English: from the personal name Anthony, Latin Antonius. See also Anton. This, with its variants, cognates, and derivatives, is one of the commonest European personal names. Many of the European forms have been absorbed into this spelling as American family names; for the forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988. Spellings with -h-, which first appear in English in the 16th century and in French (as Anthoine) at about the same time, are due to the erroneous belief that the name derives from Greek anthos ‘flower’. The popularity of the personal name in Christendom is largely due to the cult of the Egyptian hermit St. Anthony (AD 251–356), who in his old age gathered a community of hermits around him, and for that reason is regarded by some as the founder of monasticism. It was further increased by the fame of St. Anthony of Padua (1195–1231), who long enjoyed a great popular cult and who is believed to help people find lost things.