Names from Children’s Literature – Anne

Anne Shirley is the talkative red-head featured in a series of books by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The first (and perhaps best-known) book in the series was Anne of Green Gables (1908).

Anne doesn’t like her name, incidentally. She considers it “unromantic,” and she asks Marilla Cuthbert to call her by the “perfectly elegant” name Cordelia instead:

I’ve always imagined that my name was Cordelia–at least, I always have of late years. When I was young I used to imagine it was Geraldine, but I like Cordelia better now. But if you call me Anne please call me Anne spelled with an E.

The name Anne comes from the Hebrew name Channah, meaning “favored” or “grace.” It was a consistently popular baby name for over a century, but its use has been decreasing since the mid-1990s.


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