[ 2 syll. a-gnes, ag-n-es ] The baby girl name Agnes is pronounced AAK-NahS (Dutch) or AEGNahS (English) †. Agnes is of Old Greek and Celtic origin. It is used mainly in the Dutch, English, German, and Scandinavian languages. Old Greek origin: It is derived from hagnos meaning 'pure, chaste' ; agnus 'lamb'. The name was originally the Latinized form of Hagne (Old Greek). However, the similarity in sound led it to be associated with the Latin agnus, and the resulting Christian connotations subsequently boosted the name's popularity. Saint Agnes was a 4th-century Roman virgin martyred in persecutions by the emperor Diocletian. She became a very popular saint in the Middle Ages and contributed to widespread adoption of the name; in art she has often been depicted with a lamb by her side.
The medieval vernacular forms Annis and Annes reflected the silent 'g' in the pronunciation of Agnes then. Annis gave rise to the surname, while Annes contributed to the name Nancy via the form Nance. The name Agnes declined in use after the Reformation, as it does not appear in the Bible. It was strongly revived under the Victorians, especially in 19th-century Scotland. In literature, the name has appeared in the Anne Bronte novel Agnes Grey (1847). It was later adopted as an Anglicized form of Úna in Ireland as both were associated with 'lamb'.
In addition, Agnes is a variation (English) of Úna (Irish and Scottish).
Ag, Aganetha, Aggi, Aggye, Agi, Agie, Agna (also used in German), Agneis, Agnek, Agnessa (also used in Russian and Slavic), Agneti, Agnetis, Agnetta, Agnette, Agnés, Agnis, Agnus, Agy, Agye, Aignéis (also used in Gaelic and Irish), Akenehi, Anees, Aneesa (also used in African and Swahili), Aneesha, Anesha, Aneshia, Anesia, Aneska, Anessa, and Anesse. Other English forms include the contraction Nessa (also used in Irish, and Russian), the familiar forms Aggie (also used in Scottish), Aggy (also used in Scottish), Agnie, Nessie (also used in Scottish), Nessy, and Nesta (also used in Welsh), and the variant spelling Agness.
Foreign variations include Aga (Polish), Aghna (Irish), Agne (Italian and Lithuanian), Agnella (Italian), Agnesa (Armenian, Czech, German, and Italian), Agnesca (Italian), Agnese (Italian and Latvian), Agnesina (Italian), Agneska (Czech), Agnesse (Russian), Agneta (Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), Agnete (German and Scandinavian), Agnetha (German and Scandinavian), Agnethe (German and Scandinavian), Agnès (Catalan and French), Agné (Lithuanian), Agni (Greek), Agnies (French), Agnieska (Polish), Agnieszka (Polish), Agnita (Scandinavian), Agniya (Lithuanian), Agnola (Italian), Aigneis (Czech), Anesa (Scandinavian), Anete (Italian), Anezka (Czech and Scandinavian), Anisha (Indian), Anka (Czech), and Annest (Welsh). Specific foreign variants include the familiar forms Ness (Scottish) and Nest (Welsh).
See also the related form, Anson (English).
Agnes is rare as a baby girl name. In 1900, 0.602% of baby girls were given the name Agnes. It was #41 in rank then. The baby name has fallen out of favor since then, and is currently of only sporadic use. Out of all girl names in its family, Agnes was nonetheless the most popular in 2012. Agnes has primarily been a girl name, although in the last century it has also been used for boys. In 1910, 83 times as many girls than boys were given the name Agnes.
Baby names that sound like Agnes include Agnus, Agneis, Agnek, Agness, Agnessa, Agnesse, Agnies, Agnis, Aignéis, Asenke, Asong, Aakanksha, Agnesa, Agnesca, Agnese, Agneska, Agnieska, Akanke, Asenka, and Ashauntia.
† Pronunciation for Agnes: AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; K as in "key (K.IY)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)" ; AE as in "at (AE.T)" ; G as in "grin (G.R.IH.N)"
A famous person named Agnes is Mother Teresa, Religious Figure, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu 27 August 1910 - 5 September 1997, Skopje, Macedonia.