Quick Facts on Clare
- English, Irish
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Etymology & Historical Origin - Clare
Clare is primarily the English and Irish form of Clara. The name Clara developed from the Late Latinate adjective “clarus” meaning “bright, radiant, renowned”. Clarus was used for males during the Middle Ages and Clara developed as the feminine form of the name (Clare being another medieval version). Clare’s popular usage in the Middle Ages was bolstered by the famous Italian Saint Clare (Italian: Chiara) who was a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi in the 13th century and founder of an order of nuns called the Order of Saint Clare (more commonly known as the Poor Clares). In 1212 she was the first woman to have written a monastic Rule of Life for an order and the Poor Clares were known for their extreme and strict adherence to poverty in the name of Christ. Clare is the anglicized form of the Latin Clara while Claire is the French version. Aside from Clare’s connection to the Latin Clara, Clare is also the name of a western County of Ireland in the province of Munster (although it was originally a part of the Connacht kingdom). Known as Thomond (i.e., North Munster) in the 10th century, the region gave birth to one of Ireland’s most famous High Kings, Brian Boru, whose father happened to be the King of Thomond. Brian Boru’s dynasty, the O’Briens, continued as one of the ruling clans of the area. After the 11th century Norman Conquest of England there were several Norman invasions into Ireland. In the 13th century, the Norman King Edward I of England granted one of his buddies, Thomas de Clare, lordship of Thomond. De Clare tried to take control of the region but was defeated by the O’Briens and other local clans. The name Clare did not come from the Anglo-Norman “de Clare” family (as many people erroneously believe), but rather form the Irish word “Clár” for a “board” in reference to a wooden plank (bridge) placed across the narrowest part of River Fergus in a place that is now known as Clarecastle town in County Clare. The Latinized version of Clara became widely adopted by English-speaking countries in the 19th century. Today, Clara is especially popular in the countries of Spain and Catalonia where it’s a Top 50 choice for girls. The French spelling of Claire is a favorite among Americans, Canadians and Australians. The one syllable Clare is less popular today.
Popularity of the Name Clare
The French spelling of Claire has always been mo popular with Americans than the English-Irish Clare. However, Clare does date back to the late 19th century in the United States which is impressive by itself. Not only that, but she held her position strong at mild-moderate usage for much of the 20th century. There was definitely a hiccup during the 1970s when Clare dropped out of circulation, but she returned in the early 1980s. Today Clare is on the low end of moderation while Claire is fan-favorite today. For some reasons American parents vastly prefer the Claire spelling with an “i” (ranked as the 50th most commonly used girl’s name in the country in 2011); although we feel like there’s something more appealing and less girly-girl about the no-nonsense simplicity of Clare. Plus, with Clare you get the added taste of Ireland.
Popularity of the Girl Name Clare
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Clare
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Clare
Clare Abshire (The Time Traveler's Wife) Clare Abshire is the female protagonist in Audrey Niffenegger’s highly popular debut novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife, published in 2003, and made into a movie in 2009, with Rachel McAdams as the adult Clare. Clare has the (we think) misfortune to fall in love with a man who, well, time travels. This little peculiarity is explained as a genetic disorder, but there are several genetic disorders we can think of that might have been easier to live with. When they meet for the “first” time, she’s twenty and he’s twenty-eight. Problem is, he’s “really” meeting her for the first time, whereas she’s known him practically all her life. That could throw some serious wrenches into the works of romantic endeavors. And does. But our Clare steadfastly maintains her love for Henry throughout all the problematic events of their not-so-shared life, including the birth of a daughter who shares her father’s anomaly. In the book’s most bittersweet scene, Henry at age 43 visits Clare at age 82 – she knows he has died already, but does he know this is the year he is to die? Such harrowing circumstances would surely try the course of the most devoted love – somehow, we believe that the lovely Clare puts her heart and soul into her life with Henry and, for her, it pays off.
Popular Songs on Clare
Clare - a song by Gilbert O'Sullivan
Clare - a song by Annihilator
Clare Island - a song by The Saw Doctors
From Clare to Here - a song by Ralph McTell
From Clare to Here - a song by Seven Nations
Miss Clare Remembers - a song by Enya
St. Clare - a song by Suzanne Vega
Children's Books on the Baby Name Clare
Adalyn's Clare (Kari Dunn Buron) - Although Adalyn is brilliant in academics and has highly developed, special interests, she is filled with fear and prefers to be alone as she finds most human beings confusing and annoying. Adalyn's best friends are the animals in the science room, which is just about her favorite place in the whole wide world. But then comes Clare... Clare is a therapy puppy who has been assigned to help Adalyn find friends. This is a big assignment for a three-month-old puppy, but she doesn't have to figure it all out on her own. Clare draws support from memories of her own mother's wisdom, some really caring teachers; and the life lessons of a friendly ferret, two very smart rats, an exotic bird and a three-legged, guinea pig. Their stories will entertain, delight and amaze you. With the release of Adalyn's Clare, author Kari Dunn Buron, hopes to draw attention to the realities of social anxiety, the importance of teaching relaxation and other coping strategies and the need for teachers and loved ones to help create valuing relationships for children who have difficulty making friends, like Adalyn. Recommended for ages 8-11.
Mary Clare Likes to Share: A Math Reader (Joy N. Hulme) - Mary Clare loves to share. If there's food around, Mary Clare fairly divides it up and shares it with her friends and family, no matter how many there are! This rhythmic, rhyming reader clearly demonstrates the concept of fractions in a bouncy and sweet--and savory--way! Recommended for ages 4-8.
Famous People Named Clare
Famous People Named Clare - Saint Clare of Assisi (foundress of the Poor Clares and companion of Saint Francis); Clare Balding (English sportscaster); Clare Buckfield (English actress); Clare Fischer (American musician); Clare Short (English politician); Clare Venema (Australian model)
Children of Famous People Named Clare
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Clare - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Clare.
Clare - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Clare - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Clare.
Personality of the Girl Name Clare
The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.
Variations of the Baby Name - Clare