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Sarai Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Sarai Overview

  • Meaning: Sarai means “princess.”
  • Gender: Sarai is a traditionally feminine name.
  • Origin: Sarai is of Hebrew and Arabic origin.
  • Pronunciation: “SUH-rye”
  • Popularity: Sarai is a popular name.
  • Nicknames: Princess, Rai, Rai Rai, Riley, Sari, Sarita, and Soso.
  • Variations: Sahrai, Sahrye, Saira, Sara, Sarah, Sarahi, and Serah.
  • Namesakes: Sarai Cru, Sarai Givaty, Sarai Gonzalez.

What Does Sarai Mean?

Sarai means “princess” in Hebrew. Its biblical roots are the main reason for its name’s meaning. The name also has Arabic roots that show that the name is indicative of a castle or a palace. This contributes to its royal-like Hebrew name meaning.

What Is the Origin of the Name Sarai?

Sarai is primarily of Hebrew and Arabic origins. The name’s Hebrew origins come from the character, Sarah in the Bible’s Book of Genesis. Sarah was Abraham’s wife. However, before God changed her name to Sarah, her name was first Sarai (1).

Abraham and Sarah tried to have a child for many years until they lost faith in that ever happening. As culturally appropriate, Sarah allowed her handmaid Hagar to bear Abraham a son who was named Ishmael.

Later in her life when Ishmael was a teenager, Sarah laughed when an angel came to her and said that she had fallen pregnant with her son, Isaac when she was already very old. However, Sarah’s son Isaac became the son of promise as his half-brother Ishamel was known as the son of the bondwoman (2).

In Arabic, a saray (spelled as “السراي” in Arabic and as “seray” in Turkish) is known as a castle or administration building that helped to run the Ottoman Empire. In Persian and Turkish, the same word translates to mean “palace.”

How Popular Is the Name Sarai?

Sarai ranks #458 on the Social Security Administration’s top 1,000 baby girl names list as of 2021. The most popular year for Sarai was 2007 when it ranked at #398 (3).

The name entered the list in 1987 at #963, fell off in 1988, and came back the next year at #964. Sarai has stayed on the list ever since with steadily rising popularity. Since 2008, Sarai has remained within the 400s ranking on the list.

How Do I Pronounce Sarai?

The most popular way to pronounce Sarai is “SUH-rye.” Some parents prefer to pronounce the name as “SAIR-ahy.”

Is Sarai a Boy or Girl Name?

Sarai is historically a feminine given name because of the name history from Sarah (Sarai) in the Bible. However, some boys have this name in America, ranking in the 13,000s among popular baby boy names.

Variations of Sarai

Sarai has many creative variations with the reminiscent Hebrew root “ah” which translates to “for God” or “of God” in English.

Other variations of Sarai all of Hebrew origin include:

  • Sahrai (Hebrew)
  • Sahrye (Hebrew)
  • Saira (Hebrew)
  • Sara (Hebrew)
  • Sarah (Hebrew)
  • Sarahi (Hebrew)
  • Serah (Hebrew)

Nicknames for Sarai

Sarai is a beautiful five-letter name with lovely nickname possibilities. Here are some nicknames for Sarai.

  • Princess
  • Rai
  • Rai Rai
  • Riley
  • Sari
  • Sarita
  • Soso

Similar Names to Sarai

There are many similar names to choose if Sarai does not sound right for your little one. These similar names may pique your interest.

  • Sabine
  • Salome
  • Sapphira
  • Sariah
  • Selah
  • Seraphine
  • Simone
  • Solana
  • Soleil
  • Soraya
  • Suri

Middle Names for Sarai

Now that you have the first name in mind, it’s time to pick the perfect middle name. The following middle names pair well with Sarai.

Sibling Names for Sarai

If you already have a little girl named Sarai, you will want a sibling name that flows when you call out for your little ones. Here are some great sibling names for Sarai.

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Sarai

Sarai’s uniqueness as an alternative for the more popular name, Sarah, has created many namesakes for it. Some famous people named Sarai that we wanted to highlight:

  • Sarai Cruz: American YouTube star.
  • Sarai Givaty: American television actress.
  • Sarai Gonzalez: American Latina social activist and author.
  • Sarai Howard: American rap musician.
  • Sarai Meza: American television actress.
  • Sarai Paniagua: American Tik Tok star.
  • Sarai Rollins: American model.

Sarai in Popular Culture

Sarai’s baby name popularity means there are many popular culture character references with this name, too. Here are some characters on television, in cartoons, and books with the name Sarai:

  • “Sarai”: A novel written by Jill Eileen Smith for her “Wives of the Patriarchs” series.
  • Sarai: Main character in the Sarai Books series authored by Sarai Gonzalez.
  • Sarai: Princess (later Queen) of the Eternian Kingdom in the video game “Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana.”
  • Sarai: Queen of Katolis in the Netflix original show “The Dragon Prince.”
  • Sarai Kurosawa: Ibuki’s best friend in the “Street Fighter” video game.

Sarai FAQs

Sarai is a lovely name, but you may still have some questions. We have answers to your frequently asked questions to consider before you make your final decision.

Is Sarai a Spanish Name?

Sarai does not have Spanish roots. However, some sources say that its American name meaning can also be “contentious” and “quarrelsome.”

Is Sarai a Pretty Name?

Sarai is a pretty name and not because of its usual name meaning. The “-rai” ending root in the name is whimsical and powerful as you say it. Plus, “rai” translates to “lightning”, which adds to the spunky and quarrelsome aspect of the overall meaning.

Is Sarai an Indian Name?

Sarai is an Indian girl’s name. It belongs to almost 2,500 people. Most people with this last name are in Maharashtra.

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