Cool Name of the Week: Anne

Anne Frank became front-page news once again this week, as douchey teen heartthrob Justin Bieber toured the home where she and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II, and wrote this ridiculous message in the guest book: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.” The internet exploded with people calling the pop star a “shallow doofus”—and worse. (And the criticism was probably well deserved. After all, a girl as deep as Anne Frank would have had better taste than that—Adele at the very least.)

But in all seriousness, the name Anne deserves more respect than it’s getting. It’s currently on the decline, and will likely fall out of the top 600 names for girls when the Social Security Administration releases the current top 1000 names next month. It’s an ancient name that means “grace,” and comes straight from the Bible—it’s the name of Mary’s sainted mother. (In other words, Jesus‘ earthly grandmother.)

Anne’s one of those names that’s truly timeless—it’s been the name of royalty many times over (hence the beautiful Queen Anne’s lace flowers), including two of Henry VIII’s wives. It’s appeared in Shakespeare and in the beloved classic children’s books, Anne of Green Gables. And countless landmark ladies sport the name (besides Anne Frank, of course)—there’s Oscar winners Anne Hathaway and Anne Bancroft, and author Anne Rice, just to name a few.

It’s been a middle name staple for a long time—but even there, it’s starting to lose ground. It’s a great choice to pair with a longer middle name or last name, or as a nice, short middle name paired with a more elaborate name. I like it as a middle name with Melanie or Charlotte, or as a first name paired with Scarlett, Rosalind or Juniper in the second spot.

What do you think of the name Anne? Is it worthy of a comeback? Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com

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  1. by Kristen

    On April 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    My daughter’s middle name is Ann. We named her after my husband’s mother who’s middle name is also Ann. I love it and am sad to hear that it’s popularity is declining. I think it is timeless and classic.

  2. by classic baby namesBaby Name Blog - Nameberry

    On April 21, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    [...] – In Name Only featured Anne, inspired by tweenage heartthrob Justin Bieber’s awkward tour of Anne Frank’s [...]