Friday, December 7, 2012



There's a lot of fuss over Clare/Claire and Clara/Claira, but Clary (KLAIR-ee) first caught my eye when news came that Adele had a baby, and Clary was the name of the father's ex. I'm still not sure what Adele named her baby, but Clary remains a fascinating name. It is a variant of Claire, meaning "bright, clear, famous" and is the name of the clary sage plant, a member of the mint family known for thriving in adverse conditions. Clary has also been used as a surname, some from the Irish surname McClary, others from being herb-sellers or living near places where clary sage grew. One such namesake was Desiree Clary, the ex-fiancee of Napoleon. She became queen of Sweden and Norway as the consort of King Charles XIV John.

Claire has a good deal of variants that some are not familiar with. Claritza, Claribel, Clarice, and Clarette stand out, as well as Clary, which may have started as a nickname. There is also a possibility Clary was its own name, used since medieval times like other y-ending names, or from the Old English word sclarea. There were no girls named Clary born in the U.S. recently.

Get ready to spot Clary in the near future - it's the name of the heroine in Mortal Instruments, the book series-turned-new movie (February).


  1. I love plant names, and this is one is very pretty.

    It reminds me a lot of the gay and uber-camp comedian Julian Clary though. Probably because I just saw him on TV.

    His name is said KLEER-ee.

  2. I forgot to say in other countries the plant is said CLARR-ee sage, like the name Clarrie, short for Clarence.

  3. I forgot about that. I didn't know Clara was prn. KLARR-uh (KLAHR-uh?) until recently, since I'm in the U.S. and never heard it that way. I like both, though.