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.
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.
To Scottish Christian Names