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Sasha Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Sasha Overview

  • Meaning: Sasha means “defender of mankind.”
  • Gender: Sasha is a unisex name.
  • Origin: Sasha is a Slavic name of Greek origin that comes from the name Alexander.
  • Pronunciation: “SAH-schuh”
  • Popularity: Sasha is only modestly popular in the United States (ranking 571st in 2021) but is very popular in Eastern Europe and France.
  • Nicknames: Sass, Sash, Sassy.
  • Variations: Саша, Сашо, Саше, Saša, Sașa, Sacha.
  • Namesakes: Sacha Baron Cohen, Sasha Obama, Sasha Fierce.

What Does Sasha Mean?

Sasha started as a shortened version of Alexander and Alexandra. It doesn’t have a root meaning in and of itself because of this. However, Alexander means “defender of the people” or “helper of mankind.” Therefore, Sasha means the same.

What Is the Origin of the Name Sasha?

Sasha has a complex etymological origin based on thousands of years of history. The name comes from the Slavic countries of Southeastern and Eastern Europe, where it is still most common.

The Slavic peoples derived it from “Alexander”, which came from the Greek name “Ἀλέξανδρος.” Alexo, the first part of the name, means “to defend,” while Andros means “mankind.”

Although “Alexander” is a classically Greek name, the famous Alexander the Great was actually from North Macedonia. Today, this country is considered Slavic, but the iconic leader himself was ethnically and culturally Greek (1). Still, this is how the name Sasha became so common in Slavic-speaking countries.

Sasha is also a very popular nickname. Most people in Slavic-speaking countries do not have the name as it is on their birth certificates, because it is seen as a diminutive.

How Popular Is the Name Sasha?

Sasha has been somewhere near the top 500 baby girl names in the United States for the past few decades, sometimes reaching the 300s (2). It ranked 571st in 2021. In contrast, Sasha is much more popular in Europe, particularly in Slavic-speaking countries and France.

How Do I Pronounce Sasha?

Sasha is pronounced “SAH-Schuh.” However, it can vary based on language, region, and dialect.

Is Sasha a Boy or Girl Name?

Sasha is a unisex name. In the United States, it is primarily given to girls, while in France, it is almost always used for boys. In the rest of Europe, it is used for both genders equally.

Variations of Sasha

Sasha has many regional variations spanning multiple languages, including:

  • Саша (Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian)
  • Сашо (Bulgarian)
  • Саше (Macedonian)
  • Saša (Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, Lithuanian, Latvian)
  • Sașa (Romanian)
  • Sacha (French)
  • Sacia (Italian)
  • Sasja (Danish and Swedish)
  • סשה (Hebrew)

Nicknames for Sasha

Sasha is often a nickname for other, longer names such as Alexander or Natasha. There are a few nicknames for Sasha itself, including:

  • Sass
  • Sashie
  • Sash
  • SaSa
  • Sassy

Similar Names to Sasha

If you like the name Sasha but want to consider something similar, you might want to go with an alternative that has Slavic or Greek origins, such as:

Middle Names for Sasha

If you’ve chosen Sasha for your child and are looking for a middle name, you might be unsure about your options. The following sound particularly good after Sasha based on both the sounds and the number of syllables:

Sibling Names for Sasha

If you already have a child named Sasha and are looking for options for a possible sibling, there are many excellent choices to consider:

For a Brother:

For a Sister:

Famous People Named Sasha

There are quite a few famous people of both genders with versions of the name Sasha, such as:

  • Sacha Baron Cohen: English actor most famous for his starring roles in the films “Borat,”“Bruno,” and “The Dictator.”
  • Sasha Obama: Former US President Barack Obama’s younger daughter.
  • Sasha Pieterse: South African-American actress best known for playing Alison DiLaurentis on the hit-TV show “Pretty Little Liars.”
  • Sasha Cohen: American Olympic figure skater who won the silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
  • Sasha Alexander: Serbian-American actress known for her roles in “Dawson’s Creek” and “He’s Just Not That Into You.”
  • Sasha Velour: Drag Queen who is known for her appearance on season nine of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Sasha in Popular Culture

Because of its varied geographic origins, there is a wide array of Sashas in popular culture, including:

  • Sasha Dixon: Major character in the British soap opera “EastEnders.”
  • Sasha Braus: Character in the manga/anime series “Attack on Titan.”
  • Sasha Belov: Character in the blockbuster movie franchise “Make It or Break It.”
  • Sasha Bordeaux: Character in the DC Comicbook universe, a former ally of Batman.
  • Sasha Fierce: Alter-ego of superstar singer and musician Beyonce.
  • Sasha Williams: Major character in the hit-TV series “The Walking Dead.”
  • Sasha Valentine: Main character in the British soap opera “Hollyoaks.”

Sasha FAQs

We’ve covered a lot of information about the name Sasha. Here are a couple of commonly asked questions we haven’t answered.

What is Sasha Short For?

In the United States, Sasha is often not short for anything. However, it is originally a shortened form of Alexander or Alexandra. In Russia and other Eastern European countries, many people are called “Sasha” their entire lives but are technically named Alexander.

Sasha can also be a nickname for “Natasha”. Barack Obama’s daughter Sasha’s real name is Natasha, although her family has called her Sasha since birth.

Can Sasha be a Muslim Name?

Sasha is primarily a Christian Orthodox name since it is common in Russian and Greek Orthodox countries. However, the related name “Yasha” is a popular boy’s name in Muslim cultures.

Is Sasha a Jewish Name?

While Sasha has Greek origins, it became popular in Russia and is credited as a primarily Russian name. Since the majority of Ashkenazi Jews resided in the Russian Empire for centuries, there are many Jewish people with the name. It is popular enough that there is also a Hebrew variation.

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