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Israelite Names: Names from Chaanach.
From History of Christian Names, by Charlotte M. Yonge, 1884.

Perhaps no word has given rise to a more curious class of derivatives than this from the Hebrew Chaanach, with the aspirate at each end, signifying favour, or mercy, or grace.

To us it first becomes known in the form of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, and it was also used with the Divine syllable in the masculine, as Hananeel, Hanani, Hananiah, or Jehohanan, shortened into Johanan.

Exactly the same names were current among the Phœnicians, only we have received them through a Greek or Latin medium.  Anna, the companion sister of Dido, was no doubt Hannah, and becoming known to the Romans through the worship paid to her and Elisa by the Carthaginians, was, from similarity of sound, confused by them with their Italian goddess, Anna Perenna, the presiding deity of the circling year (Annus).  Virgil, by-and-by, wove the traditions of the foundation of Carthage, and the death of Dido, into the adventures of Æneas; and a further fancy arose among the Romans that after the self-destruction of Dido, Anna had actually pursued the faithless Trojan to Italy, and there drowned herself in the river Numicius, where she became a presiding nymph as Anna Perenna!  A fine instance of the Romans' habit of spoiling their own mythology and that of every one else!  Oddly enough, an Anna has arisen in Ireland by somewhat the same process.  The river Liffey is there said to owe its name to Lifé, the daughter of the chief of the Firbolg race being there drowned.  In Erse, the word for river was Amhain, the same as our Avon; but on English tongues Amhain Lifé became Anna Liffey, and was supposed to be the lady's name; another version declared that it was Lifé, the horse of Heremon the Milesian, who there perished.

Hanno, so often occurring in the Punic wars, was another version of the Hebrew Hanan, and the far-famed Hannibal himself answered exactly to the Hananiah or Johanan of the Holy Land, saying that it was the grace of Baal that unhappily he besought by his very appellation.  The Greeks called him Annibas, and the Romans wavered between Annibal and Hannibal as the designation of their great enemy.  In the latter times of Rome, when the hereditary prænomina were discarded, Annibal and Annibalianus were given among the grand sounds that mocked their feeble wearers, and Annibale lingered on in Italy, so as to be known to us in the person of Annibale Caracci.

It is a more curious fact, however, that Hannibal has always been a favourite with the peasantry of Cornwall.  From the first dawn of parish registers Hannyball is of constant occurrence, much too early, even in that intelligent county, to be a mere gleaning from books; and the west country surname of Honeyball must surely be from the same source.  A few other eastern names, though none of them as frequent or as clearly traced as the present, have remained in use in this remote county, and ought to be allowed due weight in favour of the supposed influence of the Phœnician traders over the races that supplied them with tin and lead.

The usual changes were at work upon the Jewish names Hannah and Hananiah.  Greek had made the first ’Anna, the second Ananias, or Annas.  Indeed Hannah is only known, as such, to the readers of the English version of the Bible, from whom the Irish have taken it to represent their native Aine (joy).  All the rest of Europe calls her, as well as the aged prophetess in the temple, Anne.

The apocryphal Gospels which gave an account of the childhood of the Blessed Virgin, called her mother Anna, though from what tradition is not known.  St. Anna was a favourite with the Byzantines from very early times; the Emperor Justinian built a church to her in 550, and in 710 her relics were there enshrined.  From that time forward Greek damsels, and all those of the adjoining nations who looked to Constantinople as their head, were apt to be christened Anna.  In 988, a daughter of the Emperor Basil married and converted Vladimir, Grand Prince of Muscovy, whence date all the numerous Russian Annas, with their pretty changes of endearment.  The grand-daughter of this lady, Anne of Muscovy, sister of Harald Hardrada's Elisif, carried her name to France, where it grew and flourished.

St. Anne became the patron saint of Prague, where a prodigious festival is yearly holden in her honour, and great are the rejoicings of all the females who bear her name, and who are not a few.  It was from Prague that the Bohemian princess, Anne of Luxemburg, brought it to England, and gave it to her name-child, Anne Mortimer, by whom it was carried to the house of York, then to the Howards, from them to Anne Boleyn, and thereby became an almost party word in England.

Abroad it had a fresh access of popularity from a supposed appearance of the saint to two children at Auray, in Brittany, and not only was the Bretonne heiress, twice Queen of France, so named, but she transferred the name to her god-sons, among whom the most notable was the fierce Constable, Anne de Montmorency.  Her Italian god-daughter, Anna ďEste, brought it back to the House of Guise, and shortly after a decree from Rome, in 1584, made the name more popular still by rendering the feast obligatory, and thenceforth arose the fashion of giving the names of the Blessed Virgin and her mother in combination, as Anne Marie, or Marianne.  This is usually the source of the Marianne, Mariana, or Manna, so often found on the continent; in England, Marianne is generally only a corruption of Marion, and Anna Maria is in imitation of the Italian.

Hardly susceptible of abbreviation, no name has undergone more varieties of endearment, some forms almost being treated like independent names, such as the Annot of Scotland, an imitation of the French Annette, showing the old connection between France and Scotland; and in the present day, there has arisen a fashion of christening Annie, probably from some confusion as to the spelling of Ann or Anne.

All these Annes can distinctly be traced from the Byzantine devotion to the mother of the Blessed Virgin spreading westwards, and at Rome magnified by Mariolatry.  There are however what seem like forms of Anne in the West before the adoption of the name from Russia and Bohemia.  Welsh Angharawd (far from shame), which is treated as Anne's equivalent.  The Scottish Annaple and Annabella are likewise too early to come from St. Anne, and are probably either from Ainè (joy), a favourite name in early Gaelic times, or from the Teutonic Arnhilda—Eagle heroine.

 

English.
Hannah
Anna
Anne
Nan
Nancy
Nanny
Scotch.
Hannah
Anne
Nannie
Annot
French.
Anne
Annette
Nanette
Nanon
Ninon
Ninette
Nichon
Nillon
Spanish.
Ana
Anita
Italian.
Anna
Annica
Nanna
Ninetta
German.
Anne
Annchen
Dutch.
Anna
Antje
Naatje
Annechet
Danish.
Anna
Annika
Swiss.
Anne
Annali
Nann
Nanneli
Bavarian.
Anne
Annerl
Nannerl
Bohemian.
Ana
Ancika
Anca
Russian.
Anna
Anninka
Anjuska
Anjutka
Annuschka
Servian.
Anna
Annuschka
Aneta
Anica
Anicsika
Anka
Lusatian.
Anna
Hanna
Hanzyzka
Hancicka
Lettish.
Anne
Annusche
Lithuanian.
Ane
Anikke
Annze
Hungarian.
Anna
Nani
Panni
Panna
Polish.
Anna
Anusia

Annabella by no means is to be explained to mean fair Anna, as is generally supposed.  Bellus did, indeed, signify handsome in Latin, and became the beau and belle of French, but the habit of putting it at the end of a name, by way of ornament, was not invented till the late period of seven-leagued names of literature.  Annys, or Anisia, is a separate name with a saint in the Greek calendar, and was used in England from the Norman Conquest down at least to 1690.  Mr. Bardsley thinks, however, that this was really Agnes; and certainly the unfortunate Scotchwoman, who was supposed to have raised the tempest before the wedding of James VI., is called indifferently Agnes or Annis Simpson.

Ἰώαννα, or Ἰαννης, for the masculine, Ἰώαννα for the feminine, were already frequent among the natives of Judea, though they appear not to have been used in the family of Zacharias when he was commanded so to call his son.

The Evangelist who was surnamed Mark, and Joanna the wife of Herod's steward, both had received their names independently, and thus Joannes became a most universal baptismal name, given from the first in the East and at Rome.  There were many noted bishops so called in the fourth century, the earliest time when men began to be baptized in memory of departed saints, rather than by the old Roman names.  The first whose name is preserved is Joannes of Egypt, one of the hermits of the Thebaïd; the next is the great deacon of Antioch, and patron of Constantinople, Joannes Chrysostomos (John of the golden mouth), whose Greek surname, given him for his eloquence, has caused him to be best known as St. Chrysostom, and has perpetuated in Italy, Grisostomo; in Spain, Crisostomo; whilst the Slavonian nations translate the name and make it Zlatoust.

At Constantinople, the patriarch St. Joannes the Silent, at Rome, the martyr Pope St. Johannes I., at Alexandria, the beneficent patriarch St. Joannes the Almoner, all renewed the popularity of their name.  The last mentioned was originally the patron of the order of Hospitallers, though when these Franks were living at enmity to the Greek Church, they discarded him in favour of the Baptist.  Each of the two Scriptural saints had two holidays,—the Baptist on the 27th of December, as well as on the 6th of May, in remembrance of his confession in the cauldron of boiling oil.

Thus the festivals were so numerous that children had an extra chance of the name, which the Italians called Giovanni, or for short, Vanni; and the French, Jehan.

It was still so infrequent at the time of the Norman Conquest, that among the under-tenants in Domesday Book, to 68 Williams, 48 Roberts, and 28 Walters, there are only 10 Johns, but it was flourishing in the Eastern Church, where one of the Komneni was called, some say from his beauty, others from the reverse, Kaloioannes, or handsome John, a form which was adopted bodily by his descendants, the Komneni of Trebizond.

It had come into Ireland at first as Maol-Eoin (shaveling, or disciple of John), the Baptist sharing with St. Patrick the patronage of the island; but Shawn or Seoin soon prevailed in Ireland, as did Ian in Scotland; but not till the Crusades did French or English adopt it to any great extent, or the English begin to Anglicize it in general by contracting the word and writing it John.

The misfortunes of the English Lackland and of the French captive of Poictiers caused a superstition that their was an ill-omened royal name, and when John Stuart came to the Scottish throne, he termed himself Robert III., without, however, averting the doom of his still more unhappy surname.  It did not fare amiss with any Castilian Juan or Portuguese Joâo; and in Bohemia a new saint arose called Johanko von Nepomuk, the Empress's confessor, who was thrown from the bridge of Prague by the insane Emperor Wenzel for refusing to betray her secrets.

As St. Nepomucene, he had a few local namesakes, who get called Mukki or Mukkel.  The original word is said to mean helpless.

Double names, perhaps, originated in the desire to indicate the individual patron, where there were many saints of similar name, and thus the votaries of the Baptist were christened Gian Battista, or Jean Baptiste, but only called by the second Greek title—most common in Italy—least so in England.

 
English.
Baptist
French.
Baptiste
Batiste
Spanish.
Bautista
Italian.
Battista
Swiss.
Bisch
Bischli
Polish.
Baptysta

The Illyrians, using the word for christianizing instead of that for baptizing, make the namesakes of the Baptist Kerstiteli.

It was probably in honour of St. John the Evangelist's guardianship of the Blessed Virgin that her name became commonly joined with his.  Giovanni Maria Visconti of Milan, appears in the fifth century, and Juan Maria and Jean Marie soon followed in Spain and France.

Johann was the correct German form, usually contracted into Hans; and it was the same in Sweden, where Johann I., in 1483, was known as King Hans; and in Norway, Hans and Jens, though both abbreviations of Johan, are used as distinct names, and have formed the patronymics, Hanson and Jensen, the first of which has become an English surname.  Ivan the Terrible, Tzar of Muscovy, was the first prince there so called, though the name is frequent among all ranks, and the sons and daughters are called Ivanovitch and Ivanovna.

Rare as patronymic surnames are in France, this universal name has there produced Johannot, while the contraction is Jeannot, answering to the Spanish Juanito and the patronymic Juanez.  Jan is very frequent in Brittany, where the diminutive is Jannik.

Jock is the recognized Scottish abbreviation, and it would seem to have been the older English one according to the warning to Jockey of Norfolk, at Bosworth.  Jack sounds much as if the French Jacques had been his true parent; but "sweet Jack Falstaff, old Jack Falstaff" has made it alienable from John.

Though Joanna was a holy woman of the Gospel, her name did not come into favour so early as the male form, and it is likely that it was adopted rather in honour of one of the St. Johns than of herself, since she is not canonized; and to the thirty feasts of the St. Johns, in the Roman calendar, there are only two in honour of Joannas, and these very late ones, when the name was rather slipping out of fashion.  Its use seems to have begun all at once, in the twelfth century, in the south of France and Navarre, whence ladies called Juana in Spanish, Jehanne or Jeanne in France, came forth, and married into all the royal families of the time.  Our first princess so called was daughter to Henry II., and married into Sicily; and almost every king had a daughter Joan, or Jhone, as they preferred spelling it.  Joan Makepeace was the name given to the daughter of Edward II., when the long war with the Bruces was partly pacified by her marriage; and Joan Beaufort was the maiden romantically beloved by the captive James I.   The Scots, however, usually called the name Jean, and adopted Janet from the French Jeanette, like Annot from Annette.

The various forms and contractions are infinite:

 
English.
John
Johnny
Jack
Jenkin
Scotch.
John
Johnnie
Jock
Welsh.
Jan
Jenkin
Breton.
Jan
Jannik
Gaelic.
Ian
Erse.
Shawn
Eoin
German.
Johannes
Hans
Hanschen
Danish.
Johan
Janne
Jens
Hans
Jantje
Dutch.
Jan
Jantje
Belgian.
Jehan
Jan
Hannes
Hanneken
Hanka
Bavarian.
Johan
Hansl
Swiss.
Johan
Han
Hansli
Hasli
French.
Jean
Jeanno
Jehan
old
Spanish.
Juan
Juanito
Portuguese.
Joao
Joaninho
Joanico
Joaozinho
Italian.
Giovanni
Gianni
Gian
Giovanoli
Giannino
Vanni
Nanni
Gianozzo
Modern Greek.
Ιωαννης
Jannes
Giannes
Giankos
Giannakes
Joannoulos
Nannos
Russian.
Ivan
Vanja
Vanka
Ivanjuschka
Vanjuschka
Vanjucha
Polish.
Jan
Janek
Bohemian.
Jan
Slavonic.
Jovan
Ivan
Janez
Illyrian.
Jovan
Jovica
Jvo
Jveica
Jvic
Lettish.
Janis
Janke
Ans
Ansis
Lithuanian.
Jonas
Ancas
Jonkus
Jonkuttis
Enselis
Enskis
Esthonian.
Johan
Hannus
Ants
Hungarian.
Janos
Jani
Lapp.
Jofan
Jofa

Jessie, though now a separate name, is said to be short for Janet.  Queen Joans have been more uniformly unfortunate than their male counterparts.  Twice did a Giovanna reign in Naples in disgrace and misery; and the royalty of poor Juana la Loca in Castille was but one long melancholy madness.  There have, however, been two heroines, so called, Jeanne of Flanders, or Jannedik la Flamm, as the Bretons call her, the heroine of Henbonne, and the much more noble Jeanne la Pucelle of Orleans.  The two saints were Jeanne de Valois, daughter of Louis XI., and discarded wife of Louis XII., and foundress of the Annonciades, and Jeanne Françoise de Chantel, the disciple of St. François de Sales.

Johanna is a favourite with the German peasantry, and is contracted into Hanne.  It was not till the Tudor period, as Camden states, that Jane came into use; when Jane Seymour at once rendered it so fashionable that it became the courtly title; and Joan had already in Shakespeare's time descended to the cottage and kitchen.

 
English.
Johanna
Joanna
Joan
Jane
Jone
Jenny
Janet
Janetta
Scotch.
Joanna
Jean
Jeanie
Jenny
Janet
Jessie
German.
Johanna
Hanne
Dutch.
Jantina
Janotje
Jantje
French.
Jehanne
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannetton
Gaelic.
Seonaid
Spanish.
Juana
Juanita
Portuguese.
Jovanna
Johannina
Italian.
Giovanna
Giovannina
Russian.
Ivanna
Zaneta
Anniuscka
Polish.
Joanna
Hanusia
Anusia
Slovak.
Jovana
Janesika
Ivancica
Illyrian.
Ivana
Jovana
Jovka
Ivka
Bulgarian.
Ivanku
Lusatian.
Hanka
 

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