Oh my mother gave me the name Mara in 1979 and it caused me a lot of pain when my father told me 25 years later that my name is having a very bad meaning for my future. So the family of my father is very Catholic and I had to change my name and I felt very insecure because my past has been nice and it felt like I have to forget my past. Later I did a lot of research into what is the true meaning of Mara and I can agree to all of you guys above me in your comments it has a lot of meanings. And 50% or more is negative so I would not recommend this name to anybody. What amazes me the most is that in the protestant church they always say “maranatha” which means in Jewish language “the lord/master/teacher may come”.
Spanish pronunciation: MA-ra.
Also used in Spanish.

There are 8,045 bearers of this name in Spain (source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística).
The name Mara refers to a personification of all of the forces counter to the path of enlightenment in Buddhism. You can think of it as a concept or a force or as, in regards to the personification, an actual demon that will possess you or take hold of you.
English IPA pronunciations: /ˈmɑɹ.ə/, /ˈmɛɹ.ə/, /ˈmæɹ.ə/ [noted -ed]
Mara is the title of a 2020 Italian book written by journalist Ritanna Armeni. The full title is 'Mara. Una donna del Novecento' and was published by Ponte Alle Grazie editor. Mara is the main character's name: a fictional woman born in Rome in 1920 who grows up during Fascism and the Second World War.
I really love this name, I think it's pretty.
However, the fact that it means penis in Japanese is kind of a turn off (pun intentional).
It's still usable in other countries I guess.
I use Mara as a shortening/nickname of Xiomara. Even though the biblical meaning is kinda depressing, I still love the sound of it, and besides; who really knows biblical meanings? Lol most bullies are kinda dumb so I'd put it past them to go researching biblical name meanings haha.
My name is Madison, but since I don't really like Madison, I go by "Mara"/"May". I also have a Scottish/Irish ancestry on my dad's side (I'm mixed). Since the Scottish/Irish meaning is "sea" and I literally live and breathe the ocean hahaha, I enjoy being called Mara.
I also think it would be cool to be named "Marina" then be nicknamed "Mara" since "Marina" means "Of the Sea" and "Mara" means "sea".
Mara Mytonbred, a character in the Ace Attorney anime.
It sounds nice but the biblical meaning is terrible!
Also the Polish form:
I like it best pronounced Mare-uh. Mara Renee is a great combo to me.
My name is Mara. My mother's name is Mary. I know that my name is in the Bible in the book of Ruth. My understanding is that the name Mara means, bitter-sweet..... Story of my life.
Mara des Bois is a strawberry cultivar that is very popular in France.
The name Mara kind of reminds me of an evil sorceress (but always an admirable, clever one). It always did, even before I ever looked up the meaning; in fact, in 4th grade my friends and I used it as the name of a witch in a play we made up. But it's a beautiful sounding name, even though I would always imagine Mara as an antagonist...
My name is Mara, I love the name. My favorite is the Scottish meaning, the sea. I love the ocean, its moods and temperament. And I have Scottish in my ancestry, I will take it hands down.
My name is Mara and I haven't met another person named Mara and people ALWAYS SAY IT WRONG- they pronounce it Mare-uh and not Mar-uh. When I was little I hated my name because no one could pronounce it right and no one else had my name. There's a family in my church who's 2 or 3 year old's nickname is Mara but I just hate the Japanese meaning and any other meaning because they usually mean bitter, cold-hearted, or destruction. I've been thinking about changing it when I'm older because of those meanings because it just makes me depressed about my name, and I feel like those meanings are supposed to represent me and if people knew the true meaning they would judge me.
My name is Mara. I personally love it. I have never met anyone with it and I always get compliments. It's easy to remember and not hard to pronounce. I really couldn't care less what people think of it. I love it.
In Buddhism, “Mara” is the name of a demon and a source of great evil...
Famous Bearer: Mara Wilson (born Mara Elizabeth Wilson, July 24, 1987) is an American writer and former child actress. Her best known roles include Natalie Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street (1994), Matilda Wormwood in Matilda (1996), and Lily Stone in Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000). Since retiring from film acting, Wilson has focused on writing, penning the play Sheeple which was produced for the New York International Fringe Festival in 2013 as well as publishing a memoir, Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame (2016).
This is a very pretty name.
Mara is a lovely name. Mara from a Greek word means "Eternally Beautiful". There's a lot of meaning but I like this one better. Actually I named my second baby MARA with this adorable meaning.
My Boston relatives call me MARa so it sounds like the word CAR with an (ah) after it. Sounds very upper class when you say it that way. My New York relatives kind of flatten it and call me Mara as in Sarah. I pronounce it like Sarah, but I respond to both. Unless you’re a friend and you pronounce it the first way, then you’re just pushing my buttons.
I like the Celtic interpretation the best “the sea” but sometimes I am bitter & dark etc. Then it fits everyway. So every now and then I’m the “bitter-sea” just like a storm off the Irish coast.
My daughter’s name is Mara. The Hebrew Mara means bitter with the implication of strength, not bitter as in angry or resentful. God has made Naomi strong- He chose the path that made her Mara.

Mara is also the superhero volleyball player in a comic book by the same name.
It can also be constructed in Japanese as 摩羅 fellowship. While "マラ" can be pronounced "mala" or "mara," and while you might use it for penis it's definitely not the go-to word for such reference, and the simple style you see written as "マラ" is for pronunciation help. Like how "摩羅" comes from Chinese rooted alphabet, and this type of Japanese typically has more than one way to pronounce a character/letter, or isn't simply set in how to pronounce due to it's low usage. The latter is so in the case of 摩羅 "mara." Reading from top to bottom by tradition you could set the "mala/mara" along side it to identify how you want the older character to be pronounced like so;
摩 マ
羅 ラ
We named our daughter Mara a couple weeks ago after a ton of research into name meanings, etc.

Unfortunately, I just discovered that Mara means "penis" in Japanese.

How did this not come up in all our research!?
My sister's name is Mara, her middle name in Joy so together her name is "Bitterness turned to Joy". That is what happens when you when you become a Christian, the bitterness of sin turned in to the Joy of salvation.
I couldn't care less what this name means. Mara is a very lovely name and I wouldn't mind using it for a potential daughter either as first name or as a middle. To me, it's such a classic, beautiful, soft and feminine name. Easy to remember, easy to spell and isn't at all that common.
I highly recommended this name.
In Madagascar, Mara means "of many different stripes", and in Maori it means "field" or "garden". I love this name, I was searching for other meanings for it since I am going to name my band Mara. Strong name for a female lead.
It's better than Tamara.
My passport name is Marianna, but everybody knows me as Mara. Everybody has 2 variants of his/her name, official and for friends in my country (Ukraine)... For example, Mariya (Masha), Oleksandr (Sasha), Solomiya (Solya).
About meaning... Mara - is the Slavic goddess of darkness, winter and nightmares. Normal, but unpopular name. (As for me).
Mara sounds close to the word "mar" which means to impair or disfigure the appearance of something.
Ugly name, bad meaning.
Honestly, this name is double negative for me (which doesn't make a positive, needless to say.) First is the negative meaning in my native language. I don't think we can even use it honestly. Second is that a game being ruined my image of it. It was a Japanese video game series where the apocalypse has happened and you partner with "demons" (mythological figures and beings, scattered from various mythologies) I'll try to find the name so I can edit out this part later. Either way, Mara is a "demon" there with a very... interesting design. Interesting in the bad way, and fans made fun of it a lot.
Mara Jade is probably the most famous bearer of this name, in my opinion.
If people dislike the name Mara for meaning bitter, then why exactly is Mary acceptable everywhere?
In the book Mara Daughter of the Nile, the meaning of the name in Egyptian is claimed to be "Truth of Ra".
In modern day, probably the most famous bearer of this name is Star Wars character Mara Jade Skywalker, a Jedi Master and the wife of Luke Skywalker. Timothy Zahn actually used the name because it meant bitter, as Mara Jade was very bitter when she was first introduced.
Mara to my family means beauty, love, hope, and strength! Mara equals intelligence, creativity, talent and a zest for life. To be around a Mara is to inspired and drawn to positive and happy thoughts. She rules!
I'm not sure if this would count as a 'famous bearer', but in the Elder Scrolls video game series, Mara is the goddess of love and compassion.
MARA is the name of the spider-like repair and maintenance robots from the tv series Warehouse 13, episode '13.1'. It stands for Maintenance And Repair Automaton.
In Scots Gaelic (and probably Irish too) Mara means sea. I would use this in honour of a beloved holiday cottage named 'Tigh na Mara' which means 'house by the sea'.

I adore this name. Being Scottish I'd rather focus on the Gaelic link than the Hebrew.
A common nickname for Martti in Finland.
I also came to love this name through its association with the Star Wars character Mara Jade. Because of her, the name makes me picture a really strong woman who isn't afraid to take matters into her own hands. The meaning doesn't really bother me because names like Mary, Maria, & Miriam have the same or similar meanings and that doesn't stop people from using them. Also, because it means "of the sea" in Gaelic, you could always tell your child that is the meaning of her name.
My name is Mara, and I've always pronounced it Mah-ra. My parents went to Argentina and met several girls named Mara.
Being a Star Wars fan, I think this name sounds much more beautiful than its more common (and I daresay "vulgar") variant. Amazing how a one-letter difference does that.
Mara Valentine is the main character in the book Vegan Virgin Valentine by Carolyn Mackler.
Is related to the word "myrrh" a strong-smelling and bitter perfume used on the deceased as part of the embalming process.

Is also related to the name "Mary", which also means "bitter".
In Slavic countries "Mara" is name of evil spirits, ugly girls that make people see nightMARES.
I love this name, since it's mine!

Anyway, on the origin: Mara is the highest ranking goddess in Latvian mythology.

In Scandinavian folk stories a "Mara" is a ghost like creature who causes nightmares.

It's also another name for Marzanna, a goddess of death, the dark, the winter season, and the moon.

Mara is also the Hindu goddess of death.

It's a REALLY dark name, but I like that it has such history.
Besides the fact that Mara means "bitter" in Hebrew, it also means "nightmare" in Swedish and "Death" in Sanskrit. Hardly the type of name I'd recommend anyone using, due to all of the negative meanings.
Mara is the Maltese word for woman.
Song "Mara" by Country Joe and the Fish.
It sounds like a nice name, but it's too bad that the meaning is awful.
Though not particularly famous, Mara is the name of the main character in the book "Exodus" by Julie Bertagna.
In the Redwall books by Brian Jacques (specifically the book Salamandastron), there is a badger named Mara. She is the adoptive daughter of Lord Urthstripe, and the friend of Pikkle the hare. They run away from home together because Mara feels restricted by Urthstripe's rules. She went on many adventures and then became the Badger Mother of Redwall Abbey.
I like this name, if not only because of Mara from Redwall (she's my favorite character in Salamandastron).
I think this name is really beautiful, a lot of my friends don't agree with me. It just seems so strong and beautiful!
Mara also means 'sea' in Gaelic. If I used this name, I would mean it to have this meaning rather than 'bitter'.
No, muir means "sea" in Irish. Mara is the genitive of muir. (I'm feeling picky today.)
The Latin equivalent of Mara is maris. So, Stella Maris ("Star of the Sea", a title of Mary) is Réalta na Mara in Irish. Though Mara isn't really an Irish name, it's a word.
And I agree, "of the sea" is a really pretty meaning, much nicer than "bitter".
I've just learned that "Mara" means "lord, master" in Aramaic, or Hebrew. Can't remember.
Mara is an ancient Egyptian name meaning "truth of the sun".
Mara is a young slave girl living in ancient Egypt during the rule of Hatsheptsut in the book "Mara Daughter of the Nile".
Mara has been on the top 1000 list since the 1950's. Its most popular year was the 1990's where it ranked 599.
"Mara" could be a short form of "Tamara".
This is kind of a story but: When I was little I had this teacher at a place (not school) named Mara, and everyone calls her something different! Ma-ra (as in man), the a part Mahr-a, I never really knew the real way to say it. And about half the ones I know have the first pronunciation, and the second half has the second pronunciation.
Mara Wilson is the girl who played Matilda in the movie "Matilda".
Not famous maybe, but the main character in Daughter of the Empire, etc. Very good books. Oh, and it also was my next door neighbour's daughter when I was 4 or 5.
Mara Jade, wife of Luke Skywalker.

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