- Meaning: The name Anya means “favored by God” when you translate it from Hebrew, Latin, or Greek. It means “strength” or “power” in Kurdish, and “rhythm” or “melody” in Berber or Amazigh.
- Gender: Anya is feminine in most cultures. In parts of Europe, Africa, and India, it is unisex.
- Origin: North African and Kurdish.
- Pronunciation: “Aan-yaa” or “Aan-yuh”
- Popularity: Anya is uncommon in the United States but popular across Europe, especially in Russia, Croatia, and other Slavic regions.
- Nicknames: Ana, Ann, Anna, Annie, Aya, Yaya, Yanyan.
- Variations: Aanya, Áine, Ania, Annia, Anja, Anna, Hannah.
- Namesakes: Anya Taylor-Joy, Anya Ayoung-Chee, Anya Corke, Anya Marina, Anya Singh.
What Does Anya Mean?
The name “Anya” has various meanings across different cultures. Strength, power, rhythm, and motherhood are some concepts associated with it (1). Anya is also a derivative of names that mean “grace,” “beauty,” and “favor,” among other sentiments.
In Muslim naming conventions, Anya means “limitless” and “inexhaustible.”
What Is the Origin of the Name Anya?
For many cultures, “Anya” is a derivative of the names “Anna” or “Hannah.” In turn, those names originate from the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages. Anne or Anna is the traditionally-believed name of the Virgin Mary, hence its popularity in Catholic and Christian regions.
However, just as many cultures have Anya as an original name. Parts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa developed it separately.
Anya is an ancient name in the Kurdish regions of Iran, dating back to at least 1000 AD (2). Berber culture, also featuring the name Anya, has existed since 10,000 BC in Morocco, Algeria, and other North African countries.
How Popular Is the Name Anya?
Anya, as a variation of “Anna” or “Hannah,” was popular among religious communities for centuries.
Anya and its variations are popular in Europe today, especially in Russia, Germany, Croatia, and other Eastern European countries. The name is fairly popular in the United States at present. However, “Anna,” “Anne,” and “Hannah” are more common.
The popularity of the name surged after the release of Anastasia, a 1997 animated film starring a character named Anya. In addition, several other real and fictional pop culture figures with the name have influenced the name’s relevance today.
How Do I Pronounce Anya?
Anya is pronounced like “aan-yaa” or “aan-yuh.” Some variations include “an-yuh,” “ehn-yuh” and “awn-yuh.” There aren’t many major mispronunciations of this name aside from “aan-ya,” which puts a strong vowel at the end.
The variation “Anja” is pronounced the same way. However, the Ania variation may be pronounced “aan-ee-aa” or “aan-ee-yuh.”
Is Anya a Boy or Girl Name?
Anya is primarily a female name in the United States. In India, Africa, and some European countries, it may be unisex.
The largely feminine nature of the name has to do with its meaning and origins. For many Catholic and Christian families, “Anya” comes from Saint Anne, also called the Virgin Mary.
In addition, ideas like “grace” and “beauty” that the name represents are considered feminine concepts by many cultures.
Variations of Anya
Here are some of the most common variations of the name Anya:
- Aanya (Sanskrit)
- Áine (Irish)
- Ania (Polish)
- Annia (Polish)
- Anja (Croatian, Bosnian, Danish, Swedish, and others)
- Anna (Latin, Greek, Hebrew)
- Hannah (Latin, Greek, Hebrew)
Nicknames for Anya
Some of the nicknames for Anya include:
Similar Names to Anya
Other names that are similar to Anya in sound, origin, or meaning include:
Middle Names for Anya
If you’re looking for a good middle name to go with Anya, here are some suggestions:
Sibling Names for Anya
Below are some sibling names that pair well with Anya:
Famous People Named Anya
The following are some of the famous people named Anya:
- Anya Ayoung-Chee: Winner of Project Runway Season 9.
- Anya Chalotra: British actress.
- Anya Corke: Chinese chess grandmaster.
- Anya Garnis: Siberian ballroom dancer.
- Anya Hindmarch: British fashion designer.
- Anya Kamenetz: American journalist.
- Anya Marina: American singer-songwriter.
- Anya Monzikova: Russian-American actress and model.
- Anya Seton: American romance author.
- Anya Singh: Indian Bollywood actress.
- Anya Shrubsole: English cricket player.
- Anya Taylor-Joy: British-Argentinian actress.
- Anya Teixeira: Ukrainian artist and street photographer.
Anya in Popular Culture
Anya is also a common name in popular culture. Here are some of the examples:
- Anya: Daughter of Magneto in Marvel Comics.
- Anya: Character from Star Trek: Next Generation.
- Anya Alstreim: Character from the anime series Code Geass.
- Anya Amasova: Character from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
- Anya Corazon: A superhero in Marvel Comics.
- Anya Forger: Character from the anime series Spy x Family.
- Anya Jenkins: Character from the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Anya MacPherson: Character from the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
- Anya Stroud: Character from the video game series Gears of War.
- Princess Anastasia, or Anya: Protagonist of the 1997 film Anastasia.
- Princess Ann, or Anya: Character from the 1953 romantic comedy film Roman Holiday.
If you have more questions about the name Anya, here are the answers to some of the frequently asked ones.
Is Anya a Biblical Name?
The name Anya derives from Chana, also translated as Hannah. Chana was the mother of the prophet Samuel in the Bible. The Bible describes Chana in the book of 1 Samuel.
The name Chana, and therefore Anya, means “God’s favor” and “grace.” Russia was among the first cultures to derive “Anya” from the name, keeping its meanings and religious significance.
Is Anya Short for Anastasia?
The name Anya isn’t a diminutive of Anastasia, but that idea became popular because of the 1997 film Anastasia. In the movie, the main character, Anya, was inspired by two real individuals. These were Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia and Anna Anderson.