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Tuesday, February 22, 2005 

The Name "Anders"

"Anders" is a fairly common scandinavian name which means "man" or "manly". In German, it is an adverb meaning "otherwise" or "differently". Its usually a first name, but I have met people with "Anders" as a last name. I pronounce "Anders" as "On-ders" but as a last name, it is usually "Ann-ders". A Danish friend of mine corrected my use of my name as "On-os" or "On-osh". My grandmother is from Norway, so I'll stick with my Scandinavian roots and respond to any of "On-ders", "On-os" or "On-osh".

It has been reported that Anders as a last name has been traced to Eastern Germany. If anyone has more info on this or other "Anders" info, send me a comment from the homepage. (comment form on the right)

If you have "Anders" for a name, please fill out the form below and let me know how you pronounce it. I will eventually publish the results that I collect here.

If you feel a bit more adventurous, email a good quality mp3 file of the pronuncation and where the pronuncation comes from.

Email: (not published, no spam)

Other interesting anders sites I have run across: (in no particular order) Wes adds:
Given its meaning, I would be almost certain that Anders is a loan from Greek andros 'man'. (man in the sense of male not in the sense of human) Off the top of my head, a couple of other English words that contain andros as a morpheme are polyandry and androgynous, both Greek loans. I don't know the specifics of the sound changes between proto-Indo-European and Greek and between proto-Indo-European and German/Scandinavian. Nevertheless, I would suspect it to be a loan from Greek rather than a cognate (i.e. descended from the same Indo-European root), because of the phonetic similarity.

Once to every man and nation,
comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
Some great cause,
some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever,
'twixt that darkness and that light.
Once to Every Man and Nation.mp3
~ James R. Lowell - 1845

"In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our despair, against our will comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."
~ Aeschylus

"Some men see things as they are and ask 'Why?'. I dream of things things that never were and ask 'Why not?'"

"In dreams begin responsibilities."
~ W. B. Yeats

"... we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard!"
~ JFK - on sending man to the moon

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