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Anaya is one of those worldly baby names that’s really taken off in popularity in the 21st century. It has roots in both Hebrew, where it means “God answers,” and in Arabic, where it means “caring.”

Anaya has a few claims to fame. There’s novelist Rudolfo Anaya, and Brazilian musician Anaya Music.

Anaya has several very similar baby names to choose from, if you like the vibe but not that name exactly—consider Amaia, Anja, Anya, Araya, Arya, Eliana, Maya, Naya, and Rayna.

If you love the name Anaya, you might want to consider some other names that have a bit of international flair, like Anika, Aziza, Benicia, Fiorella, Gianna, Inez, Irina, Katya, Lia, Mia, Noemi, Priya, Sarita, Soraya, Sunisa, Tara, Zahra, or Zendaya.

Anaya first started hitting the top 1000 at the turn of the 21st century, and currently sits just inside the top 400 baby names—but since it’s similar to popular names like Maya and Arya, it may feel like it’s even more popular.

“It is because good is always stronger than evil…The smallest bit of good can stand against all the powers of evil in the world and it will emerge triumphant.” —Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima

“Always have the strength to live. Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evenings when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills, I shall be with you.”—Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima

“There’s so much more to me than what we thought, what we believed in.” —Anaya

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