Beguiling, international Amara claims roots from Africa to Romania and beyond.
Thanks to Laney McDonald for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.
Amara: Global Citizen
I counted no fewer than eight possible origins for this name. Ready? Let’s run through them:
- In Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria, it is literally the word for grace. I can find the name, as well as names where it occurs as an element, on Nigeria websites. What’s less clear to me is if it’s traditional, modern, or somewhere in between.
- Amar means immortal in Sanskrit; add an ‘a’ and this could easily be the feminine form.
- In Greek, amarantos means unfading. It gives us the name of the amaranth flower, as well as feminine given names Amarantha and Amaranta.
- The Latin amor or amare – love – could also be a source.
- Add an ‘h’ and it’s a city in Iraq, founded by the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century.
- In Italian, it means bitter – think of the liqueur amaretto.
- In Paradise Lost, John Milton mentions Mount Amara. It’s based on a real mountain, likely mis-named by early European explorers.
- In Romania, there’s a large salt lake by the name, known for its healing properties.