Lara and pronunciation

What do you think of the name Lara, and how would you pronounce it? (I've heard it pronounced some different ways.)


August 24, 2012 3:30 PM

Apart from the ambiguous pronunciation, I like it.  I've heard it as basically exactly the same as Laura, L-long a as in father-ruh. (Of course, Laura can also be pronounced Lore-uh, which Lara cannot. It's funny, I tend to pronounce Lauren as Lore-en, but Laura as Lah-ra. Confusing.)

I've also heard it as L-air-uh.

You may or may not find this discussion at Behind the Name helpful:

November 26, 2013 11:35 PM

Lara - LA-RA easy. It's elegant and sexy. Tomb raider has engrained it in my mind as a strong willed, independant, stunning woman.

August 24, 2012 5:08 PM

I knew a Lara (lair-ah) so that would be my first instinct.  However, I also know it can be said to sound like Laura, so I wouldn't assume Lair-ah was correct.  In my accent, I say Laura more like Lore-ah or a cross between that and Lahr-ah.  A straight Lahr-ah is hard for my mouth to do!

Lara is close enough to Lana (Lahn-ah) that I wouldn't be surprised if someone preferred Lahr-ah, but this pronunciation isn't one I would guess on my own.

As for my personal preference, I like it to sound like Laura.  Lair-ah makes me think of lair, as in Devil's lair or lion's lair, which aren't associations I care for.

By hyz
August 24, 2012 5:13 PM

It's simple and pretty, and has a classic sound.  I like it but it doesn't really excite me, because I knew a smattering of them growing up, so it is very familiar, a bit like Emily or, well, Laura.  It would probably stand out more among today's kids than my generation, though, and that could make it a pleasing and refreshing choice.  I have known Laras that pronounce it as lair-ah, and others that pronounce it as lah-rah, so it would be a name I would personally seek clarification on when first meeting someone with the name.  If I had to guess, I think I would lean 60/40 towards lah-rah, but that may just be because my cousin Lara uses that pronunciation.  FWIW, I automatically say Tara, Clara, C/Kara, Dara, and Sara(h) as [_]air-ah, so that also seems like a very intuitive pronunciation of Lara for me.

August 24, 2012 5:12 PM

Hmm... I've always hear Lara as lar-uh (lar rhymes with bar). Laura and Lora sound closer to my ear (Lore-uh), but Laura is a softer "lore"? Hard to describe. 

By EVie
August 24, 2012 5:25 PM

I'm with sharalyns. Lara rhymes with "bar" (I've known two, both with this pronuncuation); both Laura and Lauren are "lore." I don't have a the merry-marry-Mary merger, so Lara would never, ever be "lair" (if anything, it would be the vowel in "cat").

August 24, 2012 6:35 PM

I'm the same as you two, and also not m-m-m-merged.  Did anyone else think of Lara Croft?  It's not my main association, just a secondary one; and in fact, I don't think it even suits the character that well, as Lara sounds sweet and innocent to me.

By mk
August 24, 2012 9:47 PM

I've met several Laras and they pronounce it with the a like in cat (lah-ra) and are quick to correct anyone that tries to pronounce it Laura (which is Lore-ah) or some other version.

I prefer Laura. With Lara I always have to stop and remember that it rhymes with Sara, Cara, Mara, etc (at least in my area).

I could see the Lar-a with the ar as in bar working well.

By EVie
August 24, 2012 11:51 PM

See, Sara, Cara and Mara are all different for me! Sara (and Sarah) is usually like Mary (SAIR-ah), though I have known some who are SAAA-rah (with the a like in "cat"). Cara is also like "cat" (I've known at least three Cara/Karas). Mara always rhymes with "bar" (and I've known two). 

August 25, 2012 11:21 AM

Sara and Kara are both Sare-uh/Kare-uh for me while Cara and Mara rhyme with "bar" for me. I know multiple Karas while only two Caras, and only the Cara spellings end up rhyming with Mara. :-)

By mk
August 25, 2012 9:46 PM

Yeah, every person I've met so far with an -ara name uses the a like "cat" pronunciation and I've known quite a few. Even a Zara. Which should make Lara easy for me, but I always stumble with this name!


August 25, 2012 1:05 AM

Count me in as a non-merged Læra (cat). I know people with the following names, which are all pronounced with this "cat" vowel:  Tara, Mara, Lara, (Lana,) Cara, Sara, Dara, (Dana), and even a Yara.

I would never instinctively use any other vowel, but I could learn to say ah (car) instead of æ (cat). I could not, however, get used to saying Lara as Lare-a because of all the years I've spent hating it when my own name was said that way.

The name is pretty enough and I definitely don't have anything negative to say about it, though my personal tastes run much more unusual and, well, longer. Although if paired with a longer, more complex last name, I could get behind this simpler first name.

August 25, 2012 8:12 AM

I don't mind Lara but it's a bit dated for me, mostly because I grew up with a few. It would definitely stand out in today's playground though and is a nice solid name.

I always pronounce it as Lar-ah (rhymes with bar). I've never even hear Lair-ah, maybe that's a US thing. It doesn't have an ambiguous pronunciation here.

Likewise, Laura is LORE-uh and Lauren is  LORR-en.

December 23, 2013 2:24 PM

I'd say it with the first syllable rhyming with CAR and a schwa for the second syllable.  I can't even imagine some of these other options!  Where we live (Croatia) is the nickname for Larisa (la-REE-sa).  I love it.

January 1, 2014 3:59 PM

I pronounce Lara with the "are" sound, as in the word "are we going somewhere?"