In the discussion of Anna and Hanusia, etc.
> You are correct, but let's see what
> additional insights Fred
Oh, jeez, no pressure or anything....
> Aren't the versions of Anna that begin with
> H, like Hana, Hanka,
> Hanusia, etc., derived from Chana (Khana in
> Ukrainian, etc.), where
> Khana/Chana is the Hebrew name of Mary's mother,
> who in most
> languages is called Anna?
The names that take the forms Anna, Hannah, Chana,
Khana, etc. all come ultimately from the Hebrew
name Hannah, where the first H is guttural and the
final H is more or less silent. That word means
"grace" or "mercy" (from the same basic root we
see in the Hebrew name Yohanan, which became John
in English, Johann in German, Jan in Polish, and
Ivan in Russian and Ukrainian!) For Christians,
the name is indeed most closely associated with
Apparently the original guttural H in Hebrew was
retained by Jews, because of course they were more
familiar with the name as used in the Hebrew
Bible. Thus Jews in Poland/Russia/Ukraine tended
to use the form Chana or Khana, depending on how
that sound is spelled in a particular language (in
the Cyrillic alphabet it's represented with the
letter that looks like our X). Western Christians
tended to drop that initial guttural, yielding
Anna; to them, Hannah was more Biblical, but
perhaps it also seemed too Jewish (!?). Anna was
apparently the more popular form among Roman
Christians. But it may be true that the Ukrainians
tended to preserve the initial H- sound from the
Hebrew form; the books I have, at least, indicate
that Hanna is the standard Ukrainian form, with
Anna as a common variant.
My sources say at some point Poles began to add an
H sound to the beginning, much as they also formed
names beginning Hal- from Elzbieta (Elizabeth). We
see Hanka and Hania in 14th- and 15th-century
Polish records. Apparently the H/CH at the start
of the name was not necessarily retained from the
original Hebrew form; it was due more to a dialect
or regional tendency to add an H sound to the
start of names beginning with vowels. We do see
that with other Polish names. Of course, it's also
entirely possible the Polish variant with H/CH was
influenced by Ukrainian; only a fool would deny
that Ukrainian names have influenced Polish names.
Whatever the exact route the name took, it does
come from that name Christians associate with the
mother of Mary. And once you had Polish forms
beginning Ann- or Han-, then diminutives could be
created, including Ania, Anka, Anusia, and Hania,
Hanka, Hanula, and Hanusia. Ukrainian gets even
more creative, using those forms but also
diminutives and variants such as Hannulenka,
Hannunenka, Hantsunia, Annunia, Aniutonka, etc.
(That info from _Vlasni imena liudei_ by L. H.
Skrypnyk and N. P. Dziakivs'ka).
I'm not sure if I've actually answered the
question, but that's about all I can add to the
discussion. And we're getting ready to have our
New Year's dinner. So y'all are on your own....