Alara

Alara is a unisex name with several possible etymologies:

  • it’s a Turkish female name, or at least it appears in Turkic mythology as a water fairy who is able to grant wishes as well as the name of a historic castle located in southern Turkey, built under the Byzantine Empire. I couldn’t find a meaning behind the name (or even if the two are connected) but I’ve seen it listed as meaning “red ornament”, made up of Turkish elements al (red) and ara (ornament; decoration);
  • Alara was the name of a king of  Kush (an ancient Nubian kingdom); Alara of Nubia was the first founder of the Napatan royal dynasty and was apparently the brother of Taharqa‘s grandmother; I couldn’t find anything behind the name;
  • In Nigeria, in the town of Ilara-Mokin, Alara is used as a royal title for the king- likely related to meaning “ruler”;
  • Alara is also the name of a hermit saint and teacher of yogi meditation , Ālāra Kālāma; he also lived during the time of the Buddha and was one of his early teachers;
  • Alara is also a Breton female name, the feminine form of Alar, a Breton and Estonian form of Alaric meaning “ruler of all”;
  • Alara could also just be a variant form of Lara with the a- prefix, which could be a short form of Larisa, the name of a city in Thessaly possibly meaning “citadel”, “fortress”, or “stronghold”; Lara could also be a short form of Larunda, the name of a nymph in Roman mythology (also known as Lara) who couldn’t keep secrets and told Juno of her spouse Jupiter‘s affair with the goddess Juturna, resulting in Jupiter cutting off her tongue. The name could either derived from Greek laleo meaning “to talk” or  it could come from Latin Larēs (guardian deities who watched over families, places, or activities) which is the plural form of lār (home, household) which could be derived from an Etruscan source.

Origin: Turkish, Turkic, Nubian, Yoruba, Proto-Indo-European

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