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Gender: F Meaning of Clarissa: "bright, clear" Origin of Clarissa: Elaboration of Clara Clarissa's Popularity in 2013: #708

Popularity: this week.

Clarissa, the daintier version of Claire, has a long literary history of its own, having been featured in the novels of Samuel Richardson, Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf--Clarissa was the title character of Mrs. Dalloway--not to mention the 1990's TV teen show, Clarissa Explains it All.

Clarissa is a name definitely worth considering as an alternative to the overused Vanessa and Melissa. Appealing diminutives are Clarry and Claris.

Red Cross founder Clara Barton was born Clarissa.

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Famous People Named Clarissa

Clarissa Harlowe Barton, American nurse and humanitarian; founder of the Red Cross
Clarissa Eden, Countess of Avon, born Anne Clarissa Spencer-Churchill
Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, British author

Pop Culture References for the Name Clarissa

Clarissa Dalloway, title character of "Mrs Dalloway" (1925) by Virginia Woolf
Clarissa Darling, from "Clarissa Explains It All"
Clarissa Harlowe, beautiful and saintly heroine of the novel "Clarissa; or, the History of a Young Lady" (1747-8) by Samuel Richardson
Clarissa "Clary" Fray/ Fairchild/ Morgenstern, heroine of Cassandra Clare's "The Mortal Instruments" series
Clarissa Alpert, from the TV miniseries "Maneater"
Clarissa Worthington Howe, minor antagonist in L. A. Meyer's "Bloody Jack" series
Clarissa Saunders, Mr. Smith's cynical secretary from the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), played by Jean Arthur. "She called me Clarissa"
Clarissa, a character on "Reign"

Clairisa, Clairissa, Clairisse, Claraissa, Clarecia, Claressa, Claresta, Clarisa, Clarissia, Claritza, Clarizza, Clarrisa, Clarrissa, Clerissa