We continue our week with a name who really seems like she should be popular – but isn’t.
First glance at Anelie and you can’t not draw comparisons to the current (2013) England&Wales top name: Amelia; especially when you consider Amelia’s french form of Amelie is only one letter different. But that one letter is all it takes. Whilst Amelie is riding off the curtails of Amelia, ranking at #52 in 2013, the name Anelie is not only a non-ranker, but a never-ranker, also. In my mind, that more than qualifies her for this series of offbeat names, since she’s so like such popular names – yet barely used in her own right.
The name Amelia first hit the top spot for girls in England&Wales in 2011, and speculation has it that her rise in popularity is due to Doctor Who companion Amelia ‘Amy’ Pond. Despite almost 1500 less girls being given the name in 2013, the name Amelia remains at the top spot.
Whilst both Amelia and Anelie share roots in the Germanic language, they do not share a common root. The name Amelia derives from the Germanic name Amala, which means work. Anelie on the other hand is a German diminutive of Anneliese; the name Anneliese is a combination of two names :
- Anna. She comes from the Hebrew name Channah, and means gracious.
- Liese. A Dutch and German diminutive of Elisabeth, who means my God is my oath.
Whilst the name Anelie herself does not rank, two slightly different respellings of her do (albeit not spectacular high up):
- Annelie. Not only a German diminutive of Anneliese, but also Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. She ranks at #4050.
- Anneli. A Finnish diminutive of Anna (not Anneliese) who ranks at #4739.
When it comes to nicknames, the obvious choices are Annie and Nell, who both enjoy reasonable mainstream success, ranking at #125 and #345, respectively. That lends a familiarity to the name.
I think the big thing that might hold people back from using Anelie is a worry that people will want to try to correct your babes names to Amelie. I think it’s a moot point, since only the other day I was on the phone to Virgin Media, and the customer services man decided that Louis suited me better than Lucy. Since I was more concerned with sorting out my broadband contract, I didn’t bother correcting him, although it’s bemusing to think that even my former Top 10 name can be misheard. But that could just be my accent, more than anything.
At the end of the day, Anelie remains an intriguing name that is desperately underused. If we can find it in our hearts to love the likes of Amelie and Amelia en masse, then surely there’s a place for Anelie, also.