The origins of René and Renée can be traced back to the Late Latin male name Renatus, meaning “rebirth; born again.” The name is borne by several saints in both its Latin masculine form and feminine Latin form. The French forms have experienced usage in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic as well as Anglo-phone countries.
Renée enjoyed a short spout of popularity in the United States during the late 60s and early 70s, the highest it peaked was in 1967 coming in at # 62. As of 2008, she came in at # 734. Surprisingly, its masculine version ranked in higher in the top 1000, coming in as the 561st most popular male name in 2008. René is still somewhat prevalent among the Cajun and Creole communities of Louisiana.
In 2005, he was the 57th most popular male name in Slovenia.
Renata has experienced usage from South America to Eastern Europe, she is a common choice in Poland, Germany, Italy and Brazil. In 2006, she was the 34th most popular female name in Chile and the 68th most popular female name in Hungary.
Other forms of the name include:
- Renata (Czech, Croatian, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish. Polish diminutive forms are: Rena, Renatka and Renia. Spanish diminutive form is Renita, often used as an independent given name)
- Renate (Dutch/German)
- Renáta (Hungarian/Czech/Slovak)
Masculine forms include:
- René (French, Czech, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Slovakian, Slovenian)
- Renát (Hungarian/Slovakian)
- Röné (Hungarian)
- Renato (Italian/Spanish)
- Renatus (Late Latin)
- Renáto (Slovakian)
- Renátus (Slovakian)
The designated name-day is November 6 in Slovakia, October 19 in France, November 12 in Poland and Lithuania, November 28 in the Czech Republic (Renata is October 13); October 6 in Hungary and January 23 in Estonia.
The name is borne by French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes and French painter René Magritte and American actress Renée Zellweger.