First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Vanilla

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Vanilla mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Vanilla

User Submitted Meanings

  • According to a user from North Carolina, United States, the name Vanilla is of Unknown origin and means "Sweet, loving and caring person.".
  • A submission from Wisconsin, United States says the name Vanilla means "From the word "vanilla" for the plant or derived flavoring." and is of English origin.
  • A submission from Philippines says the name Vanilla means "Innocent, Simple" and is of English origin.
Other origins: Hindu

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Va*nil"la
  1. [Bot] A genus of climbing orchidaceous plants, natives of tropical America.
  2. The long podlike capsules of Vanilla planifolia, and Vanilla claviculata, remarkable for their delicate and agreeable odor, for the volatile, odoriferous oil extracted from them; also, the flavoring extract made from the capsules, extensively used in confectionery, perfumery, etc.

Note: ☞ As a medicine, vanilla is supposed to possess powers analogous to valerian, while, at the same time, it is far more grateful.

Etymology: NL., fr. Sp. vainilla, dim. of Sp. vaina a sheath, a pod, L. vagina; because its grains, or seeds, are contained in little pods

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A distinctive fragrant flavor characteristic of vanilla beans
  2. A flavoring prepared from vanilla beans macerated in alcohol (or imitating vanilla beans)
  3. Any of numerous climbing plants of the genus Vanilla having fleshy leaves and clusters of large waxy highly fragrant white or green or topaz flowers
  4. Plain and without any extras or adornments ("the most common type of bond is the straight or plain vanilla bond" and "the basic car is known as the vanilla version")
  5. Flavored with vanilla extract ("he liked vanilla ice cream")

Borrowing from Spanish vainilla, a diminutive form of vaina.

  1. (countable) Any tropical, climbing orchid of the genus Vanilla (especially Vanilla planifolia), bearing podlike fruit yielding an extract used in flavoring food or in perfumes.
  2. (countable) The fruit or bean of the vanilla plant.
  3. (uncountable) The extract of the fruit of the vanilla plant.
  4. (uncountable) The distinctive fragrant flavour/flavor characteristic of vanilla extract.
    You can tell that the secret ingredient missing from New CokeTM was , because certain South American economies collapsed when it was introduced, and miraculously revived when the old formula was used again.
  5. (uncountable) Any artificially produced homologue of vanilla extract, principally vanillin produced from lignin from the paper industry or from petrochemicals.

vanilla was also found in the following language(s): Icelandic

Notable Persons Named Vanilla

Vanilla Ice is a hip hop music, rap rock, nu metal, and rap metal rapper, actor, record producer, singer, television host, and rapping. He was most active from 1985 to present. Vanilla was given the name Robert Matthew Van Winkle on October 31st, 1967 in Dallas, Texas, U.S.



Notable Persons With the Last Name Vanilla

Cherry Vanilla is a punk rock and glam rock singer-songwriter. She plays Vocals. Cherry was given the name Kathleen Dorritie on October 16th, 1943 in Woodside, Queens. Cherry is also known as Cherry Vanilla.


Common last names for Vanilla

  • Williams
  • Davis
  • Brown

Fun Facts about the name Vanilla

  • How Popular is the name Vanilla? Vanilla is the 26,913th most popular name of all time.
  • How many people with the first name Vanilla have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 200 babies born with the first name Vanilla in the United States. That's more than enough people named Vanilla to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Vanilla? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1898 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Vanilla first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Vanilla is Thursday, May 6th, 1880.
  • What year had the most people named Vanilla born? The highest recorded use of the first name Vanilla was in 1919 with a total of 15 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Vanilla: Your name in reverse order is Allinav. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Vialanl. How do you pronounce that?

What Vanillas Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Vanilla

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Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.