The name could be of a few different etymologies. It could a German name, composed of the Old Germanic elements, is (ice) or isan (iron) and mari (famous).

Another possibility is that it is from Ismarus, a name of Thracian origins, but of uncertain meaning. It appears in Greek mythology several times as the name of a few Thracian characters. It is also the name of an ancient Thracian city and of a mountain

As of 2010, Ismar was the 91st most popular male name in Bosnia & Herzegovina.