Sarah Name Meaning

Baby girl sitting on a puzzle.

 

Westend61 / Getty Images 

What Does Sarah Mean?

Ask anyone named Sarah what their name means and you’ll likely get an enthusiastic response: “Princess!” The name Sarah is indeed often translated as “princess”—though Sarah's more literal meaning in Hebrew and Persian is “woman of high rank.” You may also see the name Sarah interpreted as “noblewoman,” “lady,” or “happy.”

The first known Sarah was a major character in the Old Testament book of Genesis (and plays a smaller role the Quran). She was the wife of Abraham, the father of Judaism, and is herself considered the matriarch of the Jewish faith.

She is perhaps most famous for bearing a son, Isaac, when she was 90 years old. Her descendants through Isaac became the Hebrew people.

  • Origin: Sarah is the name of the biblical wife of Abraham. It is a Hebrew word meaning noblewoman or princess.
  • Gender: Sarah is typically a feminine name. There are no masculine variations of the name Sarah.
  • Pronunciation: SEH-ruh

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best. 

How Popular Is the Name Sarah?

For a classic name with enduring popularity, you can’t go wrong with Sarah. This biblical moniker has enjoyed a high ranking for girls in the United States since baby name records have been kept.

As far back as 1900, it ranked No. 37 in popularity, and in the intervening years has never dipped below No. 120. The name had a particular heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, when it consistently hit No. 3, 4, and 5.

Today, Sarah continues to sit relatively high on baby name charts. In 2019, the Social Security Administration listed it as No. 81 for girls.

Although generally used as a name for girls, there is record of baby boys named Sarah. At its highest rank in 1989, the name was No. 823 among boys.

Name Variations 

The name Sarah has been around for thousands of years. That’s a long time for it to find its way across the globe to multiple languages and cultures! Some of its variations include:

  • Hara (Maori)
  • Kala (Hawaiian)
  • Saara (Finnish)
  • Sara (English)
  • Sára (Eastern European)
  • Sarai (Biblical Hebrew)
  • Sarrha (Biblical Greek)
  • Sassa (Swedish)
  • Sorcha (Irish)
  • Suri (Yiddish)
  • Zara (Arabic, Hebrew)

Similar Names

Other girls’ names of biblical origin include:

  • Abigail
  • Elizabeth
  • Esther
  • Eve
  • Hannah
  • Martha
  • Mary
  • Naomi
  • Rachel
  • Rebekah
  • Ruth
  • Tamar

Other girls’ names beginning with S:

  • Sabrina
  • Sandra
  • Scarlett
  • Shannon
  • Shiloh
  • Sonia
  • Sophia
  • Stephanie
  • Susanna
  • Sydney

Common Nicknames 

Common nicknames for Sarah include:

  • Sadie: Sadie appeared as a nickname for Sarah in the 1800’s and now stands as a name in its own right. It has a cheerful vibe with a touch of vintage feel. With the folk popularity of Sadie Hawkins Day dances—in which girls ask boys to dance—you might associate this one with a forthright personality.  
  • Sally: Sally is another common name that originated as a nickname for Sarah. This pet name has a bubbly, upbeat feel that gives a sense of fun. It may call to mind American actress Sally Field’s good-humored image or that of Charlie Brown’s trusting little sister in the Peanuts cartoons.
  • Sari: Sari, like many nicknames, takes the name Sarah and shortens it with an “ee” sound. Its diminutive sound makes it suitable for younger children or family use.

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Andrew
  • Anne
  • Jonathan
  • Leah
  • Peter
  • Samuel
  • Sasha
  • Scott

Famous People Named Sarah/Sara

As a classically popular name, there’s no shortage of famous Sarahs (and Saras), both in history and the present. Here are a few notable people with these names:

Famous Sarahs:

  • Sarah Brightman, English soprano
  • Sarah Jessica Parker, American actress
  • Sarah Palin, American politician
  • Sarah McLachlan, Canadian musician
  • Sarah Orne Jewett, American novelist
  • Sarah Silverman, American comedian and actress

Famous Saras:

  • Sara Bareilles, American musician
  • Sara Gilbert, American actress
  • Sara Teasdale, American poet

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi