Ani

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Armenian Անի
Meaning: debated
(AH-nee)

The name was originally an Armenian short form of Anna, but is more likely used to refer to an ancient Armenian city.

Ani sits on the border of Armenia, in Turkey, it was the capital of Medieval Armenia, it was renown for its technological advancements and for its many religious sites, “the city of 1,000 Churches” is its nickname.

The city gets its name from another ancient Armenian city, Ani-Kamakh, and Ani was sometimes known as Khnamk. The etymology of the name is speculated, though, the German philologist and Armenian scholar, Johann Heinrich Hübschmann, believes that it is from the ancient Armenian infinitive verb, խնամել, (khnamel), meaning, “to take care of.”

In 1064, Ani lost its glory when it was sacked by its marauding Turkish neighbors.

Though Ani was also initially a pet form of Anna, its usage as an independent name may have caught on at the turn of the 20th-century, when interest in the ancient city was sparked after its excavation by Russian archeologists in 1892.

Another form is Annig.

Currently,  Ani is the 3rd most popular female name in Armenia, (2010) and the 3rd most popular in Georgia, (2011).

Ani ანი is also the first letter of the Georgian alphabet and is used as a female given name in Georgia.

The name is also used in Bulgaria.

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