If Joseph Smith was translating into English why not just the term "the people of Nephi-Lehi" instead of some Egyptian icon that represents this definition. It happens that he did it just down the road when they get to Zarahemla and they call themselves the people of Ammon. Dubious explanation in my view. Joseph Smith was a simple man with the desire to be plain to those who would read the work. Possible I suppose but a reaaaaal stretch on this one.
Somewhere I read that Hugh Nibley said that Anti means "in the imitation of, or reflection of the teachings of" when referring to this scripture.
I always thought it was more simpler than that. Remember that these converts were living in the Land of Nephi and the Land of Lehi, the original area where Lehi's family lived, then where Nephi first lived when he separated from his brothers. I think these Lamanite converts were simply saying they were no longer of that area, meaning they were "Lamanites" but they were not Lamanites. It was a way to distinguish themselves from those who were not converted.
I have always considered that the "anti" portion of the name was synonymous with "non," rendering these converts as "non-Nephite Lehites" -- or in other words descendants of Lehi who were not Nephites.
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