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What's in a Name By Tania

Anya and Spike pose a fun dilemma for the fanfiction writer: What do you call them in your fiction? Both characters have been known by several names, often called different names even in the present day by other characters on the show. This essay is a short attempt at making the fanfiction writer's job a little easier when deciding which name to use.


Anya's original human name was Aud. Aud was of Scandinavian descent and the name may have been a derivative of the Germanic 'Aldo', French 'Aude', or English 'Audrey' all of which mean Noble Strength. Olaf and other townspeople used this name for her but no one in the Buffyverse seems aware of her original name.

When Aud became a demon around the turn of the first millennium she was given the name Anyanka by the demon D'Hoffryn. No matter which era D'Hoffryn has appeared in he usually refers to Anya as Anyanka, so if he will be making an appearance in your fic remember that. The only time he has called her Anya was right after he made her human again the second time. Halfrek called her both Anya and Anyanka in the present, but only Anyanka in flashback scenes. The only other person in canon that has referred to her as Anyanka is Giles in the episode "the Wish" when he called her a "sort of patron saint of scorned women."

When she took on the guise of a twelfth grader to exact a curse Anyanka used the name Anya, which is a Slavic derivative of Anna or Hannah, from the Hebrew name Channah, meaning Grace or Favour. Anya made up the full name of Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins when questioned by the Watcher's Council during BTVS Season five, but has only used this full name a few times on the show and no other character has ever referred to her as Anya Jenkins.


Spike was born William, which in England is the same as the Irish Liam. The name means "protector".

William was known, unfavorably, as William the Bloody in his lifetime because of his bloody-awful poetry. He kept the name after being turned, by torturing his victims with railroad spikes.

Shortly after being turned William took the name Spike. The most common theory that has come up in canon as to why is that a party goer before William was turned said he'd rather have a railroad spike through his head than listen to William's poetry, one presumes William obliged after being turned. He has been referred to as William by Buffy, Drusilla, and Angel after taking the name Spike.