Anya Taylor-Joy

Origin: Russian (Possibly Kurdish, Igbo and Amazigh)
Gender: Female
Meaning: Diminutive of Anna, "Strength, power", "Eye", "Rhythm, Melody"
Pronunciation: AHN-ya, ANN-ya
Other Forms: Anna, Hannah, Annushka, Ania, Anouk, Anneke, Annika, Anke, Antje

Today's name is that of one my favorite actresses -- Anya Taylor-Joy! She's become a sort of go-to "It Girl" for many directors, and I have no doubt her name will start to receive star treatment, too.

Anya is most simply a diminutive of Anna, which comes from the Hebrew Channah, meaning "favor, grace", by way of Russia. It is also said to be an old Kurdish name meaning "strength" or "power", and might mean "rhythm, melody" in the Amazigh languages, and "eye" in Igbo. It's been sporadically on and off the top 1000 since 1980, ranking highest in 2009 at #362 and lowest in 1983 at #996. Currently, it sits in that sweet spot between rare and popular, at #656. 

Anya Taylor-Joy is actually Anya-Josephine Taylor Joy, the youngest of six children, born of an English father and Argentine mother. She pronounces her name "ANN-ya", like the first part of Anna, as opposed to the more Russianized "AHN-ya". Other namesakes include Anya Chalotra, better known as Yennefer on Netflix's The Witcher, author Anya Seton, and Princess Ann, or Anya, played by Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

What are your thoughts on Anya?


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