Among the host of Continental Celtic personal names in an°, which include those with prefixed privative an-, ande- and ad- in various stages of assimilation, some may be formed from a lexical base an- (or derived from a compound with a corresponding first element), though the identification is often difficult. Candidates include primarily simplex and derived names, e.g. ana, anno, annius, anniola, annianus, anniccus (with hypocoristic gemination? Delamarre 2007: 20, 22 f.).
One might consider a connection with the Celtic root ana- 'breath, inspiration' in the Gaulish names anauus, anaugeno, annausonius, maybe aneunos (Lambert 1994: 95: participle 'inspired'), which is connected with OBret. onomastic anau-, W anaw 'poetic inspiration, riches' < *h₂enh₁-u̯on-, also in anant 'poets' < *h₂n̥h₁-n̥t-, OIr. anae 'wealth, riches', anair 'poem, poetic metre', OIr. an- 'breathe, wait' (LEIA: A-71 f.), MW eneit 'soul', Gaulish RIG L-98 anatia (pl.) 'spirits' according to Fleuriot and Lambert (see DLG: 44 with literature), all from the PIE root *h₂enh₁- 'breathe' (see Stifter 2016b: 41). Cf. also the Irish theoynm anu. OIr. án 'splendid, fiery, bright' (LEIA: A-72) has fitting semantics for personal onomastics, but its etymology and PC form is unclear.
Meid 2005: 217 s.v. ana, ano, annitio identifies the base as the Lallwort *ano- 'ancestor' (IEW: 36 f., though without lexical Celtic attestations).
Less likely for personal names is an association with ana 'swamp', which is attested in toponyms (DLG: 43 f.).
Lochner von Hüttenbach 1989: 16 f. with older literature considers the base of annius to be Italic.
David Stifter, Corinna Salomon
|Delamarre 2007||Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.|
|DLG||Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental, 2nd, revised edition, Paris: Errance 2003.|