Quick Facts on Sarai
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- Ranking popularity:
Princess; also Contentious, quarrelsome
Etymology & Historical Origin - Sarai
Sarai is a Hebrew name borne from the Bible; she was Abram’s wife and Isaac’s mother – essentially the matriarch of all the Israeli people. Later, their names would be changed from Sarai to Sarah and from Abram to Abraham as instructed by God. But first, Sarah was called Sarai. It’s a bit confusing, but God’s name change for the couple does have meaning. For instance, Abram means “exalted father” and Abraham means “father of many”. This name change has significance because it comes right after the Lord establishes His covenant with Abram and Sarai – they will become a great nation and live in the bountiful Promised Land. In Genesis 17:15 God said to Abram, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.” This name change is a little more obscure and undefined. There are possibly two meanings. One, Sarai means “princess” while Sarah means “my princess” with a queenlier or more exalted meaning to denote her upcoming stature among the Promised People. The other debatable meaning could be that “Sarai” comes from the Hebrew word for ‘contentious, quarrelsome.’ Why would this make sense? Well, before the name change, when Sarah was still Sarai in Genesis 16, we learn that she was unable to conceive a child due to her advanced age so she urges Abram to take her female Egyptian servant, Hagar, so that “[Sarai] may obtain children by her.” (Genesis 16:2). Hagar is successful in this endeavor and bears a son to Abram (Ishmael). Although this was an outcome of her own doing, Sarai becomes bitter after Hagar, now with something Sarai lacks (i.e., a baby), looked “with contempt on her mistress.” Sarai blames Abram for her sorry position, but Abram reminds Sarai that Hagar is still her servant and in her power: “…do to her as you please” he says. And so Sarai henceforth deals with Hagar harshly until the servant flees with her son Ishmael into the wilderness. In this part of the Biblical story Sarai is indeed ‘contentious and quarrelsome’. When God finally changes Sarai’s name to Sarah in Genesis 17:15, He was essentially bestowing blessings upon Sarai (at the same time God instructs Abraham to call Sarai Sarah, He also promises Abraham that Sarah will bear a son to him, Isaac – which she indeed does at the ripe old age of 90!). And so the story goes. All ends well for our little contentious princess Sarai/Sarah.
Popularity of the Name Sarai
We all know that Sarah has been a long-enduring and widely popular name in the United States, but Sarai has not seen the same success. A more exotic rendition of Sarah, Sarai doesn’t appear on the American female naming charts until very recently in 1987. The name has climbed to low-moderate levels of popularity, but she still remains a more obscure choice. Many parents are coming to find Sarai as a unique alternative to the (some consider) more plain Sarah. Sarai certainly opens the door to a more colorful Biblical story than just Sarah. The pronunciation of Sarai is debatable. Some say “SER-ie” and some say “SOR-ie”. In any case, this name is different than Sarah in both meaning and sound making her a more distinctive choice. Sarah means very clearly “My princess” whereas the possible ‘contentious’ meaning of Sarai gives her that little added spunk.
Popularity of the Girl Name Sarai
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Sarai
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Sarai
Sarai: A Novel (Jill Eileen Smith) Sarai, the last child of her aged father, is beautiful, spoiled, and used to getting her own way. Even as a young girl, she is aware of the way men look at her, including her half brother Abram. When Abram finally requests Sarai's hand, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even her father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if Sarai makes a promise in return--to give Abram a son and heir. Certain she can easily do that, Sarai agrees. But as the years stretch on and Sarai's womb remains empty, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain--lest Abram decide that he will not fulfill his. To what lengths will Sarai go in her quest to bear a son? And how long will Abram's patience last? Jill Eileen Smith thrilled readers with The Wives of King David series. Now she brings to life the strong and celebrated wives of the patriarchs, beginning with the beautiful and inscrutable Sarai.
Popular Songs on Sarai
Sarai Qui - a song by Sarah Brightman
Children's Books on the Baby Name Sarai
Sarai's Stripes (Carli Urena) - ''We're moving to North Carolina? But why? When?'' Sarai asked as she and Kammie walked in from outside and overheard Sarai's mother, Carli, talking to her father, Darin, tears welling up in both of their eyes. ''Sarai, Dr. Bruce said your asthma is getting worse and we need to be out of here before winter comes,'' her mother said. ''But I don t want to move that far away. What about Kammie? I don't want to leave her!'' Sarai choked back the tears as she and Kammie held on to each other in disbelief. Kammie's eyes were wide as the tears started rolling down her face. ''Kammie can come visit during the holidays and anytime she wants,'' Sarai's mother said, and she gave them both a big hug, knowing what the separation would do to them. Sarai and Kammie cried until the day the moving truck pulled away. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Sarai, Volume 1 (Masahiro Shibata) - In the future, rampant genetic disorders wreak havoc on humankind. Teenagers turn into grotesque monsters when they hit 18, and growing old is no longer a luxury--and only one kind of warrior has the power to stop it! Sarai's got it all. She's a sexy new kind of "peace officer"-a guard maid who can kick butt, clean house, and bring justice to a bleak world. If humanity has one last hope to heal itself and return to normal, Sarai is the catalyst. Recommended for ages young adult.
Famous People Named Sarai
Famous People Named Sarai - We cannot find any celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Sarai.
Children of Famous People Named Sarai
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Sarai - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Sarai.
Sarai - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Sarai from the Bible - A woman of striking beauty, Sarah (originally called “Sarai”) was the wife of Abraham. Unable to conceive a child, and wanting to uphold the covenant of God that Abraham would be the “father of a great nation” she gave her husband over to her servant, Hagar, in order that she bear him a child. Hagar conceived and bore Ishmael, but then began to look upon her mistress, Sarai, with contempt. So God promises Sarai a son, too - after he changes her name to Sarah. This caused great laughter as Sarah was over 70 (not quite the child-bearing age). Sure enough, Sarah conceived and bore Isaac. They named him Isaac (Yitzac in Hebrew) which, fittingly, means ‘laughter.’ Isaac goes onto have Jacob who becomes the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Therefore, Sarai/Sarah would be considered the Grand Pooba of Mothers of the People of Israel.
Personality of the Girl Name Sarai
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 - Sarai