in Slovenia in 2008. French forms Inès and Ines were both ranked among the top ten names for girls born in Brussels, Belgium in 2008.

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  1. ^ "20 nomi femminili vintage (ma ancora bellissimi)". Donna Moderna (in Italian). 25 May 2022. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  2. ^ Rosenkrantz, Linda, and Satran, Pamela Redmond (2007). Baby Name Bible. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0-312-35220-2
  3. ^ "Shakespeare's Wife." New York Times. 4-27-2008.
  4. ^ Behind the Name