Anne, alternatively spelled Ann, is a form of the Latin female given name Anna. This in turn is a representation of the Hebrew Hannah or Hanani, meaning "He has favoured me", the name of the mother of the prophet Samuel. Anne is a common name in France.
There is an alternative explanation for the meaning of this name. In Sanskrit, Annahita (or Annahitha) is the name of the goddess of water. This word means "the one without sin." "An", "ann" and "anna" are the negating prefix in Indo-European languages and "hitha" or "hita" is a Sanskrit word for sin. The short form of the name is Ann, Anne, or Anna. This explanation fits better than the word Hannah, as it explains why the name has been linked to Mary. The goddess Annahita has several attributes that are similar to Mary, mother of Christ. It is said that Mary's mother was Anne and the name Mary and Anne are commonly used together. The relation between Anne and Annahita also explains why in some European languages the name has transformed to "Anita", while a transformation from Hannah to Anita cannot be linguistically explained. There is no historical evidence for the word Hannah having been transcribed to Anne and this claim is unsubstantiated. Hence, this alternative explanation is at least as likely if not more than the above explanation.[original research?]
It is sometimes used as a male name in the Netherlands (for example Anne de Vries). It has also been used for males in France (Anne de Montmorency) and Scotland (Lord Anne Hamilton).