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Old 12-09-2016, 08:15 AM
 
228 posts, read 129,694 times
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My husband and I are thinking of naming our child Mara. We were between Mila, Madelyn and Maya but wanted something less trendy and popular. There are 2 ways we could pronhounce Mara. Either Mar-ah pronouncing mar as in car or Mar-uh and pronouncing mar as in marriage and similar to Dara/Kara/Tara. Which do you think sounds better?
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Charlotte Area
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I would go with the way that it is usually pronounced which is Mar - uh (Mar as in Car). Or she will spend a lifetime correcting people.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:26 AM
 
228 posts, read 129,694 times
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Is that the usual way? I wasn't sure. I was trying too look up the popular way to pronounce it and found that two actresses have the name and pronounce it the other way (with the marriage sound starting). Rooney Mara and Mara Wilson.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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If you choose a name with ambiguous pronunciation options you and she need to get comfortable with a lifetime of being called any and all of those.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Charlotte Area
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I used this website as it was the first one that popped up on my google search. You type the name in and it has someone prounouncing the name....

Pronunciation of mara - how to pronounce mara correctly.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:35 AM
 
228 posts, read 129,694 times
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Yea I saw that one too. And this one pronouncing the actress name.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehVn3O4dD3Q
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Charlotte Area
3,166 posts, read 2,898,052 times
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Looks like either way, she will be correcting someone. Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:58 AM
 
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You mention dropping consideration of certain names because of popularity. I think Mara is a fine name, but I don't think the others are as popular as you imagine. When naming my children I became very interested in names and their history, statistics, etc. The website Nameberry is a great resource.

There is a lot more diversity in naming now than there was in the past. What I mean by this, is that if you go back to like 1955 the number one baby name accounted for 4.2% of male births and 3.1% of female births. So 4 out of 100 baby boys born in 1955 was given the name Michael. If you look at 2015, 0.9% of males received the top name, and 1.1% of females received the top girl name. It is down to about one out of 100.

I looked up your names and 2015 stats just to put it in perspective.

Mila- Ranked 54, 0.2% of female births, so only about 1 out of 500 girls were given this name.
Madelyn- Ranked 59, also about 0.2%, about 1 in 500
Madeline- Ranked 90; added to compare with Madelyn, about 0.17%, so your combined Madelyn/Madeline is about 1 in 250
Maya- Ranked 69, also about 0.2%, 1 in 500
Mara- Ranked 749, 0.02% of births, 1 in 5,000

Mara is definitely the least common of the names you mention, but for the others, I wouldn't exactly call 1 in 500 common. I think you would be fine using any of those if that is your concern. Your daughter is not likely to have another Mila, Madelyn, Maya, or Mara in her class. If you like any of those names better maybe reconsider?
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:02 AM
 
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And to answer your pronunciation, I read it as the "a" sound in car. I think if you wanted it to rhyme with Cara or Tara you would have to change the spelling to Maira. A local news reporter where I live is named Mara and it is always pronounced as I mentioned.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:04 AM
 
228 posts, read 129,694 times
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Very helpful thanks for that. I like all of them! So I was trying to narrow down based on the popularity. My husband loves Madelyn but I think that is the most popular of the bunch. My friend who is a teacher said four of her students were Madelyn and we have a friend that just had a Madelyn as well. I figured people may get sick of hearing Maddie/Madelyn even though it is a beautiful name.
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