Anthony (given name)
|Language(s)||Latin, from Etruscan|
|Variant form(s)||Antony, Antoine, Anton, Antun, Ante, Antonio, Anto|
|Pet form(s)||Ant, Antonino, Nino, Toni, Tony, Tone|
Anthony or Antony is a masculine given name, derived from Antonius, a gens (Roman family name) to which Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius) belonged. That name seems to have come originally from the Etruscan language, although nothing further is known about this derivation. There was an ancient tradition that the Antonii gens were Heracleidae, being descendants of Anton, a son of Heracles. (Plut. Ant. 4)
"Anthony" is equivalent to Antoine in French, Antonio in Spanish and Italian, António or Antônio in Portuguese, Anton in Russian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Galician, Icelandic, Scandinavian, Dutch and German, Antal in Hungarian, and Antun or Ante in Croatian. The usual abbreviated form is Tony (sometimes "Tone" or "Ant" or "Anth"). Its use as a Christian name was due to the veneration of St Anthony the Great, the founder of Christian monasticism, particularly in France. Also significant was the later cult of St Antony of Padua. The spelling with "h" is not found until the 16th century when Camden incorrectly claimed that the name derived from the Greek anthos. The spelling pronunciation later became usual in the United States but not in the British Isles.
In the United States, it is the seventh most popular male name as of 2008, according to the Social Security Administration. When the background is Italian, Nino or Toni, shortened from Antonino, are used. Its popularity in the United Kingdom peaked during the 1940s, in 1944 it was the sixth most popular male name and was still as high as 14th in 1964.
Spelling and pronunciation
The name was historically spelled Antony, as used in Shakespeare's play Antony and Cleopatra. In the 17th century, the letter "h" was inserted into the spelling on the mistaken belief that the name derived from the Greek word ανθος (anthos), meaning "flower". In Britain, the historical pronunciation // predominates for both spellings, while in the United States and Australia the spelling pronunciation // is more common when the "Anthony" spelling is used.
- Disambiguation pages for other meanings
- Disambiguation pages for other spellings
- Withycombe, E. G. (1950) The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names; 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press; pp. 26-27
- Anthony at babynames.co.uk
- Anthony, Behind The Name
- Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. Harlow, England: Longman. p. 30. ISBN 0-582-05383-8. entry "Anthony"
- BehindTheName.com entry (also contains a list of versions of Anthony in other languages)
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