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Sierra Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Sierra Overview

  • Meaning: Sierra means “saw” or “mountain range.”
  • Gender: Sierra is a traditionally female name.
  • Origin: Sierra is of Spanish origin.
  • Pronunciation: “see-AIR-uh.”
  • Popularity: Sierra is not very popular, ranking at about 550 in America.
  • Nicknames: Si, Sara, and Sissy.
  • Variations: Sera, Siera, Sara, and Sarah.
  • Namesakes: Sierra Boggess (Broadway actress); and Sierra Swan (musician).

What Does Sierra Mean?

Sierra is a Spanish word meaning “saw” or “mountain range.” It is commonly used to name mountain ranges (such as the Sierra Nevada) and is a traditional Spanish word. The literal meaning aside, Sierra implies the stark beauty and groundedness of a mountain range when seen from afar.

Sierra can also mean “darkness” in traditional Irish and Celtic languages, as well as the traditional meaning, but is most commonly referred to as the Spanish feminine name. Both meanings are valuable and add to the beauty and mystique of the name.

What is the Origin of the Name Sierra?

The name Sierra was originally a word used for a mountain range. Although it means “saw,” it grew to mean “range of mountains” because of the saw-like, toothy appearance of a mountain range.

Sierra also has a Scottish and Irish origin, starting with Scottish immigrants in the 1840s. They popularized the name for both boys and girls, although later it would change to just a girl’s name. These immigrants lived in the foothills of middle America and the Smoky Mountains.

How Popular is the Name Sierra?

Sierra is currently number 350 on the list of popular baby names in America. Although it spent almost a decade within the top 100 in the 1990s, Sierra has never been an incredibly popular name. It’s a unique and outdoorsy name that expresses a certain grandeur. Usually, Sierra is around 400-500 in popularity (1).

How Do I Pronounce Sierra?

Sierra is pronounced, “see-AIR-uh.” There aren’t any other pronunciations in English. However, the original Spanish word features a rolled “r” sound because of the double letter. Otherwise, the emphasis is the same.

Is Sierra a Boy or Girl Name?

Sierra is traditionally a girl’s name and has been very rarely used for baby boys. However, it has been used for boys outside of the United States more often. When it first became popular in the 1800s, Sierra was a boy and a girl’s name.

Variations of Sierra

Here are some common variations of the name Sierra:

Nicknames for Sierra

Although there aren’t many nicknames for Sierra, here are some of the most common:

  • Ri
  • Ra-ra
  • Sara
  • Si
  • Siri
  • Si-si
  • Sissy

Similar Names to Sierra

Sierra is an independent, adventurous name. If you like the name Sierra but it’s not quite right for your baby, check out these similar names:

Middle Names for Sierra

A first name as beautiful as Sierra needs a perfect middle name. While you can’t choose your last name, there are always options that match well with the first name and blend the whole moniker together. Here are some names that go well with Sierra:

Famous People Named Sierra

Of course, you want to know who you’re naming your child after, even if it’s an unintentional namesake. Sierra is not an incredibly common name, but here are some of the celebrities named Sierra.

  • Sierra Boggess: Broadway actress.
  • Sierra Capri: movie and television actress.
  • Sierra Cartwright: American novelist.
  • Sierra Hyland: softball pitcher.
  • Sierra Katow: comedienne and podcaster.
  • Sierra McClain: actress.
  • Sierra Noble: singer/songwriter.
  • Sierra Swan: musician.
  • Sierra Teller Ornelas: Navajo storyteller, filmmaker, and weaver.

Sierra in Popular Culture

Of course, fictional characters also share the name Sierra. Here are some examples of the name Sierra in pop culture, from television shows to natural wonders.

  • Sierra: a Canadian rock band.
  • Sierra: a magazine published by the Sierra Club.
  • Sierra: a character in the TV series Dollhouse.
  • Sierra Burgess: the lead character in the Netflix movie Sierra Burgess is a Loser.
  • Sierra Leone: a country in Africa.
  • Sierra Nevada: a mountain range in California and Nevada.
  • Sierra Ripoche: character in Patrick McGrath’s novels.
  • Sierra Sue: a song by Bing Crosby.

Sierra FAQs

If you are still wondering about Sierra’s meaning, popularity, or anything else, here are some frequently asked questions about Sierra. We hope they answer your questions!

Is Sierra a Biblical Name?

While Sierra is not technically a biblical girl’s name, you will likely find the word in a Spanish translation of the bible. This is because Sierra can mean “saw” or “mountain range,” both of which are mentioned in the Bible. The natural glory of the mountains is a biblical message.

Is Sierra From a Different Language?

Sierra is a Spanish word that has been converted into a name. Although it originated with Latin and Spanish roots, now baby girls of all cultures are given the name Sierra. It is originally from Northern Spain and has a traditional Spanish meaning.

Is Sierra a Unique Name?

Sierra is a unique name. Although it became as popular as the top 100 in the 1990s, it hasn’t been on the top 1,000 baby names for more than a few decades. Currently, Sierra is only in the top 400-500 names in popularity. Odds are, you won’t run into another baby Sierra very often.

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