[ 2 syll. an-na, ann-a ] The baby girl name Anna is pronounced as AANNaa (Dutch, Italian, Polish), AENae (English), or AANaa (German, Russian) †. Anna is used predominantly in Czech, English, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Scandinavian, Slavic, Spanish, Armenian, Breton, Catalan, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, Indian, and Japanese. Its origin is Old Greek and Hebrew. From Hebrew roots, its meaning is God was gracious, God has shown favor - in this context, Anna can be used in the Armenian, Breton, Catalan, Czech, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Scandinavian, and Slavic languages. A biblical name, it is derived from the word 'channah' with the meaning grace, favor. Anna (Latin and Old Greek) was originally the Greek or Latin form of Channah (Hebrew) or Hannah. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Hannah was the mother of the prophet Samuel. In the New Testament, Anna was a devout Jewish prophetess who prophesied about Jesus. Anna also appeared in Virgil's Aeneid (1st century BC) as the name of the sister of Dido, Queen of Carthage. According to an apocryphal gospel as well as tradition, Saint Anna was also the mother of the Virgin Mary; she was particularly venerated in the Byzantine Empire, which made the name popular there.
The name later spread to Russia, and then to France after King Henry I married the Russian princess Anna Yaroslavna (1024-1075) in the 11th century. The name was popular with the Russian and European royal families, and it was subsequently adopted in many European countries. Among English speakers, the name came into general use in the 18th century, together with the forms Ann and Anne. The name was later known from the titular heroine of the novel Anna Karenina (1873-1877) by the Russian writer Tolstoy.
In addition, Anna is a diminutive (Czech, English, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Scandinavian, Slavic, and Spanish) of the name Anastasia (English, German, Greek, and Russian).
Ahnna, Anacka, Anah, Anaise, Anaiss, Anays, Anayss, Ance, Anechka, Aneisha, Anessa, Aneta, Anetta, Anh, Anice, Anichka, Anie, Anikee, Aniki, Aninah, Anitchka, Anitia, Anitra, Aniya, Aniyah, Anki, Anku, Ann, Annah, and Annaka. Other English forms include the diminutives Anette (also used in French), Anique (also used in Dutch), Anita (also used in Spanish), Anneka (also used in German, and Scandinavian), Annette (also used in French), Anni (also used in Finnish, and German), Annie, Anny (also used in Polish), Nancy, and Vanya, and the spelling variant Ana (also used in Georgian, Hawaiian, Indian, Portuguese, Romanian, Slavic, and Spanish).
Variations used in other languages include Aina (Catalan and Hebrew), Anaël (French), Anaëlle (French), Anais (French), Anaïs (French), Anci (Hungarian), Andula (Czech), Andulka (Czech), Anicka (Czech), Anicuta (Romanian), Aniela (Polish), Anikke (Lithuanian), Anina (Czech and Italian), Anine (French), Anitte (German), Annchen (German), Annemiek (Dutch), Annemieke (Dutch), Annetta (Italian), Annick (Breton), Annicka (Scandinavian), Anniken (Scandinavian), Annikki (Finnish), Annina (German and Italian), Annine (German), Anninka (Russian), Annukka (Finnish), Annus (Hungarian), Annushka (Russian), and Annuska (Hungarian and Russian). Specific foreign variations include the diminutives Ane (Hawaiian, Scandinavian, and Tongan), Anett (French), Ania (Polish and Russian), Anica (Slavic and Spanish), Anika (Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), Anike (Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), Aniko (Hungarian), Aninka (Czech), Anja (German), Anka (German and Polish), Anke (Dutch and German), Annag (Scottish), Anneke (Dutch), Anneli (German), Annelie (German), Annely (German), Annet (Dutch), Annett (French), Annica (Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), Anniina (Finnish), Annik (Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), Annika (Dutch, Finnish, German, and Scandinavian), Annike (Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), Anouchka (French), Anouk (Dutch and French), Anouschka (German), Antje (Dutch, Frisian, and German), Anula (Polish), Anushka (Russian), Anusia (Polish), Anya (Latvian, Lithuanian, and Russian), Nanette (French), Nanni (German), and Vania (Russian).
See also the related forms, Annabella, Annabeth, Annalena, Annaliese, Annalise, Annamaria, Annasophia, Aubriana, Audriana, Ayana, Breeanna, Christianna, Jaquana, Jayanna, Jewelana, Jillanna, Kayanna, Keanna, Kianna, Marianna, Pollyanna, Quanna, Quiana, Rosanna, Saranna, Veanna, Verdianna, and Marianne.
Anna is a very popular baby girl name. At the peak of its usage in 1901, 1.936% of baby girls were named Anna. It had a ranking of #3 then. The baby name has experienced a loss in popularity since then, and it is used on a modest scale in recent times. In 2012, its usage was only 0.289% and its ranking #35, but it was nevertheless the 2nd most popular after Hannah, out of all girl names in its family. In 2012, it was more frequently used than Anna by 30% . The name Anna has been mainly given to baby girls, though it has also been used as a boy name in the last century. There were 173 times as many baby girls than boys who were named Anna in 1930.
† Pronunciation for Anna: AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; AE as in "at (AE.T)"
Details of famous persons named Anna:
Actress Anne Bancroft, born Anna Maria Louise Italiano 17 September 1931 - 6 June 2005, The Bronx, New York.
Actress Anna Massey, born Anna Raymond Massey 11 August 1937, Thakeham, West Sussex, England.
Artist Grandma Moses, born Anna Mary Robertson 7 September 1860 - 13 December 1961.
Author Anna Sewell, born 30 March 1820 - 25 April 1878, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.
Tennis Player Anna Kournikova, born 7 June 1981, Moscow, Russia.
TV Newscaster Anna Ford, born 2 October 1943, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England.
TV Personality Anna Nicole Smith, born Vicky Lynn Hogan 28 November 1967 - 8 February 2007, Mexia, Texas.
US First Lady Anna Harrison, born 25 July 1775 - 25 February 1864, Morristown, New Jersey.