According to the esteemed baby name sites, anaya as a male name is Hebrew anaiah meaning God answers. I am familiar with Hebrew names of the same general pattern of meaning, but they usually have the element j- in the pronounciation, or else -el-. What happened here?
Second, it is claimed that as a female name it is either Latin (except no one seems to hazard a meaning), or Ibo with a meaning `look up to God'. I am primarily interested in Anaya as a female name, so please help! Is any part of this information even vaguely reliable?
I seem to remember having heard Anaya as a female name in India as well. The word in Sanskrit can be interpreted as the feminine of `bad conduct' or else of `misfortune'. Though the latter is not impossible as a name (negative names were, though rarely, used in a preventative sense), it is not a recent cultural trend to use such names. So, I am appealing to the collective body of knowledge here!