The most famous bearer of the name Annie is fictional. The comic strip turned Broadway musical has twice been re-invented for the big screen.
Most recently Quvezhané Wallis played the optimistic orphan – now a foster kid. Jamie Foxx became a re-imagined Daddy Warbucks, now named Will Stacks. In real life, Jamie is dad to daughter Annalise.
Annie names are everywhere.
Saints and queens have answered to Ann, including the mother of the Virgin Mary. It feels spare and elegant, whether spelled the English Ann or the French Anne-with-an-e. Anne of Green Gables insisted on the latter, but also asked to be called Cordelia, because “Anne is such an unromantic name.”
Annie feels a little different. A Top 100 name from the nineteenth century into the 1940s, it even appeared in the US Top Ten for a few years. Annie reads casual and sparky. There’s the comic strip character, but also Annie Oakley, fictionalized in Annie Get Your Gun.
Annie names go farther than Ann and Anne, offering even more inventive ways to reach the nickname.
OBVIOUS ANNIE NAMES
ANN and ANNE
The two spellings trade places over the years, with Ann on top sometimes, and trailing at others. Strictly speaking, the ‘e’ version is French, but Ann, Anne, Annie, and other forms can be found in English from the Middle Ages through the present day. In recent decades, Anne leads in the US.
ANA and ANNA
Another subtle spelling difference separates two obvious Annie names. The Old Testament Channah became Hannah, and eventually Anna, especially in the New Testament. Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina makes it literary, while Disney’s Frozen places it among the Disney princesses. Spell it Ana, and the name leans Spanish and Portuguese, though Ana is also preferred in some southern European languages.
While the early years of Social Security data aren’t terribly reliable, women have been named just Annie over the years. In the 2014 version of the story, the title character’s legal name is Annie Bennett.
Plenty of languages create diminutives – affectionate, nickname forms – by adding syllables. Think of -ita and -ette. Instead of lengthening, American English speakers typically reduce names. Many of these options started out as nicknames in other languages. But it would be easy to imagine these serving as formal names for Annie instead.
Another 1950s and 60s favorite, Anita might appeal for another reason. It’s the feminine form of Sanskrit name Anit.
Annika is Swedish, but this name can also be spelled Anika and even Anica. But it also claims Sanskrit roots, especially when spelled with a single K, making it another cross cultural option. Pro golfer Annika Sorenstam, actor Anika Noni Rose of Dreamgirls and The Princess and the Frog fame are just two familiar figures.
Part-Edgar Allan Poe tragedy, part-pretty, Annabelle is an easy way to get to Annie … or Bella or Belle. The -elle spelling is more popular today, but Annabel had a good run, too.
An Anne-Elizabeth mash-up, Annabeth makes this list thanks to the Percy Jackson series. As fans of the YA series know, she’s the daughter of Athena.
An obvious smoosh of two classic girl names, with a twist: Anna means grace.
ANNALEE, ANALEE, ANNALIE, ANNELIE, ANNELI, and ANELIE
Depending on the spelling, this name can feel like an Anna-Lee combination, or maybe an elaboration in the key of Rosalie. Germans use Annelie as a nickname for Anneliese. Of course, spelling options abound.
ANNALISE, ANNELIESE, ANNELISE and ANNALISA
Anneliese comes from German, a smoosh of Anne and Elizabeth. Phonetically, Anneliese sounds more like Annalisa, but most American parents prefer a three-syllable pronunciation: Annalise. Viola Davis played Annalise – three syllables – for six seasons in How to Get Away With Murder.
ANNAMARIE, ANAMARIA, ANNEMARIE, and MARIANNE
It doesn’t get much more classic than Ann and Mary, and the two names have been combined many ways over the ages. At five syllables, Annamaria is among the longest of girl names, but still feels easy to pronounce.
While Annarose isn’t a terribly common smoosh among Annie names, it works beautifully – as a first or a middle.
Shove Anne and Margaret together, drop a few syllables, and Annegret is the result. It’s used in German, as well as Scandinavian languages.
A French form of Anne, Anaïs Nin made it familiar. It’s more common in France, but American parents are warming to the name lately, too. Pronounce it ah nah EES.
Also used in French, as well as Dutch, Anouk sounds distinctive but accessible in English. You might recognize it thanks to French actor Anouk Aimee.
Another Dutch entry in the Annie names category, formed by adding the popular -ke ending to Anne.
ANYA, ANJA, and ANNUSHKA
Anya and Anja appear in many European languages, while Annushka is exclusive to Russian. Like Annie, they’re often nicknames in their own right. Of course, that probably makes them equivalents of Annie, rather than formal name options.
NOT EXACTLY ANNES
Lots of girls’ names include the ann sound, but aren’t necessarily Annie names. Here are just a few of the more popular options.
A Greek name meaning resurrection, Anastasia brings to mind a doomed Russian princess. And, of course, there’s the animated musical with a much happier ending, very loosely based on her life.
A feminine form of Andrew, Andrea peaked around 1980. But Annie works every bit as well as Andi or Drea if you’re after a nickname to fresh things up.
While we rarely think of it, any of the feminine forms of Anthony could easily become Annie names.
ANNIE NAMES FROM THE LAST SYLLABLE
Too many names end with -ana or -anna to count, and they could all easily become Annie names.
ARIANA and ARIANNA
Chart-topping favorites of recent years, Ariana and Arianna fit this pattern perfectly.
Feminine forms of John, Gianna and Joanna easily shorten to Annie.
JULIANA, JULIANNA and JULIANNE
Any of the longer forms of Julia lend themselves to this nickname.
LEANNA, LIANNA, LYANNA
Call them the opposite of Annalee and company. Smoosh Lee and Anna in reverse order, and you’ll arrive at this set of names. The Lyanna spelling, of course, is a little different – it’s pronounced with an ‘eye’ instead of an ‘ee’ sound, and feels very Game of Thrones.
A place name that just happens to end with the Anna sound, that’s probably why Savannah has long felt like a wearable choice for a daughter.
Because of that -anna ending, Susanna fits on this list.