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Renee Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Renee including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Renee Overview

  • Meaning: Reborn.
  • Gender: Renee is traditionally a girl’s name.
  • Origin: French, Latin.
  • Pronunciation: Ruh-NAY
  • Popularity: Low.
  • Nicknames: Ren, Nae, Ree, Rennie.
  • Variations: Renita, Renata, Rena.
  • Namesakes: Renee Zellweger, actress.

What Does Renee Mean?

Renee is a unique and expressive feminine name that comes from French.

In this language, “né/née” means “born” (as seen here in its masculine and feminine forms). When combined with the prefix “re,” meaning “again,” the name translates to English as “reborn.”

Aside from having a beautiful translation, Renee is a strong classic name for a baby girl.

What Is the Origin of the Name Renee?

Although French is the language that comes to mind when we think of Renee, the name comes from a Latin word, “renatus.” The root “natus” (born) and the prefix “re” combine to form Renatus.

Therefore, Renee means “reborn” or “born again”– exactly the way your baby Renee might make you feel when she comes into the world!

Given the name’s meaning, it is not surprising that Renee also has strong associations with the bird symbolizing rebirth: the phoenix. The awe-inspiring phoenix was able to self-combust and come to life again through the ashes of its previous existence.

How Popular is the Name Renee?

If you’re looking for a less-common name for your baby, Renee could be the right choice. It’s relatively rare, so your child is unlikely to have any classmates with the same name. Yet Renee’s rarity is a relatively recent phenomenon.

It was widely used during the Middle Ages, especially in France. The name was common for boys and girls (boys use the masculine form René). And as English speakers have routinely done with French words, we ended up borrowing the name, although most Anglo parents tend to drop the accent, preferring “Renee” to the French “Renée.”

Since it jumped the pond, the name has come in and out of fashion. It took a while to catch on, with Renee’s peak of popularity occurring in the late 1950s and the 1960s. During this time, it was among the top 100 most common girl names in the United States. It remained in fashion throughout the 1970s and 1980s and then its popularity began to wane.

At present, Renee is moderately popular, though its prevalence is declining. You won’t see it on many baby charts nowadays. For some parents, this is an excellent reason to choose it. Whether it’s popular or not, naming your baby Renee will give her a refined French air – and maybe a bit of mystique.

How Do I Pronounce Renee?

If you’re looking for a straightforward name, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with Renee. The name has just two syllables, and it’s easy to pronounce: Ruh-NAY. Some people may mispronounce it as REE-nee, but the two pronunciations are similar. Either way, it is not easy to confuse Renee with another name.

Is Renee a Boy or Girl Name?

The name Renee follows French grammar rules. Because of how it ends, the name is feminine. However, some parents break with tradition and only use one ‘e’.

Variations of Renee

Renee has a few variations. The most common variation has to do with the accent. Some languages leave the accent off, while others spell the name Renée.

Some languages do change the name even further.

  • Renita (English, Spanish)
  • Renae (English)
  • Rena (Polish)
  • Renata (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Romanian, Czech, Slovenian)
  • Renea (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian)

Nicknames for Renee

Though the name doesn’t lend itself as easily to nicknames as others, there are still a few options:

  • Ren
  • Ree
  • Nae
  • Rennie

Similar Names to Renee

If you like Renee, you may want to consider one of the following similar names:

Middle Names for Renee

Renee is a fantastic, chic name on its own, but it also works well when paired with a middle name.

Here are some options that flow effortlessly with Renee:

Sibling Names for Renee

Because Renee is a classic girl name, it pairs well with many sibling names.

If you name your daughter Renee, here are some ideas for her brothers and sisters:

Famous People Named Renee

Despite being a relatively unique name, we can find several examples of famous people named Renee.

  • Renee Danielle Montgomery: Basketball player.
  • Renee Doria: French opera singer.
  • Renee Estevez: American actress and screenwriter, daughter of Martin Sheen (formerly Renee Sheen).
  • Renee Fleming: American music performer.
  • Renee Russo: American actress.
  • Renee Zellweger: American actress.

Renee in Popular Culture

We can find several examples of the name Renee in popular culture.

  • Renée DuMonde: Character in the “Days of our Lives” soap opera.
  • Renée Dwyer: Character in the “Twilight” novel series.
  • Renee Perry: Character in the ABC favorite “Desperate Housewives.”
  • Renée Rienne: Character in the television series “Alias.”
  • Renee “Ren” Stevens: Character on Disney’s “Even Stevens.”
  • Renee Walker: Character in the television series “24.”

Renee FAQs

Let’s wrap things up with some commonly asked questions about the name Renee.

Is Renee a Biblical Name?

The name Renee is indeed a biblical girl’s name. The generic form has appeared in the New Testament of the Bible. It was also associated with the Christian idea of baptism in the medieval ages, or being spiritually born through baptism.

Is Renee a Girl’s or Boy’s Name?

Renee (spelled exactly like this) is a girl’s name. Rene is the typical spelling for boys, though some parents spell their baby girl’s name this way.

What Is the Name Renee Short For?

The name Renee (or more specifically Rene) is the short form of Irene, which is Greek for “peace.” It’s also the shortened version of Renata. However, it is an independent name that does not need another name.

Is Renee a Last Name?

Renee is not a commonly used last name. Its overall usage worldwide is low, though Christian people in Kenya use it.

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