Gender: Male Meaning of Ira: "watchful one" Origin of Ira: Hebrew Ira's Popularity in 2019: #875

Ira Origin and Meaning

The name Ira is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning "watchful one".

Ira is one of the shortest, non-biblical sounding Old Testament names, belonging to one of King David's thirty 'mighty warriors.' It was widely used in the US from the 1880s to the early 1930s (it was Number 57 on the Social Security list in 1881), but fell off completely in 1993. Although Ira is also a retirement-account acronym, it's back on the table for those seeking a short biblical name for their sons, and reentered the US Top 1000 in 2016. A musical namesake is lyricist Ira Gershwin (born Israel), a literary one is Ira Levin, and there are two prominent Iras hosting NPR radio shows..

16 names similar to Ira

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Rank in US: #875

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Famous People Named Ira

Pop Culture References for the name Ira


ABNormal Says:


Ana, Isa, Ysa, Ina, Mia, Tia, Sia, Eva, Una, Uma, Asa, Koa (not sure if it's technically a name, but it's a type of tree/lumber from Hawaii).

fifi_forever Says:


I’m looking for three letter names that end in A but all I found were Ida, Ada, Ava and Ira. Could you please help me find more?

vasiliki Says:


I love this. Short, sweet, and packs a punch.

andermac Says:


I asked my husband what he thought about this name, expecting him to turn his nose up and say he'd never heard it before.... but instead he started singing the Johnny Cash song about Ira Hayes, who was one of the guys to raise the flag on Iwo Jima. Ha!

foeva Says:


Ira is the Latin name of one of the seven deathly sins: wrath

Daiseymae Says:



AldabellaxWulfe Says:


I've only ever heard it pronounced as 'eye-rah'.

Essa Says:


Is this pronounced eye-ruh or with a short 'i' like in Israel?

Margot23 Says:


That's why I love it

Freya_1983 Says:


I love this name! I worry less about the retirement account association as I do the Irish Republican Army association.

headintheclouds Says:


One of my good friend's grandfather is named Ira, and he's one of the toughest yet sweetest guys I've ever met. I associate the name Ira with his gruff no-nonsense personality, the kind of person who would go out of their way to help someone out and shrug it off as no big deal.

I think Ira is a wonderful name, short but substantial, with a nice meaning, deep roots in history and great namesakes :) It's certainly uncommon to hear on younger kids, but I hope it gets more use; it's due for a revival!

Ruanne Says:


Don't forget the NPR radio show This American Life, with Ira Glass.