I posted some photos of a beautiful stained glass window depicting St. Ann(e) on Instagram earlier this evening (here and here), and found it notable that “St. Ann” was written beneath her image, and then “In memory of Mrs. Anne Quinn” — both spellings on one window.
So I asked how many prefer Ann or Anne and have gotten several responses (Anne by a landslide, which was my grandmother’s spelling, and the one Anne Shirley vastly preferred, and the spelling I always unconsciously default to, though I’m delighted that one follower let us know her middle name is Ann, which is the spelling of my best friend from growing up’s middle name, and she’s an amazing person, so — good company!). I also posted a poll to Twitter and so far everyone’s voted for Anne (three people).
I looked them up, and Anne is the “French form of ANNA. In the 13th-century it was imported to England, where it was also commonly spelled Ann.” Indeed, Ann is described as the “English form of ANNE (1). In the English-speaking world, both this spelling and Anne have been used since the Middle Ages, though Ann became much more popular during the 19th century.” I checked out the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources to see if there was additional info, and discovered the name Tanneken! It’s a diminutive of Ann(e) — I’m loving it! It’s totally the kind of nickname/diminutive that I go nuts for.
Any of you who haven’t yet commented on IG or voted on Twitter — which spelling do you prefer and why?