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Zara Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Zara Overview

  • Meaning: “Princess” or “Blooming flower.”
  • Gender: Female.
  • Origin: Hebrew and Arabic.
  • Pronunciation: ZAR-ah.
  • Popularity: 213 out of the top 1,000 names in 2021.
  • Nicknames: ZaZa, Z, Za.
  • Variations: Zarra, Zahara, Zahrah.
  • Namesakes: Zara Philips Tindall, Zara Cully.

What Does Zara Mean?

Zara is a name that has several different meanings. Most people agree that Zara comes from the Arabic word for “blooming flower,” but it’s also likely that the name is derived separately from the Hebrew Sarah, meaning “princess.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Zara?

The great thing about choosing the name Zara is that it’s an international name originating in many different languages.

Many people consider the name stemming from the Hebrew and Arabic languages. It’s also possible that Zara is a spinoff of the name Zaharina, which is a female version of the Hebrew boy’s name Zechariah in Bulgarian.

How Popular Is the Name Zara?

The popularity of the name Zara has risen steadily in the last couple of decades. According to the United States Social Security Administration, Zara first appeared in the top 1,000 names in 2005 (1).

Since then, it’s become increasingly common in the United States. The year 2021 was the most popular one yet for Zara — it was ranked number 213 out of the top 1,000 names.

How Do I Pronounce Zara?

Zara is traditionally pronounced “ZAR-ah,” with the emphasis on the first syllable. Some people may pronounce the name with a short “a” to rhyme with Sarah, but this pronunciation is less common.

Is Zara a Boy or Girl Name?

Zara is traditionally a girl’s name. If you consider the Hebrew origin of “princess,” you can see why it delineates as a girl’s name. Zara’s Arabic meaning of “blooming flower” is associated with femininity.

Variations of Zara

Because it stems from multiple languages, the name Zara has many variations in both pronunciation and spelling.

  • Zahra
  • Zaire
  • Zarah
  • Zaria
  • Zariah
  • Zarra

Nicknames for Zara

There aren’t any standard nicknames for Zara — at least not in the way “Ted” is short for Theodore. Parents can still get creative with the name. Calling your baby “Z” would be adorable and unique, or maybe “Za-za” or “Ra-ra.”

Similar Names to Zara

There are many names similar to Zara sprinkling the top 1,000 monikers in the U.S. and beyond. Because Zara tends to be a more international-sounding name, there’s no shortage of similar-sounding labels.

Folks tend to like the open “a” sound in the name, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many similar names have the same open vowel sounds and international ring to them.

  • Sariyah
  • Zagiri
  • Zahara
  • Zaire
  • Zaniyah
  • Zaria
  • Zariah
  • Zariyah
  • Zerah
  • Zola
  • Zora
  • Zorea
  • Zuri

Middle Names for Zara

One of the nice things about naming your baby Zara is that having a short, easy-to-pronounce first name opens up the field for any variety of complementary middle names.

Sibling Names for Zara

Similar to picking a middle name, most monikers will go well with a Zara for a sibling. Here are a few name ideas for your little Zara’s brother or sister:

Famous People Named Zara

Although the name Zara has only started to become popular in the last two decades, there are a few famous namesakes out there. Notable examples include:

  • Zara Aldana: Filipina celebrity.
  • Zara Cully: American actress.
  • Zara Sheikh: Pakistani model and actress.
  • Zara Tindall: Daughter of Princess Anne and granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Zara Yaqob: Former emperor of Ethiopia.

Zara in Popular Culture

One reason that the name Zara is popular is that many people feel it has an international and somewhat imported flare. It’s a great name that also couples these qualities with an easy-to-spell moniker, making it the perfect choice for some.

Here are a few notable name-bearers in pop culture:

  • Queen Zara: Zara is the name of the Moorish queen in the play “The Mourning Bride”by English dramatist William Congreve.
  • Zara: International fast-fashion retailer founded in Spain in 1975.
  • Zara Morgan: Character in the British soap opera “Hollyoaks.”
  • Zara, Priestess of Crimson Flame: Character in DC Comics.

Zara FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions people ask about the name Zara.

Is Zara a Biblical Name?

While the name Zara itself isn’t in the Bible, one of the origins of the name is a derivative of Sarah, a biblical character.

Sarah was the wife of Abraham and was formerly known as Sarai, but God changed her name to Sarah, meaning “princess,” as part of the promise to Abraham of his fruitful lineage.

Sometimes the biblical girl’s name Zerah is transliterated as Zara, especially since the pronunciation is similar. In the Bible, Zerah is the son of Judah and in the lineage of Jesus.

What Does Zara Mean in Greek?

One of the more popular stories concerning Zara is that Prince Charles of the United Kingdom chose the name for Zara Tindall, Princess Anne’s daughter, instead of her parents.

Reportedly Prince Charles felt that it was an appropriate name for the baby, meaning “bright as the dawn.”

What Is the Meaning of Zara in the Quran?

Zara doesn’t appear in the Quran itself, but the name does have Arabic origins. According to some, Zara means “bright as the dawn” in Arabic, but it can also mean “blooming flower.”

Does Zara Mean “God Remembers?”

Although the name has many origins, most people refer to either Zara’s Arabic or Hebrew roots. In Hebrew, it derives from the name Sarah or Zerah, neither of which means “God remembers.”

Is Zara a French Name?

Zara isn’t a French girl’s name in origin. The French version of Zara is Zaire. The name was popularized in French through the tragic play “Zaire,” written by the satirist Voltaire.

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