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Updated May 17, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

What does Anna mean and stand for?


  • Hebrew: Gracious, merciful; gift of God's favor
  • Latin: Favor, grace
  • Dutch: Bringer of peace; hope

Gender: Female

Syllables: 2

Pronunciation: The name Anna is pronounced an-uh

The name Anna has Biblical origins, derived from the Hebrew name Hannah, which means "gracious" or "merciful." It was widely used in ancient Rome and has maintained its popularity throughout history, especially in Christian cultures, due to Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary. The Latin form of Hannah, Anna derives from the Hebrew name chanan.

How Popular Is The Name Anna

Family name origins & meanings

Of uncertain origin: it occurs occasionally as a surname in England and Ireland, Italy, and Hungary, most probably being derived from the female personal name Anna, which comes through Latin and Greek from the Biblical Hebrew name Hanna.

Famous people with this first name

Anna in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Anna from Frozen - A spirited and optimistic princess searching for her estranged sister, Elsa.
  • Anna Bates from Downton Abbey - A kind and loyal lady's maid who strives to uphold justice and integrity.
  • Anna from Anna Karenina - The tragic heroine of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, who struggles with her desires and societal norms.
  • Anna Scott from Notting Hill - A famous actress who unexpectedly falls in love with a bookstore owner.
  • Anna Milton from Supernatural - A fallen angel who regains her memories and embarks on a quest to reclaim her grace.

Popularity of the Name Anna

According to the Social Security Administration, Anna has been a perennial favorite, consistently appearing within the top 100 baby names in the U.S. for many decades. Its enduring appeal can be attributed to its classic and elegant simplicity, which crosses cultural and linguistic boundaries. 

Historically, Anna is a name with deep roots, often associated with grace and compassion. Anna was embraced by Europeans due to Saint Anna, the Virgin Mary's mother.

Notable figures named Anna include Anna Pavlova, the famed Russian ballerina whose legacy continues to influence the world of dance today, and Anna Karenina, the titular character of Leo Tolstoy's epic novel, highlighting the name's literary significance. In contemporary times, actresses like Anna Kendrick, Anna Friel, and Anna Paquin bring a modern charm to the name, while fictional characters such as Anna from Disney's Frozen have introduced the name to a new generation, further solidifying its popularity among young parents and children alike.

Where Is the Name Anna Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Anna

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Ann
  • Annie

Anna Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

People Who Like the Name Anna Also Like

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