English form (via Old French, Latin, and Greek) of the Hebrew girl's name Hanna ‘He (God) has favoured me (i.e. with a child)’. This is the name borne in the Bible by the mother of Samuel (see Hannah), and according to non-biblical tradition also by the mother of the Virgin Mary. It is the widespread folk cult of the latter that has led to the great popularity of the name in various forms throughout Europe. The simplified form Ann was much more common in the 19th century but the form with final -e grew in popularity during the 20th century, partly perhaps due to L. M. Montgomery's story Anne of Green Gables (1908), and partly due to Princess Anne (b. 1950). See also Anna.