Teresa: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Teresa

Teresa

Pronunciation: tə-REES-ə (English), teh-RAY-sə (multiple languages) (key)

Origin of the name Teresa:

Of uncertain etymology, Teresa is generally believed to be derived from the Greek therizein (to reap, to gather in) and thus takes the definition of “harvester.” The first known bearer of the name was the Spanish wife of St. Paulinus, a 5th century Roman bishop of Nola. Teresa was not used outside the Iberian Peninsula until the 16th century, when the fame of St. Teresa of Avila (1515—82) made the name popular among Roman Catholics throughout Europe. Var: Tereza, Theresa. Pet: Teri, Terri, Terry

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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US Popularity of Teresa Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Teresa: | Edit

Teresa is a beautiful, classy name. It sounds soft, but there have been many figures in history with this name that were strong and wonderful role models for women.

Easter has the same letters as Teresa.

Personal experiences with the name Teresa: | Edit

* My name is Teresa. I have no known relatives with this name. But, my Mother's from AK and I believe that the black singer, Teresa Brewer, was very popular in 1955, the year I was born. My grand mother's name was Anna Belle, southern names very strong on first and middle names, so mine's Teresa Anna.
I'd like to say that it's been my lifelong experience that Teresa is a name very few people forget; they don't seem to search their memory banks for my name when I meet them unexpectedly at the grocery store! So, it's distinctive. Also, when traveling, especially globally, there's a certain comfort level: Most Germanic cultures have some version of Teresa: Terese, Treese, etc. There's that familiarity factor. It's nice that the name Teresa hasn't been fadish in some decades. Of course, Mother Teresa is an image one may or may not want their daughter to bear in her life. In countries where Catholicism is common, association (in name only!) with Mother Teresa makes people comfortable with using my name.
I'm not a mother but if I were, I probably would have named a daughter a unisex name: ie., Sydney or Terry. I think young women even of today still need a boost toward equality between sexes: equal pay, education, promotion, etc. If read on a resume, from a list of names or simply populated from a computer generated list, gender discrimination is still alive in well in 2015, especially in high tech. But, there are/have been at least two female heads of state. To that end, a person named Teresa could NEVER be mistaken for a male, for better or worse.
Lastly, it wasn't until recently (I'm 59) that I really appreciated my name. The only other Teresa in my childhood who was named Teresa was my neighbor who spelled hers with an 'h'. I thought that was weird at the time. And, about the spelling: People will forever be asking a girl/woman named Teresa how she spells her name. That could be a good or bad thing: When I'm asked, realize to capitalize on the opportunity. I'll often reply: "Teresa, like Mother Teresa". They never, ever forget my name then! You'd be surprised however at some of the spellings I've encountered from otherwise literate people throughout my years. I have to say though, I'd love to see one of my nieces or grand nieces continue my name.

* My sister's name is Teresa, and she is a smart, spiritualjust , and beautiful young lady.

* My name is Teresa, and it's served me well. People will try to call you Terry, but I've had few problems convincing people to use my full name, which I have gone by since infancy. Either way you spell it, you will have to spell it for people 90% of the time, so pick whichever is more beautiful to you. I am always "Teresa without an H". It obviously hit a peak in the 50/60s, so people do frequently assume I'm older than I am. To me, Terry/Terri is a dated nickname, but Teresa is a timeless classic.

* There's a great variation in subtle pronunciation differences - I love being TREE-sah to some people and Ter-RAY-zah elsewhere and Ter-REESE-ah still other places. Plus there's Teresa variation in most European languages. If this bothers you, it may not be a good choice. To me, it's like having secret extra names.

-Teresa Lorraine. Teresa is my daughter, mother, great- grandmother, and great-great-great grandmother are all Teresa. It is a tradition that a grandaughter (usually the oldest of a family) is named Teresa. So I will have a great-granddaughter named Teresa as well.-

Nicknames for Teresa: | Edit

Tere, Teri, Terri, Terry, Tess, Tessa,Teecee, Reese, Reesa, Tree, Telly, Terree

Meanings and history of the name Teresa: | Edit

In an anime named Claymore Teresa is one of the Twins Goddesses of Love which are honored and celebrated.

Famous real-life people named Teresa: | Edit

Mother Teresa (born Agnes)
Teresa Scanlan - Miss America 2011
Teresa Wright - American actress
Teresa Cristina, Empress of Brazil

Teresa in song, story & screen: | Edit

Teresa (TV series), a Mexican soap opera
Teresa (film), Rod Steiger's first film appearance
"Teresa" (song), a song by Joe Dolan that topped the Irish singles chart in 1969
"Teresa", a song by Dick Haymes & The Andrews Sisters
Teresa Bryant, character on the British soap opera Coronation Street
Teresa Cammeniti, character on the Australian soap opera Neighbours
Teresa Moreno, wife of Richard Sharpe in Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series of historical fiction
Teresa of the Faint Smile, one of the main characters in the popular anime and manga series Claymore
Teresa Wisemail, a character from the PlayStation role-playing game Suikoden II
Teresa di Vicenzo (aka Tracy), fictitious character & wife of James Bond in both the novel & movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".
Teresa is an important character in an anime named Claymore.
Teresa "Resa" Folchart, Meggie's mother from Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy.
Teresa Agnes, a character in James Dashner's "The Maze Runner"

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70
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Smart?

72
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Sexy?

67
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Friendly?

65
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Creative?

67
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Strong?

58
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Young?

64
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Sophisticated?