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What does Thelma mean?

Thelma Pronunciation of Thelma [thel-ma] as a girls' name is pronounced THEL-mah. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Thelma is "will, volition". A literary creation from the 19th century by Marie Corelli for the title character of her 1887 novel. The movie "Thelma and Louise" gave the name exposure.

Associated with: greek, 19th century.


Thelma has 2 variants: Telma and Thellma.

Affiliated girl name: Velma.

Creative forms:
(female) Thelfa, Thelta, ..

(male) Thelta, ..

Middle name pairings:
Thelma Rori (T.R.), ..

How popular is Thelma?

Thelma is a very prominent first name for women (#122 out of 4276, Top 3%) but an unusual surname for all people. (2000 U.S. Census)

Thelma reached its peak rank of #28 in the U.S. in the 1910s, but is not ranked currently. (Top 2000 Names, 2015)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Thelma name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Thelma outside U.S.

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related girl names. The only other prominent varying form of Thelma is Velma. These forms of Thelma were at the height of their popularity in the 1910s (median #62).

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Thelma, Velma in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Thelma and related baby names outside U.S.

Similar Names

Suggested similar names are Adelma, Chela, Chella, Chelsa, Delma, Helma, Phelia, Selma, Shela, Shelia, Shella, Talma, Talmah, Teela, Telca, Telka, Thalia, Thalya, Thea, Thecla, Theda, Theia, Theida, Thekla, Therma, Thermia, Thersa, Theta, Thilda, Tzelya and Zelma. These names tend to be less frequently used than Thelma.

See names
in meaning and etymology.