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Sara Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Sara Overview

  • Meaning: “Princess” or “Noblewoman” in Hebrew. “Pure” or “Happy” in Muslim cultures.
  • Gender: Sara is a traditionally feminine name with few masculine variants.
  • Origin: Hebrew.
  • Pronunciation: “Sair-uh” or “Sahr-uh”
  • Popularity: Sara is a very popular name.
  • Nicknames: Sar, Sari.
  • Variations: Sarah, Sarai, Saria, Saira, Serah
  • Namesakes: The Biblical Sarai/Sarah, wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac.

What Does Sara Mean?

The name Sara has a Hebrew origin and usually translates to “princess.” Less commonly, Sara will translate to “noblewoman.” The Hebrew origin is by far the most popular version of the name, and other origins have different translations.

In India, the name Sara often translates to “soul.” A Muslim origin translates to “pure” or “happy.” In Spanish, as in Hebrew, Sara translates to “princess.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Sara?

The modern Sara derives from the Old Testament Sarah, hence its Hebrew origins. Dropping the H makes the name feel more streamlined, shorter, and elegant, but the origin traces back to Sarah all the same (1).

Also spelled “Sarai,” Sarah was a figure in the Old Testament and the wife of Abraham. A barren woman, she would go on to conceive and bear the child Isaac to Abraham at the age of 90.

God promised Abraham and Sarah that Sarah would be the “mother of nations,” which Sarah doubted. Instead, Sarah offered her handmaiden Hagar to her husband to give him children.

Refuting this, God fulfills his promise and blesses the couple, leading to the elderly woman becoming pregnant. The birth of Abraham is seen as a miracle given the couple’s age and stands as a moment of God fulfilling his promises.

How Popular Is the Name Sara?

Sara is a popular name in many parts of the world. In the United States, the name Sara has stayed in the top 200 for quite some time (2).

However, the name has dropped in popularity recently compared to when it was the 57th most popular name for girls in 2000 (3). One reason for this drop in popularity is that many are still switching over to the new spelling, which as of last year was the 92nd most popular name for baby girls in the United States (4).

How Do I Pronounce Sara?

In the United States, Sara is pronounced “Sair-ruh.” Some pronunciations opt for a long A instead, making the name “Sah-ruh.” The former is significantly more common than the latter.

Is Sara a Boy or Girl Name?

Sara is predominantly used as a feminine name in most cultures, given that the origin traces back to a biblical woman.

Variations of Sara

As a predominantly feminine name, there are few masculine versions of the name Sara. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, however, or that you couldn’t create your own! If you’re looking for ideas, check out this list we compiled below.

  • Saira (Hebrew)
  • Sairah (Hebrew)
  • Sarah (Hebrew)
  • Sarai (Hebrew)
  • Saria (Hebrew)
  • Sofia (Greek)
  • Sofie (Greek)
  • Seren

Nicknames for Sara

Finding nicknames for Sara can be difficult given how short it is, but we came up with some ideas:

  • Sadie
  • Sally
  • Sal
  • Sar
  • Say
  • Sarrie
  • Shay

Similar Names to Sara

Many similar names come from having a similar delicacy in pronunciation. These names are dominantly feminine, but some are unisex or male.

Middle Names for Sara

Though Hebrew in origin, Sara is common enough that many don’t recognize it as such. Because of this, you don’t need to stick to biblical names for a middle name to match! While they’re a great option, they’re far from forced. Here are some of the many names you can use:

Sibling Names for Sara

For sibling names, almost anything goes! It’s worth avoiding Abraham or Isaac, as it may feel strange for your daughter to have a sibling named after the biblical figure’s son or husband. Consider these names instead:

Famous People Named Sara

Given how popular the name Sara is, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s a common celebrity name. If you broaden to include the form “Sarah,” you can find dozens of examples, such as the following:

  • Sara Bareilles: American musician and singer-songwriter.
  • Sara Gilbert: American actress.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker: American actress.
  • Sara Ramirez: Mexican-American actress.
  • Sarah Silverman: American comedian and actress.

Sara in Popular Culture

The Sara/Sarah names are highly common in popular culture. Here are a few of the many you can find:

  • Sara: The named subject of the popular Fleetwood Mac song Sara.
  • Sara Connor: Crucial character in the Terminator franchise.
  • Sarah Fortune: Marksman character in hit MOBA League of Legends, better known as Miss Fortune.
  • Sara Harding: Character in the Jurassic Park franchise
  • Sarah Kerrigan: Primary antagonist and protagonist through the StarCraft franchise and multiple novels.
  • Kujou Sara: Adopted daughter of the Kujou Clan in popular gacha-style RPG Genshin Impact.
  • Sara Sidle: Recurring character on the television series CSI.

Sara FAQs

With so much information, there are still a few questions around! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the name Sara.

Is Sara a Rare Name?

No. Sara was ranked as one of the top 10 names between the years 1978 to 2002. Sara has remained steadily popular over the last few decades and is continuing to climb in popularity.

Is There a Difference Between Sara and Sarah?

Other than the spelling, there is no difference. Sara is an alternative spelling and diminutive of Sarah. The origins and meaning are the same and they’re present in the same cultures.

What Is the Male Version of Sara?

There is no male version of Sara. Some names, like Sasha, are unisex depending on your culture and nationality. Other names like Sam or Samuel are similar and biblical but are not a male version of Sara directly. You could also use Seren!

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