Yara Shahidi

Origin: Persian, Tupi, and Hebrew
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: "Sweetheart", "Strength", "Water Lady", "Honeycomb" or "Honeysuckle"
Pronunciation: YAH-rah, YARR-uh
Other Forms: Yaara, Iara, Uira

To me this name is bursting with potential - it's short, feisty, and has a multitude of great meanings. It's already jumped a massive 312 spots from 2017 to 2018 where it currently sits at #672, and I think that's proof it's definitely one to watch out for.

Yara, in Persian, can have two different meanings - "sweetheart" (or as Yara Shahidi's mother put it: "someone close to your heart"), it would seem, for girls, and "strength" for boys. In Hebrew (and more often spelled Yaara) it means "honeycomb" or "honeysuckle" which I think is gorgeous. In Tupi it means "water lady" or "lady of the water" and is the name of a character from Brazilian folklore - a beautiful woman with a tail either like a river dolphin's or a manatee's, who would sit on a rock combing her hair or simply dozing in the sun. If she saw a man she would sing to him, and he would go with her to live under the water. Other versions have a more nefarious ending with her drowning them.

Yara's rise in popularity might be attributed to something entirely independent of its sound and style. Yara Greyjoy, older sister to Theon in HBO's hit "Game of Thrones", is not only strong but claimant to the throne of the Iron Islands. I wouldn't doubt that she was the inspiration behind many people's choice.


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