Sarah, beehive, throne, king, queen and Assyrian emperor Sargon of Akkad have a common origin

Online Etymology Dictionary has this about Sarah: fem. proper name, Biblical wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac, from Hebrew, literally “princess,” from sarah, fem. of sar “prince,” from sarar “he ruled,” related to Akkad. sharratu “queen.” Popular as a name for girls born in U.S. in 1870s and 1978-2000.

More temple jargon and not quite accurate. Assyrians who built a huge empire in Mesopotamia and beyond followed a system of tribal consultation that originated in southern Arabia as they were originally ancient Yemenis. The supreme council of their 12 tribes elected a leader to rule in their name. The council’s name is Shura “consultation” derived from a root (*Ŝ’) of several meanings including beehive. The most famous ruler elected by the supreme council was Sargon of Akkad (Akkadian Šarru-ukīn or Šarru-kēn; sometimes known as “Sargon the Great”), first ruler of the Semitic-speaking Akkadian Empire, known for his conquests of the Sumerian city-states in the 24th to 23rd centuries BC (Wikipedia).

As in most other Stone Age biliteral (made of two letters) roots, speakers needed to extend the language to express more and more cases and situations that fall within the semantic domain of the root. So, from the original meaning of a consultative appointee, his title (king), his seat (known in Ancient Arabic as sareer, literary bed, but also throne), his or her method of consultation (shura), etc.

The name has many attestations in Akkadian, a sister of Ancient Arabic, and the language with a significant influence on English and other European languages.

Needless to say, Sarah should be Šarah but letter migration and substitution are significant in all relevant languages and it may not be considered a “corruption”.

The “h” in the proper name of Sarah has a feminine ending, originally “t”.
Wikipedia and other sources keep repeating “Semitic” this and “Semitic” that but that’s a misconception created by 19th century temple scholars. The only Semitic language in history is Sumerian. Just look at their common root: *SM. This root is the origin of English same, similar, smart, etc. This is so because Sumerians are cousins of Phoenicians, a Greek coinage applied to certain Canaanites.

Consult, if you have nothing better to do, these Akkadian entries:

šarratu : [Government] queen
šarru [LUGAL : ] (n. ; st. constr. šar, šarri ; pl. šarrū, šarrānū)
[Government] a king , a monarch;
bītu šarri ( ; Aechemenid period)
“the house of the King” / the Royal Exchequer ;
Cf. bītu, bītu šanû, ša bītu šanî, šarru

And these Ancient Arabian entries:
shu’r “beehive”
shura “consultation”
sareer “bed, throne”
shar “pointed at”

*Resident Beehive Literary Circle Etymologist, Adel S. Bishtawi is author of Origin of “Semitic” Languages. Those interested can reach for Amazon:

mage credit: About everybody on the Internet

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