Anna Name Meaning

baby girl

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What Does Anna Mean?

Are you seeking a traditionally feminine name that is consistently popular in the English-speaking world and beyond? Anna might be the name you are looking for.

The name Anna comes to us from the Hebrew word חַנָּה (Ḥannāh or ‎Chanah), meaning “grace” or “favor.” The ancient Romans also used Anna as a name meaning “the year’s cycle.”

  • Origin: When the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek, the name Hannah was rendered as Ἄννα (Hanna), which was then Latinized as Anna.
  • Gender: Anna is traditionally a feminine name. While boys have been named Anna, it is relatively rare.
  • Pronunciation: ANN-a

Although baby names are often separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex need not play any role in your name selection process. It’s important to select the name that you feel best suits your new baby.

How Popular Is the Name Anna?

Anna has consistently ranked among the top 100 baby names for girls in America since 1972, peaking at No. 19 in the year 2001. The latest statistics show Anna as the No. 68 girl's name in the U.S.

The name was even more popular a century ago, ranking among the top 10 girl names in America from 1880 to 1920. From 1880 to 1899, Anna was the second most popular name for girls in the U.S., the most popular being Mary. Anna dipped in popularity in the 1950s and 60s but rose again in the 70s and 80s.

The name Anna was occasionally used for boys in the early part of the 20th century, but from 1930 to the present this has been quite uncommon. Although the name Anna is typically used as a girl name, it can be used any way you see fit, as sex does not have to be a part of your name selection process.

Name Variations

The name Anne was originally a French version of Anna, and Ann an English spelling of Anne, but all three of these are now widely used in the English-speaking world. Also very common is the Spanish and Portuguese spelling Ana.

Some other common forms:

  • Anča (Romanian)
  • Ance (Latvian)
  • Anci (Hungarian)
  • Ane (Danish)
  • Ania (Russian)
  • Anni (Swedish)
  • Annu (Finnish)
  • Anouk (Dutch)
  • Chanah (Hebrew)
  • Hajna (Hungarian)
  • Hana (Czech)
  • Hania (Polish)
  • Hanna (German)

Many names have also developed based on diminutive forms of Anna/Ana, including:

  • Anita (Spanish)
  • Anja (Danish)
  • Anka (Russian)
  • Annetta (Italian)
  • Annette (French)
  • Annie (English)
  • Annika (Swedish)

Similar Names

Anna has also been mashed up or combined with other names, either with Anna/Ana at the beginning (Anabel/Anabelle/Annabelle, Annalee/Annaleigh, Ana Maria/Annemarie) or at the end (Julianna/Julianne, Mariana/Marianne/Maryanne, Pollyanna/Pollyanne, Rosanna/Roseanne).

More classic, traditionally feminine names:

  • Clara
  • Dorothy
  • Elizabeth
  • Emma
  • Grace
  • Helen
  • Lily
  • Margaret
  • Rose

More girl names starting with A:

  • Abigail
  • Alexandra
  • Alice
  • Amelia
  • Andrea
  • Ashley
  • Audrey
  • Aurora
  • Avery

Suggested Sibling Names

Potential names to pair with Anna are:

  • Adam
  • Arthur
  • Carolyn
  • Deborah
  • Henry
  • James
  • Mary
  • Matthew
  • Ruth
  • Sasha
  • Thomas

Famous People Named Anna

As a popular name, Anna is common among famous figures.

Historical Figures

  • Anna of Hohenstaufen (1230–1307), Empress of Nicaea
  • Anna of Austria (1528–1590), daughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
  • Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549–1580), Queen consort of Spain, wife of Philip II
  • Anne of Austria, Queen of Poland (1573–1598), Queen consort of Poland and Sweden, wife of Sigismund III Vasa
  • Anna of Tyrol (1585–1618), Holy Roman Empress
  • Anna de' Medici, Archduchess of Austria (1616–1676), Italian noble, Austrian royal consort
  • Anna of Russia (1693–1740), Empress of Russia
  • Anna Pavlovna of Russia (1795–1865), Queen consort of the Netherlands, wife of William II

Modern People

  • Anna Mae Bullock, American singer better known as Tina Turner
  • Anna Faris, American actress known for starring in the “Scary Movie” film series
  • Anna Freud (1895–1982), English psychoanalyst, the daughter of Sigmund Freud
  • Anna Gardner (1816–1901), American abolitionist, teacher, and poet
  • Anna Kendrick, American film and stage actress known for her roles in the “Twilight” and “Pitch Perfect” film series
  • Anna Kournikova, Russian tennis player
  • Anna Harriette Leonowens (1831–1915), English travel writer and educator whose memoir was the basis for the musical “The King and I”
  • Anna Margaret Collins, American singer-songwriter and actress known for her work on the soundtrack for the Disney Channel movie “Starstruck”
  • Anna Paquin, Canadian-born New Zealand actress known for her roles in the “X-Men” film series and the HBO TV series “True Blood”
  • Anna Rutgers van der Loeff (1910–1990), Dutch writer, author of the novels “Children on the Oregon Trail” and “Avalanche!”
  • Anna Schwartz (1915–2012), American economist and writer who worked at the National Bureau of Economic Research and contributed to “The New York Times”
  • Anna Nicole Smith (1967–2007), American model and actress who was the subject of the reality program “The Anna Nicole Show”
  • Anna Wise, Grammy Award-winning American singer known for her collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar

Fictional Characters

  • Anna, the sister of Queen Dido in Vergil’s “Aeneid”
  • Anna, Princess of Arendelle, a main character in Disney’s “Frozen” film series
  • Anna Karenina, the title character in an 1878 novel by Leo Tolstoy

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

1 Source
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  1. Social Security Administration. Popular Baby Names.

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.