Today’s consultation is for a family who has a pretty good idea of the name they’d like to use, but they just need some reassurance. The name is Anessa, a variant of Agnes, and they write,
“I worry about missing something — years ago we had friends who named their daughter ‘Sarin’ only later to realize it is the name of a deadly compound in used in chemical warfare! I think they changed it to ‘Sarah’ before the child was 1.”
Though my gut reaction was that Anessa is totally fine, and a beautiful choice!, I did give some good consideration to the question — names that are more unusual are more prone to having just one association stick, after all. I googled Anessa to see if anything weird came up — there seems to be a brand of sunscreen called Anessa, and an Asian site that have the name but I have no idea what it’s saying and even if it’s bad I can’t imagine it would be the kind of thing that would be a problem here. It seems one of the Cabbage Patch Kids from years ago was Anessa as well. Even the name sites don’t have much on the name, and you all know that any time there’s a chance for someone to voice an opinion online (especially a negative one!), people jump at the chance! So the fact that there isn’t anything controversial to read is encouraging.
It would be really helpful to get your opinions as well. Is there anything about the name Anessa that these parents should know before choosing it?