Amazing name. Looks so feminine, soft, so elegant. Classic beauty! Wish it would be popular these days, but its not, so it feels like an old woman name, because not many young people have this name. Thelma has class!
DeeDeeRee  1/14/2021
I highly associate this name with old ladies (not a bad thing), I think it's because my grandmother has a friend named Thelma, and she's mentioned her enough times to me that whenever I think of a random Thelma, I think of my grandma's friend, which is an old lady. I think this name is a bit like Helen, it's very old fashioned, but it can still fit in in modern society, but not too much so that a Helen or Thelma can stand out. I don't know what my grandma's friend Thelma wants her name to mean, but I have a theory, just like how Selma *could* be a shortening of Anselma, Thelma could be a shortening of a feminine form of Anthelm, which comes from the elements "and" and "helm".
I like old names  1/11/2021
Beautiful. I think of Thelma Lou, Barney Fife's love interest on the Andy Griffith Show.
noisynora  12/30/2020
Calm and aesthetic. But a bit slimy sounding.
Hushpuppy  12/17/2020
Gross. Not even good enough for a pet.
― Anonymous User  6/21/2020
Thelma Assis was the winner of Big Brother Brazil 2020.
Duda1234  5/2/2020
My family has used the name Thelma since 1580. My daughter is Thelma as it was my mother as it was my grand grand... grandmother born in 1580. The name Thelma comes from the Greek word "Thelima" that means errand. The word Thelima is used in Orthodox religion and describes the willingness of the God as "Gods thelima". During the centuries the letter "i" disappeared and the word transformed to "Thelma".
GGerasimos  9/17/2019
Thelma Plum is an Indigenous Australian singer/songwriter.
Lumi  9/4/2019
The elma part makes it very old fashioned, like Velma.
kayisforkeen  9/17/2018
The title character of the Norwegian film Thelma (2017), a young woman whose hidden supernatural powers reemerge when she moves away to university.
― Anonymous User  6/6/2018
Thelma is also used (albeit rarely) in Brazil, mostly as a Brazilian variant of the Portuguese name Telma, though it can also be used as an English import.
Buneary  8/20/2016
The name Thelma was given to 27 girls born in the US in 2015.
HerculePoirot  6/14/2016
My mother's name was Thelma and, even though she did not remember the author's name (Marie Corelli) she always said her name was given to her by her grandmother who was an avid reader, that she was named after the heroine of a story about a Princess of Norway. My mother was proud of the name which is why it is irritating to see some of the disparaging comments about the name in this forum. Another point, to echo a previous poster, my Hispanic wife called my mother Telma because she knew it that way in Latin America.
waterconjuror  5/20/2016
The name is also used in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland.
jegharenbumsipanden  3/22/2016
Ughh I hate how this is seen as an "old ladies name". Because I adore it! Too bad I can never use it.
StarlessNight  1/18/2016
Thelma Lou is Barney Fife's girlfriend on the Andy Griffith Show. She is very sweet and cute, I don't know who plays her.
― Anonymous User  11/20/2015
Quite soft and gentle, I think.
Hushpuppy  7/18/2014
Portuguese variants: Telma (feminine) or Telmo (masculine). I know a boy named Telmo and he is 10.
― Anonymous User  12/22/2011
Personally, I think Thelma is a lovely name. I like the name on its own merits, but it is even more special to me because my favorite aunt's name was Thelma. Aunt Thelma will always be very dear to my heart, so this feminine, strong yet sensitive name really means a lot to me.
HugeFanOfVivVance  8/12/2011
The girl-name Thelma comes from the boy name Anshelm, which is of Germanic origin (do not read "German" but "North-European") and has been used since early middle ages: 6-7th century, maybe even before.
Anshelm has been quite popular in 19th and early 20th century in France under its form "Anselme".
We get to the meaning by chopping the name up in two bits: Ans and Helm.
In ancient Germanic Ans meant god(s) and/or divinities and Helm meant helmet or protection.
So the name means "protected by gods" or "divine helmet", something like that.
chrisdahl  4/21/2011
I really like the name and gave it to one of my daughters. She seems very happy with it and although it's very rare where we live (France) and where we come from (Denmark and Hungary), it's not rare to the point that people say "what?" when she tells her name :)
chrisdahl  4/21/2011
Thelma was the real name of actress Butterfly McQueen (1911-1995), noted for her role as Prissy in Gone with the Wind.
bananarama  1/13/2011
There is a girl at my sister's college named Thelma and at first I felt sorry that she had an old lady name, but I've come to like it. It's different from all the other girls' names.
Liesl  10/5/2010
I quite like this name; at first glance it seems a bit old-fashioned, but I think it could definitely be used on a young person. Yes, overall a great name. :)
walesgal92  7/7/2010
Your origin date is off by at least decades:
In the book 'Boney Fuller: Soldier, Strategist, and Writer, 1878-1966' by Anthony John Trythall, On page one Fuller's Mother's birthdate is given as 1848, her name 'Thelma'.
The Witness  9/2/2009
Though I currently cannot shed light on the origin of the name "Thelma", I can state most authoritatively that the name was not invented by British author Marie Corelli for her 1887 novel. Miss Corelli was born in 1855. The 1850 census for the United States lists at least 35 women bearing the name "Thelma", several of whom were born in the 1700's. This list would include only a fraction of women actually named "Thelma", since some women were not listed at all, some were listed only by initials, and most were listed by first and last names only, omitting middle names of "Thelma". While the number hardly compares with such common names as "Mary" or "Elizabeth", the name was most clearly in use a hundred years (and possibly much more than that) before Miss Corelli wrote her novel.

As this was my mother's name, and before that, the name of an aunt, I am interested in the correct origin and will research further. I will share whatever further factual information I can discover. Thank you for the opportunity to clear up this myth. [noted -ed]
AccidentalPolyglot  4/10/2009
Personally I think it's quite unlikely that Marie Corelli created the name Thelma from a Greek word for "will". Thelma doesn't seem to be described as willful, strong-willed, or stubborn anywhere in the novel. Instead Corelli makes the _sound_ of Thelma one of the themes in her novel. Here is a quote from what the hero (who eventually marries Thelma) thinks about her name shortly after he meets her:

"Just the sort of name to suit a Norwegian nymph or goddess. _Thelma_ is quaint and appropriate, and as far as I can remember there's no rhyme to it in the English language. _Thelma_!" And he lingered on the pronunciation of the strange word with a curious sensation of pleasure. "There is something mysteriously suggestive about the sound of it; like a chord of music played softly in the distance."

And Corelli was a popular author, not an especially literary one. Though she had delusions of grandeur and fancied herself another Shakespeare, it seems unlikely she'd be searching out words in a Greek dictionary in order to name a Norwegian character. I think she created it as a brand new word because she liked the sounds it contained, and it has no meaning beyond that given to it by the history and personality of the character in her novel. :)
[noted -ed]
clevelandkentevans  5/30/2008
Gee, I do love the movie Thelma & Louise, but I don't like either of those names, especially Thelma, ha ha. This name sounds very much like the name of some obese redneck woman nowadays. Very old-fashioned. It actually sounds a bit like someone with a lisp trying to say Selma, which is another name I don't like.
slight night shiver  5/10/2008
This name was borne by Thelma Barlow (born 19 June 1929), an English television actress. She is famous for her roles on the British soap opera "Coronation Street" as Mavis Wilton, a role she held from 1971 to 1997, and the British sitcom "dinnerladies" as Dolly Bellfield from 1998 to 2000.
AndrewJKD  4/1/2008
A famous bearer was American actress Thelma Ritter (February 14, 1902 – February 5, 1969). She was well-known for her supporting roles in films like "All About Eve" (1950), "The Mating Season" (1951), "With a Song in My Heart" (1952), "Pickup on South Street" (1953), "Pillow Talk" (1959), and "Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962), all for which she received Academy Award nominations. She also won a Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for "New Girl in Town".
AndrewJKD  3/12/2008
Thelma Todd (1905-1935) was an American actress/comedienne. Her life was cut short under suspicious circumstances.
cateyedsnake  8/25/2007
First name of the grouchy granny Mrs. Harper on Mama's Family.
biflucky  8/31/2006
Thelma is the name of the lesbian ghost on "Hex."
patchworkgirl  7/14/2006
Patricia Nixon was actually born Thelma Catherine Ryan. Her father nicknamed her "Pat" because she was born the day before St. Patrick's day. She eventually changed her name legally to Patricia.
Kosta  5/24/2006
Thelma & Louise was a noted film in the 90's, starring Geena Davis in the part of Thelma.
― Anonymous User  12/14/2005

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