Anne Marie d'Orléans, duchess of Savoy, future...
Anne Marie d'Orléans, duchess of Savoy, Image via Wikipedia


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.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I was named Annmarie after my great great Grandma. She was German French & Swiss. I am 44 yrs old so it is timeless to me.

  2. This is a family name for me. I would use it in the middle for sure! (I didn’t see that is one was my suggestion! *blush*)

  3. I have a college friend named Annmarie, who was a sweet-and uber Catholic. So this name screams “I am Catholic!” to me. Probably because Ann and Marie are both associated with the Virgin Mary. I would like this name if it weren’t for this association, I think. I am a lifelong Francophile, and this tres francais to me. I prefer Rosemarie or Annaliese.

  4. I actually know 2 little Annemaries. One is about 7, sister to Jack, Christian, and Caroline and the other is 1, little sister to Will. I don’t find it particularly exciting, but I appreciate it’s relative restraint, I suppose.

  5. My mother is named Mary Ann and my MIL’s middle name is Marie, so I’ve toyed with some variant of Anne Marie. I just not very excited about it. Part of my hesitation is that I known several people named Anne Marie, most of whom are around 35-45 years old and the name feels a bit dated.

    I not old enough to have watched “That Girl”, but my Godparents’ daughter was named Ann Marie, because of Marlo Thomas’ character on that show.

    1. That’s it, Julie – thanks! That’s why Annemarie peaked in 1968 – That Girl debuted in 1966. I couldn’t figure it out, but that’s the missing piece.

      And, of course, also why it sounds dated. Then again, Dooce did just name her younger daughter Marlo …

  6. Annemarie has been on my list for a bit but I can’t decide if I like it better together or as Anne Marie. Hubby prefers it split up b/c he doesn’t like Annemarie +another middle name.

  7. I wonder if Annemarie hasn’t fared as well as Annabelle and Anneliese/Annalise/etc. because it begins with “Anne” (ranked #544 nationally) instead of “Anna” (ranked #29 nationally). Also, a lot of names with a French feel (like Colette, Louise, Michelle) seem dated. Funny, though, because the three-syllable French names (Josephine, Madeleine, Vivienne) are doing quite well. Annemarie really wouldn’t be that surprising of a choice today. (I could easily imagine running into a preschooler at work called Annemarie.) I’m not overly fond of it for myself, though — the vibe I get from it is kind of like a prissy little ballerina girl (sort of like the character of Adele in “Jane Eyre”). Still, it’s pretty, and I could see it easily appealing to the parents who like Genevieve and Giselle and Vivienne. It would also be a great middle name, especially since variations on Anne and Mary are so common in most people’s families — it would be a good way to honor two relatives without resorting to multiple middles.

  8. I find Annemarie remarkably pretty, but the only person I know by the name, a friend’s mother, is somewhat . . . odd. So the name has become a bit tainted, although not entirely in a negative way. I mentioned a few days ago that my cousin just had a daughter. The name they gave her: Annalie. I still haven’t had a chance yet to discover the inspiration behind the name, but I imagine their German heritage has a small role to play (incidentally, their firstborn is Lukas).

    1. I do like Annalie, though I never know how to spell it – Annalee, Annaleigh, Annalie – they all seem equally valid.

      1. According to nameberry, Annalie and Annalee/Annaleigh are two different names. Annalie is a Finnish variant of Hannah, while Annalee is seen as a smush of Anna and Lee.

        1. That’s interesting … Anneli would’ve hit me as an invented spelling if not for your comment!