In English-speaking areas, Sharon is now predominantly a feminine given name, although historically it was also used as a masculine given name. In Israel, it is still commonly used as a masculine given name.
The Hebrew word simply means "plain", but in the Hebrew Bible, שָׁרוֹן is the name specifically given to the fertile plain between the Samarian Hills and the coast, known (tautologically) as Sharon plain in English. The phrase "rose of Sharon" (חבצלת השרון ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ ha-sharon) occurs in the KJV translation of the Song of Solomon ("I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley", and has since been used in reference to a number of flowering plants.
Unlike other unisex names that have come to be used almost exclusively as feminine (e.g. Evelyn), Sharon was never predominantly a masculine name. Usage before 1925 is very rare and was apparently inspired either from the Biblical toponym or one of the numerous places in the United States named after the Biblical plain.
Use as a feminine name began in the early 20th century, first entering the statistics of the 1,000 most popularly given names in the United States in 1925. Its inspiration was possibly the heroine of the serial novel The Skyrocket by Adela Rogers St. Johns, published in 1925 and made into a romantic drama film starring Peggy Hopkins Joyce in 1926.
The name's popularity took a steep increase only in the mid-1930s, however, and peaked during the 1940s, remaining a top 10 name for most of the decade. The variant Sharron is on record during the 1930s to 1970s, with a peak popularity in the US in 1943. The more eccentric spelling Sharyn was popular only for a brief time in the 1940s, peaking in 1945.
The name's popularity has steadily declined since the 1940s (except for a slight rise in the late 1950s), falling out of the top 100 after 1977, and out of the top 500 after 2001.
In the United Kingdom its popularity peaked during the 1960s. It was the 10th most popular female name by 1964 and was still as high as 17th in 1974 (when it was at rank 70 in the US), but a sharp decline in popularity followed and since the 1980s it has not featured in the top 100.
People with the given name
Feminine given name
- Sharon Kay Ritchie (b. 1937) Miss America 1956
- Sharon Lee Myers (b. 1941), stage name Jackie DeShannon, American singer
- Sharon Tate (1943–1969), American actress and murder victim
- Sharon Creech (b. 1945), author of children's books Walk Two Moons and Ruby Holler
- Sharon Redd (b. 1945), American singer
- Sharon Dahlonega Raiford Bush (b. 1952), American TV personality
- Sharon Lee (writer) (b. 1952), American novelist
- Sharon G. Lee (b. 1952), American judge
- Sharon Osbourne (b. 1952), English music promoter and TV personality, wife and manager of Ozzy Osbourne
- Sharon Stone (b. 1958), American actress, model and producer
- Sharon Jordan (b. 1960), American film and television actress
- Sharon Maguire (b. 1960), British film director
- Sharon Gibson (b. 1961), English javelin thrower
- Sharon Lawrence (b. 1961), American television actress
- Sharron Davies (born 1962), British swimmer
- Sharron McClellan (b. 1963), American action-adventure author
- Sharon Bruneau (b. 1964), Canadian female bodybuilder and fitness competitor
- Sharon Claydon (b. 1964), Australian politician
- Sharon Hampson (b. 1943), Canadian singer
- Sharon Hanson (b. 1965), American heptathlete
- Sharon Cuneta (b. 1966), Filipina actress and host of the Sharon talk show.
- Sharon Rendle (b. 1966), British judoka
- Sharon Epperson (b. 1968), CNBC correspondent
- Sharon Jaklofsky (b. 1968), Australian-Dutch athlete
- Sharon Shannon (b. 1968), Irish musician
- Sharon Corr (b. 1970), Irish musician and member of The Corrs
- Sharon Case (b. 1971), American actress
- Sharon Dijksma (born 1971), Dutch politician
- Sharon Cohen (b. 1972), more commonly known as Dana International, an Israeli pop singer
- Sharon Leal (b. 1972), American actress and director
- Sharon den Adel (b. 1974), co-founder of and singer for Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation
- Sharon Van Etten (b. 1981), American singer-songwriter
- Sharon Kips (b. 1983), Dutch singer
- Sharon Doorson (b. 1987), Dutch singer
- Sharon Stephen (b. 1987), Malaysian actress
- Sharon Fichman (b. 1990), Canadian/Israeli tennis player
Masculine given name
- Sharon Turner (1768–1847), English historian
- Sharon Tyndale (1816-1871), American politician
- Sharon Rotbard (b. 1959), Israeli architect publisher and author
- Sharon Drucker (b. 1967), Israeli professional basketball coach
- Sharon Shason (b. 1979), retired Israeli basketball player
- Sharon Afek (b. 1970), Israeli general
People with the surname
- Arieh Sharon (born Ludwig Kurzmann, 1900–1984), Israeli architect
- Ariel Sharon (born Ariel Scheinermann, 1928–2014), Israeli Prime Minister. Scheinermann was given the surname Sharon by David Ben-Gurion in c. 1948.
- Avraham Sharon (born Abraham Schwadron, 1878–1957), Israeli intellectual
- Moshe Sharon (b. 1937), Israeli scholar of Islamic history and civilization, author i.a. of the Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, a work in progress planned to contain all ancient Arabic inscriptions found in the Holy Land
- Omri Sharon (b. 1964), Israeli politician, son of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
- Revital Sharon (born 1970), Israeli Olympic artistic gymnast
- Deke Sharon, stage name of Kurk Richard Toohey (b. 1967), American singer, musician, producer
- Sharon (Doctor Who), a Doctor Who magazine character
- Sharon (シャロン), a character from the Street Fighter EX series
- Sharon Carter, a Marvel Comics character
- Sharon Collins Newman, a character in the daytime soap opera The Young and The Restless
- Sharon Cooper, a character in the 1982 musical film Grease 2
- Sharon Jellinsky, a minor character in the film Addams Family Values
- Sharon Kaur, a character played by Jez Dhillon in the British web series Corner Shop Show.
- Sharon Marsh, a character on South Park
- Sharon Rainworth, a character in the manga and anime series Pandora Hearts
- Sharon Rickman, a character from the popular British soap opera EastEnders
- Sharon Strzelecki, a character from Kath & Kim
- Sharon Valerii, a character from Battlestar Galactica
- Rose of Sharon Joad Rivers, a character from The Grapes of Wrath
- Sharon Rai Prakash, a character from the Indian seris Dil Dosti Dance
- Sharon Raydor, a LAPD captain who runs Major Crimes
- Sharon, Ontario, Canada
- Sharon, Connecticut
- Sharonville, Ohio
- Sharon, Pennsylvania
- Sharon Springs, New York
- Sharon Springs, Kansas
- Sharon, Massachusetts
- Sharon, New Jersey
- Sharon, Vermont
- Sharon, South Carolina
- Sharon, Georgia
- Sharon, North Dakota
- Strong's Concordance H8289
- Popular Baby Names; socialsecurity.gov; accessed 1 January 2015.
- Sharon - Meaning And Origin Of The Name Sharon, BabyNames.co.uk; accessed 1 January 1, 2015.
- Freedland, Jonathan (January 3, 2014). "Ariel Sharon's final mission might well have been peace", The Guardian. ("his name was given to him by Israel's founding father, David Ben-Gurion – turning the young Scheinerman into Sharon")
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