Eng (SARE-ah); Heb (SAH-hrah)
Sarah has been a popular choice throughout the English speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. In Medieval Europe, the name seldom got much usage outside the Jewish community.
Currently, Sarah is the 20th most popular female name in the United States-(2008) and the highest she peaked was in 1993 coming in as the 3rd most popular female name.
The lowest she has ever ranked in U.S. history so far was in 1959 when she ranked in as the 119th most popular female name.
In other countries, Sarah and Sara’s rankings are as follows:
- # 16 (Australia, 2007)
- # 2 (Austria, 2008)
- # 6 (Belgium, 2008)
- # 13 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
- # 72 (England/Wales, 2008)
- # 3 (Croatia, 2008)
- # 9 (Denmark, 2008)
- # 2 (Faroe Islands, 2008)
- # 3 (Finland, among Finnish-speakers, 2007)
- # 10 (Finland, among Swedish-speakers, 2007)
- # 1 (Iceland, 2004-2007)
- # 3 (Iran, 2007)
- # 3 (Ireland, 2008)
- # 4 (Israel, among Druze girls, 2004)
- # 4 (Italy, 2007)
- # 3 (Libya)
- # 1 (Liechtenstein,2008)
- # 7 (Luxembourg, 2008)
- # 34 (the Netherlands, 2008)
- # 3 (Norway, 2008)
- # 76 (Poland, Warsaw, 2009)
- # 24 (Scotland, 2008)
- # 5 (Serbia, 2009)
- # 2 (Slovenia, 2008)
- # 4 (Spain, 2008)
- # 7 (Spain, Basque Country, 2008)
- # 9 (Spain, Catalonia, 2008)
- # 3 (Switzerland, 2008)
- # 9 (Quebec, Canada, 2008)
The name is found in the Old Testament as the name of the wife of patriarch, Abraham, and the mother of Isaac. Among Jews, Sarah is considered to be an important matriarch and she also plays an important role as the wife of Ibrahim in the Qu’ran.
According to the Old Testament, Sarah was born as Sarai, (either from the Hebrew meaning “contentious” or “my princess”), but after Abraham had made the covenant with God, her name was changed to Sarah שָׂרָה, which is from the Hebrew meaning “a princess” or “a woman of high status”.
In Romani legend, the name is borne by a popular folk saint, known as St. Sarah the Black, it was believed that she was a a servant of St. Mary Magdalen, and that upon their arrival in France, she lived the life a of a beggar. The Romani people took her on as their patron saint.
The name has spun off such offshoots as Sally and Sadie. Both Sally and Sadie started off as English pet forms, but have been in usage as independent given names for centuries.
Currently, Sadie stands in as the 108th most popular female name in the United States, (2008), in Canada, she is the 56th most popular female name.
As for the older, dowdier version of Sally, it has not ranked in the U.S. top 1000 since 2004, when it came in at # 917. The highest she ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1939, when she came in as the 52nd most popular female name.
Other forms of the Sarah include:
- Sara سارة (Arabic)
- Sahra/Saro (Aramaic)
- SaraAzeri/Catalan/Dutch/Finnish/French/German/Indonesian/Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Portuguese/Spanish/Scandinavian Turkish)
- Sára (Czech/Faroese/Icelandic/Slovak: SAH-rah)
- Saara (Estonian/Finnish/Baloch)
- Saare (Estonian)
- Saija (Finnish)
- Sari (Finnish)
- Saar/Saarke/Saartje (Frisian)
- Sarah שָׂרָ֖ה (German/English/Hebrew)
- Sára Σάρα (Greek)
- Saala/Saalat (Greenlandic)
- Kala (Hawaiian)
- Sarit שָׂרִית (Hebrew: modern form)
- Sára (Hungarian: SHAH-rah)
- Sári/Sárika (Hungarian: SHAH-ree, SHAH-ree-ko: originally diminutive forms, now used as independent given name)
- Saretta (Italian: obscure form)
- Sarina (Italian: obscure form)
- Sarita (Italian/Lithuanian/Spanish: obscure diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
- Saruccia (Italian: Medieval diminutive form occasionally used as an independent given name)
- Sasotta (Italian: obscure form)
- Sarina (Ossetian/Georgian)
- Sara سارا(Persian/Iranian)
- Sara Сара (Russian/Serbian/Bulgarian)
- Sarê (Kurdish)
- Suri (Yiddish)
- Tzeitel (Yiddish: TSITE-el)
The designated name-days are: January 19 (Poland/Hungary), July 19 (Sweden), October 4/22 (France), October 9 (Czech Republic).
Famous Sarahs include: French Stage Actress, Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (b.1959), American actress, Sarah Michelle Gellar (b.1977), American nominee for Vice-President and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin (b.1964). American actress and star of Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker (b.1965).