Thelma

First Name
226k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
<100
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
First
Last
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How to Pronounce Thelma

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Thelma mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Thelma

"Thelma" is a name of Greek origin, and it means "Will". It's a name commonly given to girls.

Wiktionary

A literary invention, first appeared in the Swedish novel Kyrkoinvigningen i Hammarby (1840-1841) by Emilie Flygare-Carlén, translated into English as "The Magic Goblet" (1845). Similar names of ambiguous origin, Elma, Selma, Velma, appeared in the 19th century.

By folk etymology explained as Ancient Greek θέλημα (thélēma, “will”). Notice also the Spanish and Portuguese Telma, a rare feminine form of Telmo, ultimately from Santelmo or Saint Elmo.

  1. A female given name.

Notable Persons Named Thelma

Thelma Ritter was an actress. She has had major accomplishments since 1947. Thelma was born on February 14th, 1902 in New York City, New York, U.S. She breathed her last breath on February 5th, 1969.

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Thelma Todd was an actress. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1926 to 1935. Thelma was given the name Thelma Alice Todd on July 29th, 1906 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S. Thelma is also known as Alison Loyd. She breathed her last breath on December 16th, 1935.

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Butterfly McQueen was an actor and actress. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1939 to 1939. Butterfly was given the name Thelma McQueen on January 7th, 1911 in Tampa, Florida. She died on December 22nd, 1995.

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Thelma was given the name Thelma Morgan on August 23rd, 1904 in Hotel Nationale, Lucerne, Switzerland. She left this life on January 29th, 1970.

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Thelma Houston is a rhythm, blues, soul music, disco, quiet storm, motown, and gospel music singing, songwriter, and actor. She has been prominent since 1966. Thelma was given the name Thelma Jackson on May 7th, 1946 in Leland, Mississippi.

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Thelma Schoonmaker is a film editor and film editing. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1966 to present. Thelma was given the name Thelma Colbert Schoonmaker on January 3rd, 1940 in Algiers.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Thelma

Bittianda Kuttapa Thelma is a in the fields of cytogenetics and human genetics. Bittianda was born in 1955.

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How popular is the baby name Thelma in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
1880 5 5 0
1883 6 6 0
1884 7 7 0
1886 12 12 0
1887 7 7 0
1888 15 15 0
1889 24 24 0
1890 22 22 0
1891 25 25 0
1892 33 33 0
1893 42 42 0
1894 70 70 0
1895 173 173 0
1896 265 260 5
1897 425 419 6
1898 605 605 0 #99 girl name
1899 736 736 0 #78 girl name
1900 1,094 1,094 0 #73 girl name
1901 1,090 1,090 0 #57 girl name
1902 1,315 1,309 6 #52 girl name
1903 1,488 1,479 9 #47 girl name
1904 1,766 1,757 9 #37 girl name
1905 1,955 1,945 10 #36 girl name
1906 2,126 2,114 12 #31 girl name
1907 2,352 2,339 13 #28 girl name
1908 2,534 2,526 8 #26 girl name
1909 2,624 2,612 12 #26 girl name
1910 2,993 2,976 17 #25 girl name
1911 3,178 3,166 12 #27 girl name
1912 4,203 4,183 20 #26 girl name
1913 4,624 4,595 29 #26 girl name
1914 5,519 5,496 23 #26 girl name
1915 6,790 6,762 28 #30 girl name
1916 7,320 7,290 30 #29 girl name
1917 7,272 7,244 28 #32 girl name
1918 7,785 7,741 44 #32 girl name
1919 7,599 7,557 42 #31 girl name
1920 7,847 7,815 32 #31 girl name
1921 7,872 7,840 32 #30 girl name
1922 7,279 7,252 27 #31 girl name
1923 7,406 7,377 29 #31 girl name
1924 7,362 7,317 45 #33 girl name
1925 6,865 6,824 41 #35 girl name
1926 6,619 6,583 36 #36 girl name
1927 6,334 6,307 27 #38 girl name
1928 6,010 5,977 33 #40 girl name
1929 5,509 5,477 32 #41 girl name
1930 5,280 5,246 34 #45 girl name
1931 4,477 4,440 37 #53 girl name
1932 4,299 4,272 27 #51 girl name
1933 3,662 3,637 25 #57 girl name
1934 3,677 3,647 30 #65 girl name
1935 3,220 3,188 32 #76 girl name
1936 3,230 3,198 32 #74 girl name
1937 3,079 3,060 19 #78 girl name
1938 2,880 2,864 16 #86 girl name
1939 2,720 2,696 24 #88 girl name
1940 2,471 2,460 11
1941 2,378 2,368 10
1942 2,270 2,257 13
1943 2,220 2,208 12
1944 2,010 1,996 14
1945 1,860 1,855 5
1946 1,802 1,794 8
1947 1,913 1,901 12
1948 1,774 1,764 10
1949 1,635 1,626 9
1950 1,455 1,455 0
1951 1,530 1,530 0
1952 1,368 1,362 6
1953 1,296 1,291 5
1954 1,248 1,240 8
1955 1,119 1,108 11
1956 1,074 1,074 0
1957 967 967 0
1958 849 843 6
1959 899 899 0
1960 845 838 7
1961 778 773 5
1962 756 751 5
1963 729 722 7
1964 653 653 0
1965 578 578 0
1966 476 476 0
1967 388 388 0
1968 405 400 5
1969 318 318 0
1970 273 273 0
1971 282 282 0
1972 225 225 0
1973 221 221 0
1974 237 237 0
1975 198 198 0
1976 193 193 0
1977 195 195 0
1978 171 171 0
1979 164 164 0
1980 148 148 0
1981 152 152 0
1982 152 152 0
1983 118 118 0
1984 122 122 0
1985 101 101 0
1986 105 105 0
1987 92 92 0
1988 84 84 0
1989 95 95 0
1990 92 92 0
1991 86 86 0
1992 89 89 0
1993 72 72 0
1994 70 70 0
1995 79 79 0
1996 48 48 0
1997 41 41 0
1998 62 62 0
1999 48 48 0
2000 50 50 0
2001 57 57 0
2002 31 31 0
2003 40 40 0
2004 31 31 0
2005 42 42 0
2006 34 34 0
2007 28 28 0
2008 30 30 0
2009 34 34 0
2010 20 20 0
2011 14 14 0
2012 27 27 0
2013 19 19 0
2014 25 25 0
2015 27 27 0
2016 32 32 0

Explain the Trends

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Where is the name Thelma popular?

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Popularity of Thelma as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Thelma as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in West Virginia, Arkansas, or Kentucky.

Common last names for Thelma

  • Smith
  • Johnson
  • Williams
  • Jones
  • Brown
  • Davis
  • Miller
  • Wilson
  • Taylor
  • Anderson
  • Thomas
  • Moore
  • Thompson
  • White
  • Clark
  • Harris
  • Jackson
  • Lewis
  • Robinson

Fun Facts about the name Thelma

  • How Popular is the name Thelma? Thelma is the 330th most popular name of all time.
  • How many people with the first name Thelma have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2016, the Social Security Administration has recorded 226,346 babies born with the first name Thelma in the United States. That's more than enough people named Thelma to occupy the territory of Mayotte (France) with an estimated population of 217,000 (as of July 1, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Thelma? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Thelma first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Thelma is Tuesday, September 13th, 1870.
  • What year had the most people named Thelma born? The highest recorded use of the first name Thelma was in 1921 with a total of 7,840 babies. That's a lot of babies named Thelma!
  • Random Thelma Factoid: According to the 1911 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Thelma ranks 12th in popularity as a baby girl's name in Oregon. Imagine that, 29 babies in Oregon have the same name as you in 1911.
  • Weird things about the name Thelma: Your name in reverse order is Amleht. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Mhleta. How do you pronounce that?

What Thelmas Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Thelma

Name poster for Thelma(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.