- Meaning: Ana means “to be graceful,” and it’s very similar to the Hebrew phrase “חן” (pronounced “hen”), which is a term meaning “grace.”
- Gender: Ana is traditionally a feminine name.
- Origin: Ana originates from the Hebrew name “חַנָּה” which is often spelled Hannah or Chana. Its current spelling likely results from the widespread adoption of the Latin alphabet.
- Pronunciation: “AN-uh” or “AWN-uh”
- Popularity: This name is popular throughout the United States, Spain, and Portugal.
- Nicknames: Ana-Banana, Annabelle, Annie.
- Variations: Anja, Áine, Anka, Anya, Chanah, Hannah, Hanne.
- Namesakes: Ana Girardot (actress), Ana Ivanovic (athlete).
What Does Ana Mean?
The name Ana means “graceful” or “to be full of grace” (1).This is also true of its many permutations, including Anna, Anne, Hannah, and Hanne. That’s because these names all originate from the same Hebrew name and term, “חַנָּה.”
What Is the Origin of the Name Ana?
The name Ana originally comes from the Hebrew “חַנָּה” which is spelled Chana or Hannah. This name stems from the term “חן” (pronounced “hen” or “han”), which means “grace.”
The name transformed into its current variation after thousands of years. The adoption of the Latin alphabet during the rise of the Roman Empire is likely responsible for its present spelling, as the name Ana is very similar to the Latin prefix “-ana,” meaning against, before, and opposite.
This name appears in the Hebrew bible as Channah (or Hannah), the mother of Samuel (2).
How Popular Is the Name Ana?
The name Ana is popular throughout much of the world. It consistently ranks within the top 300 girls’ names in the United States.
But this name is far more prevalent in Slavic nations like Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Belarus. It’s within the top 10 most popular girls’ names in Croatia, meaning that Ana is more popular in Croatia than in any other country (3).
How Do I Pronounce Ana?
The name Ana is pronounced “AN-uh” or “AWN-uh.” Most people in the United States choose the former pronunciation (which sounds like the name Anna).
In contrast, those from Europe, the United Kingdom, and Spanish-speaking nations typically use the latter pronunciation (“AWN-uh”).
Is Ana a Boy or Girl Name?
Ana is traditionally a feminine name. Fewer than 10 boys are named Ana or Anna each year, though the name Ani (also spelled Anni) is considered a gender-neutral form.
Variations of Ana
There are quite a few variations of Ana, and they typically differ based on language and nationality. Some of these variations include:
- Áine (Irish)
- Anja (Danish)
- Anka (Russian)
- Anya (Nigerian)
- Anna (English)
- Chana (Hebrew)
- Hannah (Hebrew)
- Hanne (German)
Nicknames for Ana
Before choosing a name, it’s crucial to consider nicknames. Though the name Ana is relatively short (making it less likely to have nicknames), it’s associated with several popular nicknames, all of which make the name slightly longer!
These nicknames include:
- Ana Banana
Similar Names to Ana
There are several names similar to Ana in terms of origin and meaning. A handful of the most notable examples include:
Middle Names for Ana
Are you searching for a middle name that sounds great with the first name Ana? If so, you might want to consider the following choices:
Sibling Names for Ana
Finding the perfect sibling names to complement Ana aren’t challenging, no matter the gender of your child. Some top-notch options include:
Famous People Named Ana
There are quite a few famous people who have Ana as a first name. Some examples include:
- Ana Cardus: Mexican dancer and ballerina.
- Ana Cortés: Chilean artist and the first painter to win the National Prize of Art of Chile.
- Ana de Armas: Cuban actress most known for portraying Carolina Leal Solís in the 2007 Spanish television show El Internado.
- Ana Družić: Croatian athlete best known for playing soccer for ŽNK Viktorija Slavonski Brod, a women’s soccer club.
- Ana Girardot: French actress best known for portraying Lucy in the 2004 French television show Les Revenants.
- Ana Ivanovic: Serbian tennis player who was the top tennis player in 2008.
- Ana Matronic: American vocalist and a member of the “Scissor Sisters.” She is also known as Ana Kirby.
- Ana Nogueira: American actress best known for portraying Penny Ares on the 2009 television show The Vampire Diaries.
- Ana Simina Grigoriu: Romanian-Canadian electronic dance music (EDM) musician.
Ana in Popular Culture
Ana (and its variation, Anna) is found in several books, television, and movies. Here are a few notable instances of the name throughout popular culture:
- Ana Amari: Character and protagonist from the 2016 video game Overwatch, voiced by Aysha Selim.
- Ana Bray: Character from the 2017 video game Destiny 2, voiced by Erika Ishii.
- Ana Khesarian: Character from the 2016 film The Promise, portrayed by Charlotte Le Bon.
- Anna: Character from the 2013 animated Disney film Frozen, voiced by Kristen Bell.
- Anna Valerious: Character from the 2004 film Van Helsing, portrayed by Kate Beckinsale.
Let’s touch on a few of the most frequently asked questions people have about the name Ana.
How Old Is the Name Ana?
It’s challenging to determine the exact age of the name Ana. After all, the fact that it’s a two-syllable name derived from two of the earliest phonetic sounds in human language could indicate that it existed long before the Hebrew people.
However, most historical accounts tie this name to the birth of Judaism, as the name Ana (and its variation, Anna) is a permutation of the Hebrew girl’s name Channa (which has also transformed into the more English-friendly variant, Hannah).
So, the name Ana could be more than 3,500 years old, though its original form (closer to Chana) is different than its modern versions.
When Was the Name Ana Most Popular?
In the United States, the name Ana climbed the ranks between 1988 and 1992, reaching its peak popularity in 1991 (when it ranked within the top 150 girls’ names).
Though Ana is slightly less popular nowadays, Ana is still a popular first name in the Midwest and Southwest regions of the United States.
It’s also enjoyed renewed popularity in Europe. But the other spellings of this name (including Anna and Hannah) are more prevalent in countries with a large English-speaking population.