Annette

Gender: Feminine
Origin: French
Fre (ahn-NET); Eng (uh-NET)

Annette was originally a French diminutive form of Anne, but has been used as an independent given name since at least the early 20th-century.

It has crossed over into other culture, including English and German, and has been Slavicized as Aneta in both Czech and Polish.

The name was borne by actress, Annette Funicello (b.1942) and peaked in 1960 when it was the 62nd most popular female name in the United States. As of 2010, Annette does not appear in the U.S. top 1000.

As of 2010, its Slavic form of Aneta was the 18th most popular female name in the Czech Republic.

The name is borne by Czech pop-singer, Aneta Langerová (born 1986).

An Italian form is Annetta.

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.

Anna, Anne

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “grace.”
(ANN; AHN). (ANN-uh; AHN-nah). (HANN-uh; HAHN-nah)

Anne is possibly one of the quintessential classic English and French female names. Prior to the 18th-century, it seems that every other girl born in England was either named Anne, Jane or Mary. There were several British and French queens who bore this simplistic moniker, including the ill fated Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I. The history of Anne is rather long and complicated.

It was foremost popularized through the cult of St. Anne, a legendary figure who was said to be the mother of the Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Christ.

In Brittany, the name became especially popular because it happened to coincide with the name of an ancient Celtic goddess, her cult being replaced by St. Anne’s. In fact, it was borne by one Breton Princess, Anne of Brittany.

The name was introduced into Britain by the French-Normans after the invasion in 1066. Previously, there had been a minor Saxon king named Anna, but in this case the name is related to the Saxon arn (eagle). Anna and Anne are still occasionally used as male given names in Friesland.

Other than the apocryphal saint, the name Anne can be traced directly back to the Bible. In the New Testament, it is the name of a prophetess who predicts the Crucifixion of Christ.

Anna (Αννα), is the Greek translation of the early Hebrew Channah חַנָּה, usually transliterated as Hannah, meaning “grace.”

Hannah is borne in the Old Testament by the faithful mother of the prophet, Samuel.

Hannah has always been popular among Jewish families, but was virtually unheard of among non-Jews before the Reformation, except in some cases where it may have been used as a diminutive form of Johanna, spelled Hanna.

It was the Byzantines who had introduced the Anna form to the world, making it popular throughout Eastern and Southern Europe. It was a very popular name among the Byzantine royal family and it was borne by the majestic Anna of Byzantium.

Anna may be the more melodic form of the bunch, but Anne’s minimalistic qualities are charming. Short, to the point, no frills. It’s not a bad name, though it does lack some spice, which is why parents are probably more attracted to its more exotic alternatives. In fact, Anne only comes in at # 608 in the top 1000 female names of the United States. It is safe to say, however, that she is very much loved in the middle name spot.

Anna is currently one of the most popular female names in Europe and abroad. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 1 (Estonia, 2011)
  • # 2 (Hungary, 2010)
  • # 3 (Ana, Georgia, 2010)
  • # 3 (Iceland, 2010)
  • # 4 (Ana, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 4 (Czech Republic, 2010)
  • # 4 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 4 (Ukraine, 2010)
  • # 5 (Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 5 (Ana, Portugal, 2010)
  • # 6 (Armenia, 2010)
  • # 6 (Ane, Greenland, 2002-2003)
  • # 6 (Ana, Romania, 2009)
  • # 6 (Ana, Serbia, 2010)
  • # 7 (Latvia, 2011)
  • # 7 (Russia, 2011)
  • # 8 (German-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 9 (Denmark, 2011)
  • # 10 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 10 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 10 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 11 (Italy, 2010)
  • # 12 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 14 (Poland, 2010)
  • # 16 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 26 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 28 (Italian-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 28 (United States, 2010)
  • # 29 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 40 (France, 2009)
  • # 46 (French-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 53 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 63 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 71 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 81 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 83 (Spain, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
  • Anneen (Afrikaans/Low German)
  • Anna Анна (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Breton/Bulgarian/Catalan/Corsican/Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Faroese/Finnish/French/Frisian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Limburgish/Maltese/Polish/Russian/Ukrainian/Scandinavian/Slovak)
  • Anne (Basque/Dutch/English/French/Scandinavian)
  • Gánna Га́нна (Belarusian)
  • Annaig (Breton)
  • Annick (Breton)
  • Maina (Breton)
  • Mannaig (Breton)
  • Mannick (Breton)
  • Naig (Breton)
  • Ana Ана ანა (Bulgarian/Croatian/Galician/Georgian/Lombard/Macedonian/Portuguese/Romanian/Samogaitian/Serbian/Slovene/Spanish/Venetian)
  • Jana (Croatian/Ladino)
  • Aneta (Czech/Polish/Samogaitian/Slovak)
  • Aina (Catalan)
  • Anica (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Ane (Danish)
  • Anika (Danish)
  • Anneke (Dutch)
  • Anneken (Dutch)
  • Annika (Dutch/Finnish/German/Latvian/Scandinavian)
  • Anka (Dutch/Frisian/German)
  • An(n)ke (Dutch/Frisian)
  • Anouk (Dutch/French)
  • Ans (Dutch)
  • Enneke (Dutch)
  • Enneken (Dutch)
  • Anita (English/German/Polish/Spanish)
  • Annette (English/French/German)
  • Anissa (English)
  • Annelle/Annella (Estonian)
  • Anete (Estonian/Latvian)
  • Anett (Estonian)
  • Anu (Estonian)
  • Anni (Finnish)
  • Annikki (Finnish)
  • Anniina (Finnish)
  • Annukka (Finnish)
  • Niina (Finnish)
  • Anaïs (French/Provençal)
  • Annouche (French)
  • Ninette (French)
  • Ninon (French)
  • Ninouk (French)
  • Anje (Frisian)
  • Ankea (Frisian)
  • Antje (Frisian)
  • Antjen (Frisian)
  • Anute (Fruilian)
  • Anano (Georgian)
  • Annchen (German)
  • Annel (German)
  • Annele (German/Latvian)
  • Anneli(e) (German/Finnish/Swedish)
  • Annet (German)
  • Anina (German)
  • Anja (German/Slovene)
  • Anouschka (German/Italian/Russian)
  • Annaki (Greek)
  • Annoula (Greek)
  • Noula (Greek)
  • Anikó (Hungarian)
  • Annuska (Hungarian)
  • Panni (Hungarian)
  • Áine (Irish)
  • Ánna (Irish)
  • Annarella (Italian)
  • Annella (Italian)
  • Annetta (Italian)
  • Annettina (Italian)
  • Nona (Italian/Romansch)
  • Ance (Latvian)
  • Annija (Latvian)
  • Anninya (Latvian)
  • Ona (Lithuanian)
  • Annamma (Malayalam)
  • Annam (Malayalam)
  • Onnee (Manx)
  • Âone (Norman)
  • Aenna/Aenne (Old High German)
  • Annehe (Old High German)
  • Änna/Änne (Old High German)
  • Neta (Piedmontese)
  • Noto (Piedmontese)
  • Anke (Plattdeutsch)
  • Anneke(n) (Plattdeutsch)
  • Analia (Romansch/Spanish)
  • Annina (Romansch)
  • Annotta (Romansch)
  • Anca (Romanian)
  • Anicuta (Romanian)
  • Anėta (Samogaitian)
  • Anėkė (Samogaitian)
  • Annag (Scottish)
  • Ghianna (Sicilian)
  • Janna (Sicilian)
  • Nanna (Sicilian)
  • Anniken (Swedish)
  • Ann (Welsh)
  • Nan (Welsh)
  • Nanno (Welsh)
  • Nanw (Welsh)
  • Aana (Wolof)
As for the Hannah forms

Hanna without an H is the prefered form on Continental Europe, usually pronounced (HAHN-nah) and in French like Anna. Hanna and Hanne (HAHN-neh) are also used as diminutive forms of Johanna/Johanne in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. There is the Hungarian Hajna pronounced (HOY-no). The Czech/Slovak form of Hana nickname Hanka. There are the Yiddish forms of Heyna, Hayna, Hejna (all pronounced like HAY-nah) including the diminutive forms of HenaHende, Hendel and Henye.  The Polish diminutive form of Hania, which might make an interesting alternative to Anya or Hannah. Hannah, Hanna and Henna are all used in the Middle East.

Of course, how could we ever forget the popular diminutive forms of Annie and Nan.

Anaïs

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Provençal
(ah-nah-EEZ)

The name is a Provençal form of Anne and was popularized by French writer, Anaïs Nin (1903-1977), a perfume by Cacherel Anaïs Anaïs released in 1978, was named for the French author.

Currently, Anaïs is the 7th most popular female name in French-speaking, Switzerland, her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 17 (France, 2009)
  • # 30 (Belgium, 2009)

The name is also used in Spanish-speaking countries, in which case it is often spelled Anaís.

Jana

The name could be of several different origins and meanings.

It is a German short form of Johanna, now commonly used as an independent given name. It is the Czech and Slovak feminine form of Jan (John) and a South Slavic form of Anne. It is also a Catalan contraction of Joana.

In Roman mythology, it was used as another name for the goddess, Diana. In this case, the actual origins are uncertain, but may have been a pre-Italic, Etruscan appellation.

The name could also be from the Arabic meaning, “paradise” or “garden” and sometimes transliterated as Jannah/Janna.

Currently, Jana is the 13th most popular female name in German-speaking, Switzerland (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 14 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 20 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 33 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 49 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 68 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 85 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 97 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 400 (Netherlands, 2010)

 

 

Annelie

Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
(AHN-neh-lee)

The name could either be from a Bavarian diminutive form of Anne or be a Swedish compound of Anne and Louise.

Currently, Annelie is the 270th most popular female name in Germany, (2011).

Other spellings include: Anelie (German); Anneli (Finnish/Scandinavian).

Annemarie

Gender: Feminine
Origin: French

The name is a compound of Anne and Marie. Originally, the name was used by Catholic families, usually in honour of the Virgin Mary and her legendary mother St. Anne. Its usage spread to German-speaking countries and became especially common in Bavaria.

Currently, Annemarie is the 361st most popular female name in Germany, (2011). Its South Slavic form of Anamarija is currently the 48th most popular female name in Croatia (2010) and the 79th most popular in Slovenia, (2010).

  • Anamarija Анамарија (Croatian/Macedonian)
  • Annemarie (Dutch/English/French/German/Limburgish/Scandinavian)
  • Amrei (Bavarian/Swiss-German)
  • Annamirl (Bavarian)
  • Annamaria (Italian)
  • Anna Maria (Polish/Romansch)
  • Ana María (Spanish)

Anne-Sophie

The name is a compound of Anne and Sophie. It is currently the 122nd most popular female name in Quebec, Canada (2010).

It is also used in Scandinavian countries and in German-speaking countries.

Its Spanish form is Ana Sofía. Scandinavian variations include Annesophie, Annesofie and Anne-Sofie.