Sarah is of both Hebrew and Arabic origin, meaning “princess” in both. The first and most famous mention of the name is in three holy works of the Torah, Old Testament, and the Quran. Sarai, the wife of Abraham, remains beautiful but barren until her old age when she is blessed by God, who tells her she is henceforth to be known as Sarah. The way I always interpreted this was that she was only sort-of awesome, and then God decides she’s going to be full-on awesome by giving her the best name ever. And bam, just like that, she has a son.
My mother wanted to give me a strong name. There were other names that were “trending” at the time of my birth (she once joked that I was supposed to be “Ingaborg”), but she felt that the name Sarah would carry with it a strength and confidence throughout the years of my life. It was also the name of her best friend, and the title character for the song “Sarah Maria,” from her favorite musician, James Taylor. Of course, there were many other songs written about Sarahs, but they all pretty much sucked. Many have sung them in my presence; few are still around to tell about it.
I never wanted a different name, never thought about changing it. I’ve always been grateful that my mother chose a name for me that I could be proud of.
Also, princess? Accurate.