- this week

Gender: Female Meaning of Clara: "bright, clear" Origin of Clara: Latin Clara's Popularity in 2017: #96

The name Clara is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "bright, clear". Clara is ranked #96 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Old Lady Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Love, Like, Lose... Name Game- GIRLS".

From the experts:

Long relegated to an Olde World backwater, the European-flavored Clara has been speeding up the charts on sleeker sister Claire's coattails for the past few decades. Now, many would say the vintage chic Clara is the more stylish of the two names. Actor Ewan McGregor was an early celebrity adopter of the name for one of his daughters.

Clara has been a popularity list stalwart and is currently as popular as it has been since the 1940s. Clara was a Top 10 name in the 1880's, at one time associated with the silent screen 'It Girl,' Clara Bow, and before that with German musician and composer Clara Schumann and Red Cross founder Clara Barton, who was born Clarissa.

Clara is beloved for her leading role in The Nutcracker ballet and as Heidi's invalid friend.

Other Clara variations you might want to consider include Clarissa and Clarina, though Clarabelle seems still fit mainly for cows.

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

Famous People Named Clara

Clara Francisca Nunes, Brazilian samba singer
Clara Gordon Bow, American actress
Clara Ellen Butt, English operatic contralto
Clara Read, English actress
Clara Josephine (Wieck) Schumann, German composer and pianist
Clara Louise Maass, American nurse
Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" Barton, American pioneering nurse
Clara Hamilton Harris, American socialite
Clara Blandick, American actress
Clara Alonso, Spanish model
Clara Langhorne Clemens, American contralto
Clara Chung, American guitarist and singer
Clara Mae Shepard Luper, American civil rights leader
Clara Hughes, Canadian Olympic cyclist and speed skater
Clara Haskil, Romanian pianist
Clara Lee (Sung-min), British-South Korean actress and model
Clara Edwards, American pianist and composer
Isabella Clara Eugenia, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands
Clara Muhammad, American wife of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad
Clara Ward, American gospel singer of The Ward Singers
Clara Driscoll, American philanthropist
Clara Hagopian Jobs, mother Steve Jobs
Clara Lukasiak, younger sister of reality TV personality Chloe Lukasiak of TV's "Dance Moms"
Clara Balzary (b. 1988), daughter of musician Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Clara Mathilde McGregor (b. 1996), daughter of actor Ewan McGregor
Clara Enola Wire (b. 2002), daughter of musician Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers
Clara Thomas (b. 2009), daughter of TV journalist Nina Hossain and Stuart Thomas
Clara Saltykova (b. 2012), daughter of actors Inga Strelkova-Ooldina and Vitaly Saltykov
Clara Esquerdo, Spanish rhythmic gymnast
Clara Elizabeth So (b. 2016), daughter of actress Anna Chlumsky and Shaun So
Clara Jane Griffiths (b. 2018), daughter of YouTube vloggers Emily & Beau Griffiths of 'A Griffiths Life Vlogs'

Pop Culture References for the name Clara

Clara Stahlbaum, main character in ballet The Nutcracker
Clara Clayton Brown, character in movie "Back to the Future Part III"
Clara Dudley, character in "The Haunting of Hill House"
Clara, a character in musical "Passion"
Clara Boden, character in White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Clara Allen, character in Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove"
Clara Durrant, character in Virginia Woolf's "Jacob's Room"
Clara Bishop, character in Royals book series by Geneva Lee
Princess Clara, character in animated TV series "Drawn Together"
Clara Gardner, main character in the Unearthly series
Clara Beane, character in The Guild web series
Clara, character in Bob Dylan's 1975 film "Renaldo and Clara"
Clara, character in E. T. A. Hoffmann's "Der Sandmann"
Clara Belle, character in the video game "MySims"
Clara Varner, a main character in "The Long, Hot Summer"
Clara Oswald, a companion on TV's "Doctor Who"
Clara Radley, character from The Radleys by Matt Haig
Clara, a character from the British TV series "The Paradise"
Clara Edwards, character on "The Andy Griffith Show"
Clara Cluck, member of Mickey Mouse's original farmyard gang
Clara Sesemann, character in book/movie "Heidi"
Aunt Clara, character on TV's "Bewitched"
María Clara de los Santos, main character in "Noli Me Tangere" by José Rizal
Clara Wheeler, character on TV miniseries "Into the West"
Clara Callen, mother of G Callen on TV's "NCIS: Los Angeles"
Clara Buhalmet, character in "Fran Bow"
"Clara", song by progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers
Clara Drosselmayer, main character in animated movie "Barbie in the Nutcracker"
Clara Nightingale, character in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir
Clara Johnson, main character of opera-musical "The Light in the Piazza"
Clara, Spanish Vocaloid

Clara's International Variations

Clarissa, Clarice (Italian) Clarita (Spanish)


CCasper Says:


We named our June 2016 baby Clara Mae and I adore her name! My husband and I just instantly agreed on Clara. Her middle name was harder to decide on. She is two years old now and the name fits her so well!:) After sharing the name with family I discovered I had a great aunt Clara who raised my dad and his siblings after unexpected hardship(1930’s). They simply adored her.

LaulenaG Says:


It sounds a little old lady, or at least a little snobby.

Dev80 Says:


Clara the impossible girl, since I like Doctor Who I don't mind that association at all.

beachbear Says:


I've always pronounced it CLARE-a. No AY or AH involved.

bluecookies Says:


I love the clAHra pronunciation, not so much clAYra

Ella Says:


I pronounce it Claire-uh as well

fullabeans Says:


As a New Zealander myself, I can say that the majority of Kiwis would pronounce it clah-ra, not claire-a

RebeccaNZ Says:


Thanks to all who have replied. This is interesting! My husband is from the US (until he moved here 10 years ago), so it figures that he thinks it is pronounced that way. We are living in New Zealand. Maybe it is pronounced the British way here . . . but we'd better test the water with some other NZers if we want to add this one to our list!

thesilenceinbetween Says:


I also pronounce it as Claire-uh (and Cara as Care-uh); I'm from the US South. In Britain, from what I understand, all -ara names (Cara/Clara/Lara/Sara/Tara/Zara/etc.) are pronounced are-uh, so if you're British, I think you'll be okay, but if you're in the US, you'll have trouble.

aso Says:


I have only ever heard it pronounced Claire-uh and would definitely pronounce it that way, as well (I'm from the South, if that matters).

gummybear0724 Says:


I pronounce it as Claire-uh. Similarly I pronounce Cara as Care-uh.

Rebecca Says:


We are expecting a baby girl, and I love this name. But I thought it was pronounced Clara (rhyming with Zara or Cara). My husband thinks people will call her "Claire --uh" . . . and we're not so keen on that! I'm interested to know what others think about this. How do most people pronounce this name?

Kai Says:


Loving the vintage feel of this name. It's beautiful, and its meaning is beautiful too.

Daiseymae Says:


I agree with you. I know a 15 year old Clara, and it started to take off n popularity around 2002.

Coraline // Cora Says:


My name! I'm called Clara with Belle as a middle name, Its great to know what it means... x

abertawe Says:


Adore this but only when pronounced CLAR-a, not CLAIRE-a

fromtheocean12 Says:


With so many little Claire's, I think Clara could really stand out. It's beautiful and sophisticated, and it's recognizable without being overused. What's not to like with this name?

TheSlothPrincess Says:


This is a very pretty name, and not super common. I think it sounds a bit friendlier than Claire.

shelbynh Says:


Very beautiful, timeless name... love it... I think of Clara Barton

gummybear0724 Says:


My old dance teacher named her daughter this.

WiseBird39 Says:


I love Clara. The Nutcracker is one of the most beautiful ballets ever, Clara Oswin Oswald is great, and it goes perfectly with the adorable nickname Clary. (In fact, I think I prefer Clary as a nn for Clara rather than for Clarissa, even.) An adorable, timeless name!

Eva Thyssen Says:


I love Clara and Clare. I don't care actually about Claire.

TheColourGreen Says:


I used to dislike this name as I thought it was too common and boring, but right now I am loving it. I would contemplate naming a future daughter Clara Julienne or Clara Elowen.

POssumFreAK Says:


Also popular among the Whovian Culture of Doctor Who's own companion character Clara Oswin Oswald

livelovewrite Says:


One of the prettiest names out there. My friend is named Clara and you just can't not like her. However, all of her teachers (and I mean all of them) call her Claire, including half her classmates. I don't understand why they can't just get the name right!

Zelliew Says:


I still prefer Claire

Christina507 Says:


I love this name so much! It reminds me of the beach because where I'm from (Panama) one of the most beautiful beaches to go to is called Santa Clara. It just brings happy memories.

LittleGypsy Says:


I'm so in love with this name :)

headintheclouds Says:


Very pretty, light and airy vintage classic name. It's feminine without being too frilly, and everyone knows it without the name being too common (I don't hear of it much, at least, it may be super popular elsewhere). Clara also has many wonderful namesakes in history and media, and there's Claire as a possible nickname, although Clara is already short enough on its own. IMO, one of the best classic girl's names out there, and you can't go wrong with it.

MaryKathryn Says:


Though... I do love the Nutcracker! :)

MaryKathryn Says:


This name is way too popular for my taste. Two women at my church used this name for their daughters and I see the name a lot for little girls in my region.

Alicia1 Says:


Very cute vintage name, I really love Claire too!

Paige Says:


I hope this name stays secret! I adore this name and I want to use it for a future daughter. I think Clara would go amazing with Mae. Clara Mae has a nice ring to it.

Leah3456 Says:


I wish this name was used more often. It's so pretty and regal.

Daphodil Says:


Clara is a beautiful name! I hope it doesn't become more popular; I really want to use it on a potential daughter.

brattyphantomhive Says:


I'm named Clara after my maternal Great Grandmother who was Florence Clara, it can be hard as many teachers call me Claire and I have to correct them

jan11th Says:


I feel as if i met a girl named Clara, i would forget her more easily :/

mabespark Says:


So pretty. Love it.

arc Says:


Clara was my great grandmother's name and I love it.

Clarissa. Says:


Ohh yeah, I remember that movie =) I loved it as I where a child ! And Clara is a beautiful name, I'm glad to have a similar name with the same roots.

LadyVanRaven Says:


My great great grandmother's name. Love it. I think it would be a nice name for a December or Christmas baby because of the connection with the Nutcracker character.

KaylaC Says:


Clara was my maternal grandmother's name, everyone called her Clarie. When my daughter was born I chose Claire a form of Clara as her middle name and everybody loves it!