I have just been loving Anne lately. Between the sound, look, history, and literary connections, what’s not to like? True, I have been reading Persuasion by Jane Austen lately, and the main character is an Anne, but I doubt that’s the really reason I’ve been loving it so much. There are other Austen heroines I much prefer.

First, let’s look at the spelling and usage of Anne. The e spelling that I’ve been using is the French form (of Anna). It’s my favorite one. It looks complete and refined, where Ann looks dowdy and incomplete. The Ann spelling peaked in the 30s, whereas Anne peaked in the 1910s. I know they’re the same sound, but this difference might be why Anne looks much less dated than Ann. Of course, these numbers don’t tell the story of the little filler that could: Ann/e was the middle name du jour for so many women, over the ages. Even if it is family, it has the possibility of being  boring in the middle, much like Elizabeth, Nicole, Grace (to go through 3 cycles of filler). The only way to avoid it is to put it after some more unexpected choices. Right now, Anne is 517 and Ann is 786. With Anna at 25, why not give simple Anne another try?

Of course, this similarity could be a strike against sweet Anne. If everyone’s going to mistake her for an Anna, why try? Well, for the sake of Anne! It’s a beautiful, history rich name, and, for me at least, more pleasing than Anna. Anna gets nasal for me, while Anne avoids it with its 1 syllable simplicity.

Of course, the problem I have with Anne is the same problem I have with pretty much every one syllable name; it’s hard to pair with middles! The flow always seems off, and you can’t put a vowel name after Anne, lest it sound like an indefinite article instead of a name. Anne Margaret is out, too. 😛 So it’s a bit difficult to pair.

What do you guys think of Anne?

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