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Sarah Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Sarah Overview

  • Meaning: The name means “princess” or “noblewoman.”
  • Gender: Sarah is traditionally used as a girl’s name. It is rare for boys to use the name Sarah.
  • Origin: The name Sarah is of ancient Hebrew origin.
  • Pronunciation: Sarah is a short name most commonly pronounced “SEH-ruh.”
  • Popularity: Since the early 1900s, Sarah has consistently ranked within the top 200 most popular girl names in the United States. It was 92nd for newborn girls in 2021.
  • Nicknames: Sadie, Sally, Sarai, Seira, Selah, Serena, Shiloh.
  • Variations: Capa, Hara, Kala, Sara, Sára, Sare, Saara, Sorcha, Zara.
  • Namesakes: Sarah, Sarah Bareilles, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Michelle Geller, and Sarah Silverman.

What Does Sarah Mean?

The name Sarah comes from the Hebrew language. It means “princess” or “noblewoman.” Sarah is a biblical girl name that appeared in the story of Abraham. Like many ancient Hebrew feminine names, Sarah also has meaning in the Arabic language. In Arabic, Sarah translates to “joy” or “delight” (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Sarah?

The first record of the name Sarah is in the Hebrew Bible. It was originally a noun in the Hebrew language. According to the Bible, Sarah was the wife of Abraham. She was born as Sarai, which meant “argumentative.”

Before Sarai gave birth to her first child, God commanded that her name change from Sarai to Sarah (2).

How Popular Is the Name Sarah?

The name Sarah has been popular for centuries. According to the Social Security Administration, Sarah has ranked within the top 200 most popular girl names since 1900 (3).

Sarah’s popularity peaked in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. The name ranked as high as third in 1993. It held the 92nd spot for newborn girls in 2021.

Outside of the United States, Sarah is a common name in countries influenced by Abrahamic religions. You can find many people named Sarah in Israel, the Middle East, and Latin America.

How Do I Pronounce Sarah?

The name Sarah is pronounced as “SEH-ruh.” It is easy to pronounce as the spelling is exactly how it sounds.

Is Sarah a Boy or Girl Name?

Sarah is most commonly used as a girl’s name. While there are some instances of it being used for boys, it is rare.

Variations of Sarah

Thanks to its age and popularity, the name Sarah has many variations across the world:

  • Capa (Slavic)
  • Hara (Maori)
  • Kala (Hawaiin)
  • Sara (Haitian)
  • Sára (Czech)
  • Sare (Turkish)
  • Saara (Estonian)
  • Sorcha (Irish)
  • Zara (Spanish)

Nicknames for Sarah

Sarah is not a long name, having only two synonyms. Because the name is already short, there aren’t many nicknames. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Rah
  • Sal
  • Sar
  • Say
  • Shay

Similar Names to Sarah

The name Sarah is a classic choice, but you might want an alternative that sounds similar. Consider the following:

Middle Names for Sarah

Since the name Sarah is uncomplicated and short, it pairs well with a wide range of others.

Here are some suggested middle names for the name Sarah:

Sibling Names for Sarah

Sarah is a beautiful name that pairs well with other timeless options.

Below are a few examples of sibling names that would compliment the name Sarah well:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Sarah

Since Sarah has long been a popular name, there have been many famous Sarahs throughout history.

Some examples of notable people named Sarah include:

  • Sarah: Wife of biblical figure Abraham.
  • Sarah Attar: Saudi athlete.
  • Sarah Bareilles: American singer.
  • Sarah Gilbert: American actress.
  • Sarah Hendrickson: American Olympian.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker: American actress.
  • Sarah Michelle Geller: American actress.
  • Sarah Palin: American politician.
  • Sarah Silverman: American comedian.

Sarah in Popular Culture

The name Sarah is often used in popular culture. Characters called Sarah appear in books, films, and all forms of fictional media.

Below are a few examples of the name Sarah being used for characters in popular culture:

  • Sarah Conner: Character from the “Terminator” film series.
  • Sarah Hendrickson: Character from the TV series “Big Love.”
  • Sarah Moffat: Character from the British TV series “Upstairs Downstairs.”
  • Sarah Williams: Character from 1986 movie “Labyrinth.”
  • Sarah Williams: Character from “Walking Dead” comic series.

Sarah FAQs

Below is a selection of some of the more frequently asked questions about the name Sarah.

Why Is Sarah Spelled With an ‘H’?

Spelling the name Sarah with an “h” is relatively modern. During the Middle Ages, the name became popular among the French. The French altered the spelling to suit their language and grammar patterns, thus the “h” was added. Many other countries spell Sarah without the letter “h at the end.

Are There Any Lucky Numbers Associated With the Name Sarah?

In Hindu Astrology, the lucky number associated with the name Sarah is the number eight. This number means that people named Sarah are likely to be cunning, practical, loving, and power-seeking.

What Is Sarah the Patron Saint Of?

Sarah is the patron saint of the Romani people. She is known among the Romani as “Sarah the black.” According to legend, Saint Sarah served as the maid to one of the Three Marys (4).

Can Sarah Be a Secular Name?

Sarah has been popular long enough to not be considered a strictly religious name anymore. The original meaning of the name does not tie directly to any religion. It only became associated with religion due to its mention in the Hebrew Bible. Today, Sarah can easily be considered a secular name if you wish to disassociate it with religion.

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