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Clara Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Clara including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Clara Overview

  • Meaning: Clara means “clear, bright, and famous” in Latin.
  • Gender: Clara is a unisex name.
  • Origin: Latin, Hungarian, Slavic, and other origins.
  • Pronunciation: “KLAIR-uh” in English. In Spanish, the name is pronounced: “KLAH-rah.”
  • Popularity: Clara is a popular name for girls ranking at #102 out of 1,000. While Clara is also a boy name, it has not been on the top 1,000 names for baby boys since 1910.
  • Nicknames: Some nicknames for Clara include Ara, Cla, Laa, Lar, Lars, Rah, and Raz.
  • Variations: Chiara, Clarah, Claire, Clare, Clarus, Klara, and Klarah.
  • Namesakes: Clara Arthur, Clara Barton, Clara Chung, Clara Doty Bates, and Clara Eliot.

What Does Clara Mean?

Clara means “clear, bright, and famous” in Latin. It is the female form of the masculine name Clarus which has the same name meaning (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Clara?

Clara is primarily of Latin origin. The name comes from the Late Latin male name Clarus with the same meaning. Many Christian saints in the early centuries of history were named Clarus.

By the 13th century, the female form Clara became popularized, with Saint Clare of Assisi becoming the originator for the Poor Clares while following Saint Francis.

Clare became known as the English origin for spelling this name. Eventually, the Latin form Clara was popularized during the 19th century. The name variation Klara is of Hungarian, Slavic, German, and other origins.

How Popular Is the Name Clara?

Clara is a popular name for girls ranking at #102 out of the top 1,000 baby girl names. The name is just two rankings shy of being very popular. Clara was most popular in 1901 when it ranked #19 in the top 100 baby girl names (2).

It has not been on the top 1,000 baby boy names list since 1910. It was most popular in 1901 when it hit rank #490 of the top 1,000 baby boy names.

Currently, there are over 257,000 people named Clara in the United States. Almost all of them are females, with 99.9% of them given the name an infant girl.

How Do I Pronounce Clara?

Pronounce Clara by saying “KLAIR-uh” in English and British speak. In Spanish, the name is pronounced: “KLAH-rah.”

Is Clara a Boy or Girl Name?

Clara is a unisex name. Primarily, it is more popular as a girl’s name today.

It was more popular as a boy name in the early 1900s. The name fell off the top 1,000 baby boys’ name list in 1911. The last recorded ranking on this list was #878 in 1910.

While Clara is a unisex name, it is more feminine because of the “ah” at the end of the name’s pronunciation. Clarus is a more masculine alternative to the name.

Variations of Clara

Clara has uniquely spelled variations for you

  • Chiara (Italian)
  • Clarah (Latin)
  • Claire (French)
  • Clare (English)
  • Clarus (Latin)
  • Klara (German)
  • Klarah (Italian)

Nicknames for Clara

While Clara is a relatively short name, there are creative nicknames available. These are the unique nicknames we like for Clara:

  • Ara
  • Cla
  • Laa
  • Lar
  • Lars
  • Rah
  • Raz

Similar Names to Clara

Since Clara is a short name, there are same-sized or longer names that sound like it. These are the similar names with a mix of genders that we like for parents considering Clara as a name for their baby:

  • Claire
  • Clarencia
  • Claretta
  • Clarette
  • Clarice
  • Clarimond
  • Clarinda
  • Clarion
  • Clarissa

Middle Names for Clara

Clara pairs well with shorter and longer middle name options. These are the gender-neutral middle names that we love paired with Clara:

Sibling Names for Clara

If you have a child named Clara, we see that you are looking for a name for your new baby that pairs well. These are the sibling names that we love for a child already named Clara:

For a Brother:

For a Sister:

Famous People Named Clara

Because of Clara’s popularity, many celebrities hold the namesake. These are some of the many famous people named Clara:

  • Clara Arthur: American suffragist.
  • Clara Barton: American humanitarian, teacher, and nurse.
  • Clara Chung: Korean American guitarist and singer.
  • Clara Doty Bates: American author.
  • Clara Eliot: American economist.

Clara in Popular Culture

Clara’s name popularity is also present in widespread popular culture. Here are some characters named Clara in movies, television shows, cartoons, and video games that we would like to highlight:

  • Aunt Clara: Supporting character in the 1960s reality television show “Bewitched.”
  • Clara Belle: Character in the “MySims” video game.
  • Clara Clayton: Doc Brown’s wife in the “Back to the Future” film franchise.
  • Clara Cluck: Character in the various “Disney Mickey Mouse” cartoons.
  • Princess Clara: Character on the animated adult show “Drawn Together.”

Clara FAQs

With Clara on your list of potential baby names, we are here to answer your other frequently asked questions about the name.

How Popular Are the Name Variations for Clara?

Klara is not on the top 1,000 baby names list for either boys or girls. Clare ranks #834 on the top 1,000 baby girl names list. The variation Claire is much more popular at #59 in the top 100 baby girl names list.

The other spelling variations of Clara are rare, so they do not place in the top 1,000 for baby boy or girl names. Clarus, the masculine form of Clara, is not on the top 1,000 baby boy names list.

Is Clara an Old-Fashioned Name?

Clara was an old-fashioned name that placed in the top 10 baby girl names throughout the 1880s. It gained instant popularity when Clara Bow was at the height of her career as the “It Girl” on the silent screen.

Is Clara a Rare Name?

Clara is not the most common name in America, but it is still pretty popular. About one baby for every 657 born receives the name Clara.

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