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Gender: Female Meaning of Cara: "dear; friend; face" Origin of Cara: Latin, Italian, Irish, Spanish, and Portuguese Cara's Popularity in 2017: #856

The name Cara is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "dear; friend; face". Cara is ranked #856 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Friend or Friendly and discussed in our forums with posts like "This or That?------------girls!".

From the experts:

Cara is a simple, sweet, Italian endearment that enjoyed its greatest popularity from the 1970s through the 1990s, reaching a high of Number 189 in 1977. Though the name has been on the decline in recent years, that could change soon due to the rising celebrity of English model/actress Cara Delevingne, who played Enchantress in Suicide Squad. Cara is a highly popular choice in Ireland.

In the Evelyn Waugh novel Brideshead Revisited, the Cara character is French.

Damon Wayans took the endearment aspect even further when he named his now-grown daughter Cara Mia.

Find other names based on Cara using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Cara

Cara Jocelyn Delevingne, English model and actress
Cara Jenkins, English actress
Cara Williams (born Bernice Kamiat), American actress
Cara Black, Zimbabwean tennis player
Cara Seymour, English actress
Cara Elizabeth Dillon, Irish singer
Cara Lockwood, American novelist
Cara Pifko, Canadian actress
Cara Luft, Canadian singer-songwriter
Cara Hain Wakelin, Canadian model and actress
Cara Zavaleta, American model and actress
Cara Elizabeth DeLizia, American actress
Cara Readle, Welsh actress
Cara Renee Gorges, Miss Kansas USA 2007
Cara Elizabeth Quici, American singer-songwriter
Cara Buono, American actress
Cara Connolly (b. 1974), daughter of comedian Billy Connolly
Cara Mia Dianne Wayans (b. 1987), daughter of actor/comedian Damon Wayans
Cara Rose (b. 1989), daughter of baseball player Pete Rose
Cara Ethel Kennedy-Cuomo (b. 1995), daughter of politician Andrew Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy; granddaughter of politician Robert F. Kennedy; twin of sister Mariah Matilda
Cara Nicole Gosselin (b. 2000), daughter of reality TV personalities Jon & Kate Gosselin
Cara Morkel (b. 2011), daughter of cricketer Albie Morkel

Pop Culture References for the name Cara

Cara, Irish Gaelic word for "friend", explaining why it's so popular in Ireland.
Cara, character in "Teen Idol" by Meg Cabot
Cara, character in the Divergent trilogy
Cara Coburn, character on TV's "The Tomorrow People"
Cara Mason, character in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind
Cara, character in "Atlantia" by Ally Condie
"Caraphernelia", a song by the band Pierce The Veil in which the title is a play on of the word paraphernalia and the name Cara

Cara's International Variations

Carra (Irish)


sueyann Says:


There are different meanings of names...

CSB Says:


I named one of my twin girls Cara (care-uh) She is a beautiful, bright, sweet baby and everyone admires her name. I love the meaning 'friend'.

Daiseymae Says:


I only like it the way you say it. Beautiful name.

Ella-Lizzy12 Says:


I've known this as a nickname for Caroline, and I like it for that because the obvious Carrie seems a bit dated, and I think a modern Caroline would suit this better.

primandproper Says:


yeah! I can't hear Cah-ruh, since my nickname is Cara! You could use it as nn for Caroline, Carolyn, Carol, ect, or on its own!

indiefendi2 Says:


I only like Cara when it's care-a and rhymes with Sara. That's how I've always heard it. Something about CAH-ra rubs my ears the wrong way.

Noelia Belén Says:


If someone tells me their name is Cara, even though I speak spanish, I won't think their name is "face". Someone needs to fix this.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Lovely name - prefer this spelling to Kara, but love it either way

writereadrepeat Says:


My nickname is Cara, but pronounced Care-uh.

Cajunqueen88 Says:


I wish they would add two pronounciations to this page, it could be CAR-ah or CARE-ah.

Cajunqueen88 Says:


I absolutely agree! Just because a name is also a word doesn't make it any less of a name with it's own origins. PS my daughter's name is Cara and I absolutely love it 😊

LV51sfan91 Says:


I like Cara (Care-uh) a lot!!!! I like the meaning "friend."

hermioneameliastyles Says:


I've never met anyone with this spelling. The girl I knew spelled it Kara and went by care-ah instead of car-ah. I still really like this name and think it could work. Don't let model and actress Cara Delevigne turn you off of this name.

-EagleEyes- Says:


Beautiful sounding name, although I speak Spanish, so I do think of "face" when I see it. Otherwise, I find it very pretty.

CaraMia860 Says:


Nameberry needs to change the meaning of "Cara." This is my name so I take it a bit personally. The name does not mean "face"! True, the word for face in Spanish is "cara," but nobody in Spain is naming her child "face." The name, as opposed to the word, derives from the Latin word for dear or beloved. Please change!

Nozomi Says:


Yeah, I also speak a couple other languages so there are lots of names i find interesting connections with, however, yes I understand how spanish being such a popular language in world, might make you wanna think twice about this name, and like you stated it even means something in Italian.

Floris Says:


That's sad, with Spanish being a really popular language. My nonna is Italian, so to me cara means primarily dear (but also expensive), so I thought the meaning was nice... But now I'm honestly a bit eh about this name...

Nozomi Says:


Same reason for me being hispanic and all, but I still don't like the sound of it anyways I just don't see the appeal :/

coyletm Says:


My husband & I were college mates, then became close friends before coming a couple. We are both Irish so love the name Cara for it's friend meaning. We feel it is a special name for our baby(if baby is a girl). We're still struggling to pick a boys name.

EvaThyssen Says:


Cara means two things in Spanish:
-expensive (f)
That's why I don't like it.

ldougie Says:


I knew a nasty Cara and that ruined the name but I would like it otherwise.

Poppy Says:


I really like this name. It is so pretty, but not frilly or trendy. It isn't too popular, but might be someday. And it is so simple, and sweet but almost elegant sounding.

Tess27 Says:


Cara is the Irish language word for "friend".