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Pronunciation Irish: [ˈsˠɔɾˠəxə]
English: /ˈsɒrʃə/, /ˈsɒrkə/
Gender Feminine
Language(s) 1. Irish
2. Scottish Gaelic
Meaning "light", "brightness"

Sorcha is a Gaelic feminine given name. It is common to both the Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages, and is derived from a Gaelic word meaning "brightness".

In Ireland, the name is often mistakenly considered a Gaelic form of the etymologically unrelated name Sarah (a Biblical name, meaning "princess") due to the superficial similarity in pronunciation, especially in the common Anglophone pronunciation that approximates the Irish sound [x] (ch) consonant not found in English with [ʃ] (sh) or [k] (k), just like Dorcha, which means "dark".[citation needed] Sorcha is also commonly Anglicised as Sally, the diminutive of Sarah.

In Scotland, Sorcha has been Anglicised as Clara, which retains the name's Gaelic meaning: the English Clara is derived from the Latin clarus, meaning "bright", "famous".[1]

The variant pronunciation of this name as /ˈsɜːrʃə/ is commonly confused by English-speakers with both the masculine Seóirse (pronounced [ˈʃoːɾˠʃə], equivalent to George) and the feminine Saoirse (pronounced [sˠiːɾˠɕə], a modern repurposing of the Irish vocabulary word saoirse which means "freedom").

Notable people with the name Sorcha[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 57, 240, 356, 409, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1