Theresa - Meaning of Theresa
[ 3 syll. (t)he-re-sa, th-er-esa ] The baby girl name Theresa is pronounced Tah-REY-Zah or Tah-RIY-Sah in English or Teh-REH-Zaa in German †. Theresa's language of origin is Old Greek. It is predominantly used in English and German. The meaning of Theresa is 'hunter; harvest; guardian; woman from Therasia'. The name is of uncertain origin. It was first adopted in Spain and Portugal, where it was known in the 5th century from Saint Paulinus of Nola's wife, a Spanish woman named Therasia; she was supposed to have been born on the Greek island Thera, known today as Santorini. The island name could be derived from the Old Greek ther (meaning 'animal, game'), or else from other Greek words meaning 'harvest' or 'guardian'. Therasia is also the name of a small island to the west of Santorini, separated by an eruption; the first name is thus sometimes taken to mean 'woman from Therasia'.
The first name was later borne by Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), a prominent Spanish mystic and Carmelite nun, and Saint Thérèse de Lisieux (1873-1897), a Carmelite nun also recognized as a Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholics; the name was thus popular among Roman Catholics in medieval times. English speakers took up the name in the 18th century, by when the Catholic association had been largely diminished. The first name is today well-known from Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu; 1910-1997), a Roman Catholic nun born in Albania and residing in India. Theresa is the feminine version of the Italian Teresio.
The name Theresa is widely used; it has 113 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Resa, Terasa, Terecena, Terese (used in Scandinavian as well), Teresea, Teresha, Teresina (used in Italian as well), Teresine, Teressa, Teresse, Terest, Terez (used in Hungarian as well), Tereze, Terie, Terina, Terrill, Tersia, Tery, Tessi, Tessy, Theresah, Theresha, Theresita, Theressa, Thereza, Theria, Therisa, Therra, Therressa, and Thersa. Other English forms include the contracted forms Teri, Tressa, and Trice, the familiar forms Ressie, Teesa, Tera, Terra, Terri, Terrie, Terry, Tesa (used in Polish as well), Tesha, Tesia (used in Polish as well), Tess, Tessa, Tesse, Tessia, Tessie, Tezia, Thera, Tracey, Tracy, and Tressie, and the spelling variants Tereasa, Teresa (used in Italian, and Spanish as well), Terisa, and Terresa.
Forms used in foreign languages include Keleka (Hawaiian), Renia (Polish), Resel (German), Reza (Czech and Hungarian), Rezi (Hungarian), Rezka (Czech), Riza (Hungarian), Rizus (Hungarian), Tassos (Greek), Tayeska (Dutch), Teca (Hungarian), Techa (Spanish), Tercsa (Hungarian), Terenia (Polish), Teresia (German), Tereska (Polish), Tereson (French), Tereza (Brazilian, Czech, Hungarian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Slavic), Terezia (Czech and Hungarian), Terezie (Czech), Terezilya (Russian), Terezka (Czech), Terike (Hungarian), Tersa (Italian), Teruska (Hungarian), Theres (German), Therese (French and German), Theresia (German), Thérèse (French), and Treasa (Irish). Specific foreign variants include the contracted form Tere (Spanish), and the familiar forms Reserl (German), Resi (German), Resli (German), Teresita (Spanish), Tete (Spanish), and Tisa (Swahili).
Theresa is an uncommon baby girl name. At the height of its usage in 1961, 0.577% of baby girls were named Theresa. It was #35 in rank then. The baby name has steeply slipped in popularity since then, and is currently used only on a very light scale. In 2018, within the family of girl names directly related to Theresa, Tessa was the most popular.
Baby names that sound like Theresa include Teresa, Taheera, Tahera, Tahyra, Takarra, Takera, Takirra, Takora, Taracka, Taraea, Tarakah, Tarakya, Tarasa, Tarasha, Tareixa, Taria, Tarika, Tarisa, Tarreara, and Tashara.
† Pronunciation for Theresa: T as in "tee (T.IY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; EY as in "ate (EY.T)" ; Z as in "zoo (Z.UW)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)"
A famous person named Theresa is Terri Schiavo, Medical Patient, born Theresa Marie Schindler 3 December 1963 - 31 March 2005.