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Ann, Anne (f) English and French forms of the Hebrew
name Hannah, which derives from a word meaning ‘favour, grace.’ Annie was the preferred form in the nineteenth century, and this still survives more vigorously in Scotland than in any other English-speaking country.

The Latinised Anna has long been used by Scottish parents, and was ranked 68th in 1935. By 1958 it had lost ground considerably in Scotland. It may well stage a come-back, as it has become the fashionable replacement for Ann/Anne in England and North America in the 1970’s. Hannah itself has also regained popularity since 1970, especially in England. The French diminutive Annette enjoyed a spell in the limelight during the 1950’s throughout Britain, but this name has since tended to fade away. Anita, a Spanish diminutive of the name Ann/Anne, followed a similar pattern.

Although a common name in its various forms throughout
the Christian world, the recent tendency in English-
speaking countries has been for Ann/Anne to be used as a middle name rather than a first name. It is easily the
commonest feminine middle name in England, the U.S.A.
and Canada. While it has never been a distinctively
Scottish Christian name, it is likely to become so, if
Scottish parents remain faithful to it.

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