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Hania (HAN-yah, HAH-nee-uh) is a Hebrew variation of Chania/Channah, meaning "resting place; grace of the Lord" and also a Polish diminutive of Hannah, meaning "grace, gracious." Hannah is an Old Testament name which became Anna in the New Testament. Chania is also a city in Crete which the Greeks called Kydonia, meaning "quince." Spelled Haniya this name is taken to mean "to be happy."

There are a few namesakes for Hania - most recently Vin Diesel chose this name for his daughter, but also Polish pop singer Hania Stach, English actress Hania Barton (sister to Mischa), and Hania Mufti, a human rights activist from Jordan.

In the Bible this was the name of the mother of the prophet Samuel. Hannah was a childless woman who prayed to God for children and was then blessed with six of them. Samuel became a warrior and judge of Israel. The name Hannah was not used regularly until after the Protestant Reformation, but it was favorited by the Puritans. Hannah has several forms other than Hania/Haniya and Chania/Chaniya. Some of them are Anita, Anja/Anya, Annika/Anika/Anica, Anka, Annushka, Jana, Nandag, Ania, Anais, Hanne, Hannele, Anniken, and Annikki.

Although Hania is so close in spelling to Hannah, it is very rare, with only 17 girls given the name in 2013. It also seems to have not been used before 1994.


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Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
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8. Ella
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10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
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8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
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8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…