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Gender: Female Meaning of Tess: "to harvest" Origin of Tess: English, diminutive of Theresa

The name Tess is a girl's name of English origin meaning "to harvest". Tess and is often added to lists like Middle Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Adding Then Eliminating -- Girls Themed".

From the experts:

With its solid Thomas Hardy background, Tess has a lot more substance, strength, and style than most single-syllable names, with an efficient yet relaxed image.

The iconic literary Tess is the beautiful heroine of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the moral center of the novel. Other Tesses have been portrayed on screen by Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Shirley Maclaine, Melanie Griffiths, Kate Hudson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cher, Della Reese and Malin Akerman. Novelist and fashion journalist Plum Sykes named her daughter Tess.

Writer Tess Gerritsen was born Terry, but decided to feminize her name when she began writing romance novels.

If you'd like to expand the name, you can consider Tessa--or even Tessie

Find other names based on Tess using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Tess

Tessie Jean "Tess" Harper, American actress
Helen Elizabeth "Tess" Daly, English model and TV presenter
Tess Amber Taylor, American model and reality TV personality ("Pretty Wild")
Tess Holliday (born Ryann Maegen Hoven), American plus size model
Tess Uriza Holthe, Filipina American novelist
Tess Slesinger, American novelist and screenwriter
Tess Gaerthe, Dutch singer
Tess Walker, youngest daughter of Elle Walker, co-founder of YouTube channel "whatsupmoms"
Tess Gerritsen, American novelist
Tess Mattisson, Swedish pop singer
Tess Wiley, American singer-songwriter
Therese "Tess" Gardella, American stage actress
Tess Gallagher, American author; wife of author Raymond Carver
Tess Mallos (born Anastasia Calopades), Australian cookbook author and chef

Pop Culture References for the name Tess

Tess Durbeyfield, main character in Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the D'Urbervilles"
Tess Trueheart, character in Dick Tracy comics
Tessa "Tess" Gray, character in Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices trilogy
Tess Quin, character in Kresley Cole's "The Arcana Chronicles"
Tess McGill, main character in film "Working Girl"
Teresa "Tess" Bell, character on Australian soap "Neighbours"
Tess Carlisle, character in 1994 film "Guarding Tess"
Tess Carroll, character in film and book "Charlie St. Cloud"
Tess Coleman, character in film "Freaky Friday"
Tess Finnegan, character in film "Fool's Gold"
Tess Harding, character in film "Woman of the Year"
Tess Ocean, character in the Ocean's Eleven film series
Tess, character in 2010 film "Burlesque"
Tess Tyler, character in film "Camp Rock"
Tess Harding, character on TV's "Roswell"
Tess, character in Lily Tomlin's sketches, sometimes called "Trudy"
Tess, character in Marie Lu's "Legend"
Tess, character on TV's "Ravenswood"
Tess Bateman, character on British TV series "Casualty"
Tess Skinner, main character in 1922 silent film "Tess of the Storm Country"
Tess Struan, character in "Tai-Pan" and "Gai-Jin" by James Clavell
Tess Doerner, character on TV's "The 4400"
Tess, character in 'Fallen In Love' by Lauren Kate
Tess Foster, main character in Canadian TV series "Life With Boys"
Tess Nichols, character in 2008 film "27 Dresses"
Tess Harris, character on British soap "Emmerdale"
Tess Adamson, character on New Zealand soap "Shortland Street"
Tess Fontana, character on TV's "Eureka"
Tess Silverman McLeod, character on Australian series "McLeod's Daughters"
Tess Mercer, also known as Lutessa Lena Luthor, character in DC Universe
Tess Ramsey, character on American soap opera Port Charles
Tess Smith, an alternate personality of Jessica Buchanan on American soap "One Life to Live"
Tess, character on TV's "Touched by an Angel"
Tess Morgan, character on TV's "The Flash"
Tess, character in the Jak and Daxter video game series
Tess, character in the video game The Last of Us
Tess Wintory, character in the video game Test Drive Unlimited 2
Tess Churchmouse, mouse character in the Redwall series
Tess Clark, character in Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted
Tess Pearson, character on TV's "This Is Us"
Tess, character in the Johnny the Homicidal Maniac comic book series
Therese "Tess" Dombegh, main character of Rachel Hartman's "Tess of the Road"

Tessie, Tesza, Tessa


katinka Says:


I love the simple, streamlined strength of Tess.

TechnoKitten Says:


In my opinion more beautiful than Tessa

cheesy-biscuit Says:


This name is growing on me a lot.

тess Says:


Yay, my name! My mum tells me she always knew that she would call a daughter it since she first read Tess of the D'Urbevilles at 14. :-) The only bugbear I have is that a lot of people I've met (mainly teachers/bosses who just want to be formal lol) automatically assume that my name is in fact Theresa/Tessa, and call me it. But other than that, in my opinion it's short and sweet! :-)

That Invisible Girl Named Tess Says:


OOH! That's m name! I luv unique names. :D Yay!

Margot23 Says:


Hardy made me love Tess.

TheHumanCanvas Says:


I like Tess more than Tessa, mainly because I already know a Tessa... I guess I don't like using names I already have an association for. That aside though, I love Tess for its strong, feminine image <3 Tessie is a lovely pet form.

ThistleThorn Says:


I would name a daughter Theresa or Teresa and call her Tess. It just seems to short as a full name.

SimoneKadele Says:


Slightly prefer Tessa, as in Tessa Gray from The Mortal Instruments...

That Creepy Stalker Named Tess Says:


That is my name! #994... awwww..... :'-(

Shishi Says:


Tess! From Legend! I love that character! She's awesome!