Gender Feminine & Masculine
Usage English (Modern)
Other Forms FormsAnistan, Anisten, Anistyn, Anystan, Anysten, Anyston, Anystyn
Edit Status Status
Contributor Contrib.armydad3_8 on 1/17/2010
This given name is derived from the surname of Aniston, for which there are several etymologies possible.The first is that it is an obscure English locational surname, which is said to mean "town of Anis". Anis is a medieval English form of AGNES, which is also found spelled as Annice, Annise, Annis and Annys. Interestingly, there is no town in the modern-day United Kingdom that is called Aniston or a variant spelling thereof. It seems that over time, the original town must either have perished or been renamed. Perhaps we could even go so far as to say that such a town never existed in the first place, in that Aniston might have originated as a nickname for any town (with a different name) that had a church that was devoted to Saint Agnes.The second possibility is that the surname is an anglicization of the Gaelic surname McAniston, which in turn is a variant spelling of McAnistan. The meaning of the surname as a whole is uncertain, but we can at least say that it is a patronymic surname, as Mc means "son of".The third possibility is that the surname is a variant spelling of the rare English surname Aneston, which itself may be a variant form of the surname Haneston (also found spelled as Haniston, Heneston and Heniston). The meaning of these surnames is uncertain.The fourth and final possibility is that the surname Aniston is an anglicization of Greek surnames starting with Anastas-, such as Anastasides. A famous example of this is the Greek-American actor John Aniston (b. 1933), who is best known for his role as Victor Kiriakis on the NBC daytime drama "Days of our Lives" (1965-present). His father anglicized the family's surname of Anastasakis to Aniston, sometime after the family had emigrated to the United States. The family's original surname meant "little ANASTASIUS" in Greek. John Aniston's daughter Jennifer (b. 1969) went on to become an actress in her own right, her fame eventually surpassing that of her father's. Due to her iconic role as Rachel Green in the television sitcom "Friends" (1994-2004), her popularity became such that it can be argued that most parents naming their child Aniston were probably inspired (to do so) by her in one way or the other.Finally, as a given name, Aniston can be a variant spelling of ANNISTON in some cases, which has an entirely different etymology.