Anya is an exotic Russian version that succeeds in making Ann dynamic. It is climbing the U.S. baby names popularity list, now at Number 395; it reentered the list in 1998.
Anya is the form found most frequently in Russia, Poland and other East European countries, while Anja is the spelling usually preferred in Germany Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands.
Anya is often used as a character name with a bit of foreign flair. Aside from its authentic use in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, it has appeared as Audrey Hepburn's name in Roman Holiday, on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and as the latest Spider-Girl, who is also known as Arana. In literature, Anya Seton is the pen name of Ann Seton, author of such best-selling mid-century historical novels as Dragonwyck.