She’s a traditional compound name, but she’s fallen out of favor in recent years.
Thanks to Stephanie for suggesting Annemarie as Baby Name of the Day.
The challenge with Annemarie, or Maryanne, or most compound names, is that they’re not recorded in a consistent fashion. Mary was the #1 name given to baby girls born in the US from 1880 into the 1940s, and again from 1953 to 1961. But doubtless many of those Marys answered to Mary Anne or Mary Sue or Mary Beth or Mary Ellen. Ann and Anne also spent decades in the Top 100. Anna was a Top Ten choice into the 1920s.
So while we know that Annemarie peaked at #500 in 1968, and only appeared in the US Top 1000 between the 1950s and 1980s, that says nothing about girls named Anne Marie or Anne-Marie, who would’ve been counted as just Anne, at least in the US.
Many compound names with Anne in the first place tend to lean German. Think of Annegret or Anneliese. While the French normally put Mari- first – and Marianne is the personifcation of the French state – there’s something vaguely français about this name. (Though Annemarie is as rare in Paris as she is in Portland.)
Maybe it is because of a few early bearers of the name:
- Born into the French royal family, Anne Marie d’Orléans was Queen of Sardinia and grand-mère to Louis XV of France;
- The Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey was born in the late eighteenth century. She’s remembered for helping priests hide during the French Revolution, for her humanitarian work in Africa, and ultimately for founding the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny.
More modern references include:
- Oscar-nominated French costume designer Anne-Marie Marchand;
- Anne-Marie Walters was a World War II spy, code name Colette;
- The current queen of Greece is Danish-born princess Anne-Marie;
- A minor X-Men character is called Anne-Marie Cortez;
- There’s also fictional Anne-Marie, Lady Byrne, from the BBC’s Holby City;
- Two actresses wear the name – Anne-Marie Duff was Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen, and Anne-Marie Johnson was Althea Tibbs on In the Heat of the Night.
Today, you might expect Annemarie to be your mom’s friend from church . But compound Ann- names are having a resurgence. The US Top 1000 for 2009 included Annabelle (#156), plus Annabel, Anabelle, Anabella, and Annabella, as well as Annalise (#648).
Other variants of Anneliese, are often heard on message boards, along with an infinite number of ways to spell Anna Lee, from Annaleigh to Annalie to Analy. (Need I add that this is good place to opt for the double n spelling?) Annabeth got a boost from the tween novels and film adaptation of Percy Jackson & the Olympians.
Overall, Annemarie is a smoosh composed of two flawless, evergreen names. She’s just the tiniest bit dated today, but she’s far from unwearable. In fact, with all of the Annabelles out there, she might be just a few years away from a comeback of her own.