Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Zara

In some ways Zara could be considered a literary invention. In 1732 the highly-esteemed French philosopher Voltaire wrote a play called “Zaïre” which was a huge success on the stages of Paris (see literary references below). Quickly adapted into English, the play was renamed “Zara: A Tragedy” and saw equal success in London. It is widely believed that Voltaire’s tragic heroine’s name (Zaïre) was inspired by an Arabic name “Zahrah” (زهرة ) meaning “blooming flower”. The play takes place in 13th century Jerusalem during the Crusades when the Christian Zaïre is taken as a slave by the Muslims and soon falls in love with the Sultan. Her tragic end served to illuminate the disastrous results of religious suspicion and intolerance (Voltaire, who wrote during the Enlightenment, championed civil liberties, including freedom of religion). Aside from Zara’s Arabic origins, the name is also considered a diminutive of Zaharina, which is the Bulgarian and Macedonian female equivalent to the Biblical male name Zechariah (from the Hebrew meaning “Yahweh remembers”). It is for this reason you’ll find Zara a common name within some Slavic nations (especially Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina). Helping to popularize the name in Great Britain more recently was Princess Anne (daughter of Queen Elizabeth II) who named her only daughter Zara in 1981, sparking some attention given the name’s exotic nature. Not exactly typical of the standard English royal names, is it? Zara is a very popular name today throughout the English speaking world (except for the U.S. and Canada). Most common in Australia, Zara’s successful usage is also enjoyed in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England/Wales and Ireland.

All About the Baby Name – Zara

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME ZARA

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME ZARA

Zara is one of those examples where the U.S. is apparently behind the eight ball. The name sees so much success in most other English-speaking nations, but in America? Not so much. Apparently American parents got their first memo re: Zara in 2005 which was the first year this little four-letter darling appeared on the female naming charts. At least we can report the good news. Zara appears to be increasing in usage year over year, but she does have a fair bit of competition coming from some other related names: Zaria, Zariah and Zariyah. Compared to these others, Zara is the most accessible, the least fanciful and downright pretty in her simplicity. Princess Anne of England gave the name some royal cachet while Australians add a flavor of street-cred. When will more American parents pick this “blooming flower”?

Quick Facts

ON ZARA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Arabic

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

482

PRONUNCIATION:

ZAHR-ə

SIMPLE MEANING:

Blooming flower

Characteristics

OF ZARA

Independent

Individualistic

Ambitious

Strong-willed

Inventive

Successful

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Zara

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME ZARA

Popular Songs

ON ZARA

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Zara


Famous People

NAMED ZARA

Zara (Russian pop-singer)
Zara Bate (fashion designer/wife of former Australian PM)
Zara Cully (African-American actress)
Zara Salim Davidson (Malaysian royalty)
Zara Davis (English windsurfer)
Zara Eileen Hore-Ruthven, Countess of Gowrie (wife of Governor-General of Australia 1936-44)
Zara Larsson (Swedish singer)
Zara Phillips (English royalty, daughter of Princess Anne)
Zara Turner (British actress)
Zara Wright (African-American author)

Children of Famous People

NAMED ZARA

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME ZARA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Zara