Thinking of naming your baby “Anne”? Learn all about the name, from its etymology, origin, and history to Anne’s current popularity, fascinating facts about the name Anne, and famous people named Anne
Anne means “gracious” or “grace,” and “merciful.” In the original Hebrew, Anne (Hannah) means “God has favored me.”
ORIGIN & HISTORY:
The name Anne is intimately linked with Christianity. Anne derives from the Hebrew name Hannah, which first appeared in the Old Testament: Hannah was the mother of Samuel. St. Anne is believed to have been the mother of the Virgin Mary.
Today she is a busy saint, protecting both voyagers and travelers as well as mothers and women in labor.
Popularity of the name Anne peaked in the early part of the twentieth century, hitting the top ten in 1925. Today it ranks at #460 among girls’ names. However, variants of the name, such as Hannah, Annie, and Anna remain very popular, more so than Anne itself.
Buffy Summers, titular character in television’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series (1997-2003), has the middle name Anne. This minor details gains importance when an episode is built around it: in “Anne,” she uses her middle name as an alias when she’s fled in despair from her friends, family and life after being forced (by fate) to kill the man she loved. Calling herself by her middle name symbolizes her desire to disappear from her old life, and the antagonist of the episode tries to help her do just that.
Queen Anne’s lace is a flowering plant also known as wild carrot. Its round, flat head of tiny white blooms resembles lace, and has a small purplish-black flower in the very center. Britain’s Queen Anne (Feb. 6, 1665 – Aug. 1, 1714) was an expert lace-maker and lore says that a droplet of her blood fell on the lace when she pricked her finger while making it, thus creating the dark spot in the center.
The main character in L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” is Anne Shirley.
In the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Anne is a common surname.
Two wives of Henry VIII were named Anne:
Anne Cleves (Sept. 22 1515 – July 16, 1557).
Anne Boleyn (ca. 1501/1507 – May 19, 1536). Anne Boleyn is well-known for having been beheaded on charges of adultery. It’s believed the true reason for her killing was disrupting the powerful: she was working towards a reformation of the Church in England.
Anne Heche (born May 25, 1969). Star of television’s “Men in Trees.” Also starred in the films. “Donnie Brasco,” “Volcano,” and “Wag the Dog.”
Anne Hathaway (born Nov. 12, 1982). Starred in the films “The Princess Diaries” and “Ella Enchanted.”
Anne Archer (born Aug. 24, 1947). Played the wife of Michael Douglas’ character in the film “Fatal Attraction.” Also portrays mothers on television’s “The Ghost Whisperer” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
Anne Rice (born Oct. 4, 1941). Author of the bestselling Vampire Chronicles and a slew of other vampire, gothic, and religious-themed books.
Anne Frank (June 12, 1929 – March 1945). Anne Frank’s diary chronicled her experiences in hiding during the Holocaust and is today one of the world’s most widely-read books.
Queen Anne of England (Feb. 6, 1665 – Aug. 1, 1714), last of the Stuart monarchs.
Princess Anne of Great Britain (born Aug. 15, 1950).
Photographer Anne Geddes (born Sept. 1956) is known for her stylized portraits of babies.
Hannah, Hanna, Ann, Annie, Anna, and Hanne are all variants on the name Anne. Annette is a diminutive version of Anne. In slavic and romance languages, Ana is a common variant.
There are several regional and linguistic variants of the name Anne:
Aine – Irish/Gaelic
Ania – Polish
Anica – Serbian
Anita – Spanish, Portuguese, and Germanic
Anja – Scandinavian
Annamaria – Germanic
Annushka – Russian
Anya – Russian
Nanda – Czech