Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek Λαρισα
Meaning: “citadel.”
Eng (lah-RIS-suh)

The name is borne in Greek mythology by a nymph of Thessaly and daughter of Pelasgus. It is also the name of the capitol city of Thessaly, Greece, which is believed to have gotten its name from the nymph, who was considered a sort of patron of the city in pre-Christian times.

The name has always been popular throughout Eastern Europe due to the veneration of an Eastern Orthodox saint of the same name.

It was introduced into the English-speaking world via Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel, Doctor Zhivago, in which the heroine is named Larissa nicknamed Lara.

Currently, Larissa is the 33rd most popular female name in Brazil, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 41 (Switzerland, German-Speaking, 2010)
  • # 44 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 48 (Slovenia, Larisa, 2010)
  • # 55 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Larisa, 2010)
  • # 95 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 259 (the Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 760 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Larisa Лариса (Bosnian/Bulgarian/Croatian/Greek/Latvian/Lithuanian/Romanian/Russian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Làrissa (Catalan)
  • Larissa (Dutch/English/German/Italian/Portuguese)
  • Larysa Лариса (Polish/Ukrainian)
A common Russian short form is Lara.

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