Gender: Female Meaning of Clara: "bright, clear" Origin of Clara: Latin Clara's Popularity in 2018: #103

Clara Origin and Meaning

The name Clara is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "bright, clear".

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.

16 names similar to Clara

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Clara. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Clara, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


Rank in US: #103

- this week

Famous People Named Clara

Pop Culture References for the name Clara

Clara's International Variations

Clarissa, Clarice (Italian) Clarita (Spanish)


AliceTiger Says:


My sister is called Clah-ra and she hates it when people say Clare-ah.

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!