Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Sarah

Did you know that Sarah is one of the oldest names in existence? Hard to believe; she has such a modern sensibility. In fact, as far as the Western World is concerned, Sarah is the 8th oldest name in the history of womankind. Eve (life, breath) is the first (Gen. 4:1). Adah (adornment) and Zillah (shade) are named next as the wives of Lamech, a descendent of Cain (Gen 4:19). Sarai (contentious) is the fourth woman named in the Bible as Abram’s wife (before their names were changed by the Lord to Sarah and Abraham, respectively). In the same breath (Gen. 11:29) we are also given the name of Abram’s sister-in-law, Nahor’s wife, Milcah (queen) and the name of their daughter Iscah (to behold). Hagar (flight), Sarai’s handmaid, is named next in Gen. 16:1. Then we finally get to the name Sarah (princess) in Genesis 17:15 when God changes Sarai’s name to Sarah. The name change is significant in that it underscores Yahweh’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants through Sarah (essentially blessing her as a princess – a woman of high rank). The Lord also finally gives the barren Sarah a son, Isaac (from whom the covenant continues). So you can understand what a matriarchal figure Sarah is in the Bible. Although she’s 8th in order of appearance, she’s second only to Eve in importance. Sarah has always been a name of choice among Jewish people, but the French adopted it in the Middle Ages. After the Protestant Reformation (c. 17th century), Sarah became one of the most common names in England - the Puritans especially saw Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah as shining examples of the virtuous wife. Still a Western princess today, Sarah ranks high on the baby name lists of many nations: Austria, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, the United States, Scotland and Norway. She’s a Top 100 favorite in England and also does remarkably well in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

All About the Baby Name – Sarah

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME SARAH

The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It's the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME SARAH

The endurance of the name Sarah on the U.S. popularity charts is impressive. There are few names that have held this level of popularity for so long (Elizabeth being another example). The name enjoyed single-digit popularity in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s; more recently Sarah averages as Top 40 choice. As a name in usage since America was still only a group of colonies, its popularity has never waned. Sarah is a tried-and-true female name choice that feels neither trendy nor old-fashioned. Adding to its popularity is the fact that Sarah is essentially nickname-proof. The pet form of Sadie has recently gained prominence as an independently given name in her own right.

Quick Facts

ON SARAH

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

48

PRONUNCIATION:

SAYR-ah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Princess

Characteristics

OF SARAH

Cooperative

Considerate

Compassionate

Nurturing

Sensitive

Patient

Loving

Kind

Gracious

Balanced

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Sarah

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME SARAH

We were unable to locate any significant literary characters with the first name Sarah.

Subtitled: A Magnificent Saga of Courage, Betrayal, Devotion, and Destiny. The rightful-born queen of Lyrnessos, Briseis watched helplessly from the battlements as her husband and brothers were crushed by the invincible army of King Agamemnon. Taken into slavery, the proud, beautiful seer became the prize of Prince Achilles, the conquering Greeks' mightiest hero. But passion forged chains stronger than any iron, binding the hearts of captive and captor with a love that knew no equal, and when Troy fell, great Achilles promised his beloved Briseis would reign at his side as queen of Thessaly. Yet the jealousy of a ruthless king and the whims of the capricious deities would deny the lovers their happiness. As the flames of war rose higher around them, the prophetess vowed to save the beloved warrior for whom her dark gift foretold doom -- even if it meant defying the gods themselves.

Popular Songs

ON SARAH

Sarah Maria
a song by James Taylor

Me and Sarah Jane
a song by Genesis

Sarah
a song by Prince

Sarah in the Summer
a song by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Sarah Yellin'
a song by 3 Doors Down

Famous People

NAMED SARAH

Sarah Michelle Gellar (actress)
Sarah McLachlan (musician)
Sarah Jessica Parker (actress)
Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York)
Sarah Palin (politician)
Sarah Polk (U.S. First Lady)
Sarah Silverman (comedian)
Sarah Bernhardt (writer)
Sarah Bernhardt (actress)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (actress)
Sarah McLachlan (musician)
Sarah Jessica Parker (actress)
Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York)
Sarah Palin (politician)
Sarah Polk (U.S. First Lady)
Sarah Silverman (comedian)
Sarah Bernhardt (writer)
Sarah Bernhardt (actress)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (actress)
Sarah McLachlan (musician)
Sarah Jessica Parker (actress)
Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York)
Sarah Palin (politician)
Sarah Polk (U.S. First Lady)
Sarah Silverman (comedian)
Sarah Bernhardt (writer)
Sarah Bernhardt (actress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED SARAH

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Sarah

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME SARAH

Sarah Winchester was truly an eccentric woman. In 1881, she inherited her husband’s vast estate in part from his firearms company, making her a very wealthy woman. Convinced by a psychic that her family was cursed by all the people killed with Winchester firearms, she moved out west from Connecticut and used her fortune building the Winchester House (in San Jose, California). Sarah held the belief that if she kept building (and building…and building) she would keep the bad spirits at bay. Construction never stopped on the Winchester House. It’s a famous attraction today – a huge home with hallways and staircases leading nowhere. Old Sarah lived to be 83, so maybe she was onto something!

A woman of striking beauty, Sarah (originally “Sarai”) was the wife of Abraham. Unable to conceive a child, and wanting to uphold the covenant of God that Abraham would be the “father of a great nation” she gave her husband over to her servant, Hagar, in order that she bear him a child. Hagar conceived and bore Ishmael, but then began to look upon her mistress, Sarah, with contempt. So God promises Sarah a son, too. This caused great laughter as Sarah was over 70 (not quite the child-bearing age). Sure enough, Sarah conceived and bore Isaac. They named him Isaac (Yitzac in Hebrew) which, fittingly, means ‘laughter.’

Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin has entered the American history books. In 2006, Palin became the first woman (and youngest person) to serve as Governor of Alaska (resigning her post in 2009). She rose to prominence (infamy or popularity – you conclude) during the Presidential elections of 2008 as running mate to Republican candidate McCain (also the first female vice-presidential candidate ever for the Republican Party). Today she is a political pundit and a bestselling author.

Sarah Winchester was truly an eccentric woman. In 1881, she inherited her husband’s vast estate in part from his firearms company, making her a very wealthy woman. Convinced by a psychic that her family was cursed by all the people killed with Winchester firearms, she moved out west from Connecticut and used her fortune building the Winchester House (in San Jose, California). Sarah held the belief that if she kept building (and building…and building) she would keep the bad spirits at bay. Construction never stopped on the Winchester House. It’s a famous attraction today – a huge home with hallways and staircases leading nowhere. Old Sarah lived to be 83, so maybe she was onto something!

A woman of striking beauty, Sarah (originally “Sarai”) was the wife of Abraham. Unable to conceive a child, and wanting to uphold the covenant of God that Abraham would be the “father of a great nation” she gave her husband over to her servant, Hagar, in order that she bear him a child. Hagar conceived and bore Ishmael, but then began to look upon her mistress, Sarah, with contempt. So God promises Sarah a son, too. This caused great laughter as Sarah was over 70 (not quite the child-bearing age). Sure enough, Sarah conceived and bore Isaac. They named him Isaac (Yitzac in Hebrew) which, fittingly, means ‘laughter.’

Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin has entered the American history books. In 2006, Palin became the first woman (and youngest person) to serve as Governor of Alaska (resigning her post in 2009). She rose to prominence (infamy or popularity – you conclude) during the Presidential elections of 2008 as running mate to Republican candidate McCain (also the first female vice-presidential candidate ever for the Republican Party). Today she is a political pundit and a bestselling author.

Sarah Winchester was truly an eccentric woman. In 1881, she inherited her husband’s vast estate in part from his firearms company, making her a very wealthy woman. Convinced by a psychic that her family was cursed by all the people killed with Winchester firearms, she moved out west from Connecticut and used her fortune building the Winchester House (in San Jose, California). Sarah held the belief that if she kept building (and building…and building) she would keep the bad spirits at bay. Construction never stopped on the Winchester House. It’s a famous attraction today – a huge home with hallways and staircases leading nowhere. Old Sarah lived to be 83, so maybe she was onto something!

Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin has entered the American history books. In 2006, Palin became the first woman (and youngest person) to serve as Governor of Alaska (resigning her post in 2009). She rose to prominence (infamy or popularity – you conclude) during the Presidential elections of 2008 as running mate to Republican candidate McCain (also the first female vice-presidential candidate ever for the Republican Party). Today she is a political pundit and a bestselling author.

A woman of striking beauty, Sarah (originally “Sarai”) was the wife of Abraham. Unable to conceive a child, and wanting to uphold the covenant of God that Abraham would be the “father of a great nation” she gave her husband over to her servant, Hagar, in order that she bear him a child. Hagar conceived and bore Ishmael, but then began to look upon her mistress, Sarah, with contempt. So God promises Sarah a son, too. This caused great laughter as Sarah was over 70 (not quite the child-bearing age). Sure enough, Sarah conceived and bore Isaac. They named him Isaac (Yitzac in Hebrew) which, fittingly, means ‘laughter.’