- this week

Gender: F Pronunciation: AHL-mah Meaning of Alma: "nurturing, soul" Origin of Alma: Latin Alma's Popularity in 2014: #680

Alma is a somewhat solemn, soulful name that had a burst of popularity a century ago, then faded into the flowered wallpaper, and is now finding its footing once more. It jumped 175 spots on the US list between 2012 and 2014, making it one of the fastest-rising names on the recent list.

In addition to being familiar via the term alma mater, Alma has many cultural ties, such as Alma Mahler, a 19th Century composer and musician and the character Alma Del Mar played by Michelle Williams in the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain. Other characters named Alma have appeared in Deadwood, The Hunger Games, Story and The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. In the Tennessee Williams play Summer and Smoke, a character named Alma explains that her name is "Spanish for soul."

The name became fashionable in England following the Battle of Alma--named for the Russian river--during the Crimean War.

Always well used in Hispanic families, Alma seems to be on the brink of making a comeback, a la Ella and Ada; appreciated for its simplicity, integrity, and--yes-- soul.

Famous People Named Alma

Alma Thomas, African American painter
Alma Leonore Beltran, Mexican actress
Alma Angela Cogan, English pop singer
Alma Guillermoprieto, Mexican journalist
Alma Redlinger, Romanian painter & illustrator
Alma Lucy Reville, Lady Hitchcock, English director and screenwriter; wife of director Alfred Hitchcock
Alma Genevieve Rubens, American silent film actress
Alma Maria Mahler, Austrian socialite; wife of composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and novelist Franz Werfel
Alma Socorro Martínez (Torres), Mexican footballer
Alma Templeton Moodie, Australian violinist
Alma, daughter of Israeli actress Gal Gadot and Yaron Varsano
Mia Alma Lavandeira, daughter of Perez Hilton

Pop Culture References for the name Alma

Alma Singer, character in "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss
Alma Winemiller, main character in Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke"
Alma Walker, character on TV's "American Horror Story: Asylum"
"Alma," novel by Brazilian writer Oswald de Andrade
Alma Coin, character in The Hunger Games trilogy
Alma Dray, character in film "Now You See Me"
Alma Garret, character on TV's "Deadwood"
Alma LeFay Peregrine, character in the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs
Book of Alma, section of the Book of Mormon
Alma Wade, character in the 'F.E.A.R.' video game series
Alma Parker, character in 1966 film "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken"
Alma Halliwell, character on British soap "Coronation Street"
Alma Hodge, character on TV's "Desperate Housewives"
Alma, a Greater Fiend from the video game "Ninja Gaiden"
Alma Montemayor, main character in Mexican telenovela "Porque el amor manda"
Alma Beoulve, character in video game "Final Fantasy Tactics"
Alma Jinnai, character in anime "Jewelpet Tinkle"
Alma Pudden, character in the "St Clare" book series by Enid Blyton

Almah, Allma