Origin and Meaning of the Name Anna

Do you love it because it's short and full of history and tradition? If so, don't miss out on all the details behind the name Anna.
Origin and Meaning of the Name Anna
Marcela Alejandra Caffulli

Reviewed and approved by the pediatrician Marcela Alejandra Caffulli.

Last update: 18 May, 2023

Grandmother Anna, Aunt Anna, your mother’s mother… Is there any family inspiration for this choice or did you simply let yourself be carried away by its beauty? Undoubtedly, the name Anna still occupies the top positions among those chosen by parents.

If you want to know why and what makes Anna so special compared to the other options, we invite you to take note of her origin, her saint’s day, and many more details. All of them will undoubtedly fascinate you. Let’s get started!

The Origin and saint of Anna

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As the Universal Free Encyclopedia states, this name is of biblical origin, and according to the Old Testament, this was the name of Samuel’s mother. But not only that, but it also appears in the apocryphal Gospel of James (mid-second century) and it’s said that the mother of the Virgin Mary was also called this way.

For this reason, Anna is considered the patron saint of various cities and countries, as well as working women and miners. This is because Jesus is symbolized by gold and Mary, by silver.

Finally, according to the data provided by the calendar of saints, the saint of Anne is always celebrated on July 26. However, the year 2022 has no less than 13 different dates to celebrate her special joy:

  • January 4 (St. Anne Elizabeth Seton).
  • February 3 (St. Anne, martyr).
  • February 27 (St. Anne Line, martyr).
  • June 7 (St. Anne Garcia, virgin).
  • June 13 (St. Anne, confessor).
  • June 20 (Blessed St. Anne Line).
  • July 21 (St. Anne Wang, martyr).
  • July 26 (St. Anne, mother of Mary Most Holy).
  • September 1 (St. Anne, prophetess).
  • October 5 (St. Anne Schäffer, virgin).
  • October 6 (Blessed St. Anne Mogas).
  • October 22 (St. Anne, martyr).
  • December 8 (St. Anne, mother of Samuel).

Historical celebrities named Anna

Some courageous women who were full of personality carried this name with pride. For this reason, they’ll be remembered throughout history and can be a mirror in which your daughter will be reflected. Take note!

  • Anna the Prophetess, of the tribe of Asher: This is a biblical character mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, at the time of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
  • Ana of Mendoza: She was a Spanish noblewoman of the 16th century belonging to the House of Mendoza. She’s also known as “La tuerta” (the one-eyed woman) for having one of her eyes covered.
  • Ana María of Austria: She was the empress of the Holy Empire, and wife of the emperor Fernando III (1606-1646). Just like Ana of Mendoza, she also represents a strong and courageous woman.
  • Anne Frank: She’s recognized for being the young German Jewish girl who gave life to one of the most famous and heartbreaking diaries of the Second World War. Undoubtedly, a name to remember forever.

Famous people who have been given the name Anna

  • Princess Anna: No doubt, when your little girl grows up, she’ll love to know that she has the same name as one of the main characters of the movie Frozen. What better than feeling like a princess by sharing her name?
  • Ana Simón: A popular Spanish actress, presenter, and journalist with a great sense of humor.
  • Ana María Matute: One of the most emblematic writers and novelists of all time. Also, glorified with the Cervantes Prize, the Nadal Prize, and the Planeta Prize.

The Meaning of the name Anna

Maybe you don’t know it, but as you may have already imagined, Anna comes from Hebrew and alludes to the little girl who will always be “beneficent, compassionate” and, in addition, will always be “full of grace”.

In fact, the popularity and spirituality that this name exudes are so great that Sephardic parents don’t hesitate to name their girls Jana, which is its equivalent in the Semitic language.

Anna, a short and charming option with many alternatives to choose from

On the other hand, you should also know that you can find many variants of this option, because many countries have appreciated its beauty: Anabel, Anabella, Anita, Annie, Anais, Aina, Ana, Ani, Analia, Anne, Ania, Anate, Annelies, among others.

So, which of them do you like the most? Let us know in the comments!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.