What do you think of Tessa?


My mother's name is Theresa and we were trying to think of a way to honor her. We're thinking a bit about the name Tess and Tessa. What do you think of these names? Are they too nicknamey? Are they tacky?


August 7, 2015 12:23 PM

Not tacky in the slightest.  I also don't think they are too nicknamey. They both been used as stand alone names long enough that I suspect some people won't even know they are nicknames.  Just asked my husband, and he had no idea.  

FWIW, I slightly prefer Tessa over Tess.

August 7, 2015 3:29 PM

They are certainly not tacky--they're beautiful. I think Tess definitely has a nicknamey quality to it, but Tessa feels like a name on it's own. It's beautiful, so there's no need to worry if this is the name you love. 

If for some reason Tessa still doesn't feel right, you could use ReeseTerra, or Altessa as ways to name your daughter after her grandmother. 


August 7, 2015 3:42 PM

I posted about Teresa/Tessa yesterday!  I am having the same problem.  I think Tessa is a great way to honor your mom if you prefer it to Theresa.  

By mk
August 7, 2015 4:36 PM

I prefer Tessa over Tess, though I like Theresa best of all. Tess always looks like it is missing something to me.

August 7, 2015 7:07 PM

I adore Tessa. 

It's girlish but full of sass and pep in all the right ways. Plus it's not too common, but everyone will be able to say and spell it! 

I think it's fine on its own, and I prefer it to either Tess or Theresa (though I think Theresa to honor your mom with Tessa as the nn is also lovely).


By Fly
August 8, 2015 3:59 AM

To me, both Tessa and Tess feel nicknamey. However, it fits in with a large group of diminuitives that are in various stages of acceptance as standalone names; some others in this category are: Eliza, Elise, Lisa, Elsie, Lizzie, Beth, Leisel, Heidi, Adele, Cindy, Coby, Jenna, Kate, Laney, Lettie, May, Meg, Megan, Mia, Mieke, Millie, Nancy, Odette, Penny, Sally, Tilly, Trixie, Winnie.

Many people particularly in the UK prefer to use the call name on the birth certificate, rather than a more formal name (which is becoming less and less necessary for the purpose of resumes, etc). As such it is more and more acceptable for these names to stand alone.

tldr: it's fine :)

August 8, 2015 9:38 AM

Neither feels too nicknamey to me. Tess in particular makes me think of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, so it feels like it has been in use as a stand-alone name for a long time.

If you wanted something longer, I quite like Tessera as an artsy, science-y twist on Tess/Tessa/Theresa. Especially apropos for a fourth child or daughter, but I think very usable in any case.

August 9, 2015 5:54 PM

I like this suggestion!  Also it reminds me of Tesla,  which is also sciencey (but may make people think of the car). 


August 10, 2015 8:13 AM

We just started reading A Wrinkle in Time to the kids last night. I don't know why we waited so long! At any rate, Tess/a fits right in with tesseract if you want a nod to Madeline L'Engle.

August 10, 2015 1:23 PM

I think they're both very cute. I had a friend growing up whose older sister was named Tessa, and it was her given name. I don't think the fact that they're often nicknames should be an issue.

August 12, 2015 10:43 PM

I adore both those names, don't feel nicknamey to me, even if they CAN be nicknames. I think they're classy and beautiful and you sould use whichever one you like best. Of course, you could use Tessa and end up with the nickname Tess :-)