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Gender: F Meaning of Theresa: "to harvest" Origin of Theresa: English form of the Spanish Teresa

The popular appeal of the strong, intelligent Saint Teresa of Avila, combined with the selfless compassion of the more recent Mother Teresa, have fused to give this second-tier classic a somewhat noble, religious image. Although the origins of the name are uncertain, it has been prevalent particularly in forms Theresa, Teresa, and Therese throughout Europe for centuries.

Mother Teresa was born Anjeze/Agnese Gonxhe; when taking her vows, she chose to be named after Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries, but because another nun in the convent had already chosen that name, she opted for the Spanish spelling Teresa.

A Top 100 name until the 1960s, reaching Number 32 in 1956, Theresa fell off the list completely in 2011, while the sleeker Teresa still holds at Number 719; it was as high as Number 18 from 1961 to 1963.

Currently, a leading character on The Mentalist is Teresa Lisbon.

Short forms Tess,Tessa, Tressa, or Tea are more popular now than the old Terry or Tracy. An interesting variation is Tereza, as in Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Mia Farrow's sister Theresa is known as Tisa.

Famous People Named Theresa

Theresa Gorga Giudice- American reality star
Theresa Weld, American Olympic figure skater
Theresa Shank Grentz, American basketball coach
Theresa Mary Brasier May, British Prime Minister
Theresa Caputo, American psychic and TV personality of "Long Island Medium"
Thérésa Cabarrus, Madame Tallien, leading social figure during the French Revolution
Theresa Magdalena "Tisa" Farrow, sister of American actress Mia Farrow
Theresa Anne Villiers, British MP
Theresa Mary May, British Home Secretary
Theresa Rebeck, American playwright and novelist
Theresa Fu, Hong Kong pop singer

Pop Culture References for the name Theresa

Theresa "Terri" McGreggor, character on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
Theresa Diaz, character on TV's "The O.C."
(Jeannie) Theresa Donovan, character on American soap "Days of our Lives"
Theresa Tatum, character in short film "Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade"
Theresa "Tessa" Young, main character in "After" by Anna Todd
Theresa Mariah Magdalene McQueen, character on British soap "Hollyoaks"
Theresa "Terry" Cherry Perry, character on TV's "Lab Rats"
Theresa Cullen, character in TV's "Westworld"
Theresa "Tessa" Gray, main character in Cassandra Clare's "The Infernal Devices" book series.

Theresa's International Variations

Teresita, Tete, Tere, Techa (Spanish) Treasa (Irish Gaelic) Resi, Theresia, Resel, Tresa, Trescha, Therese (German) Tesa, Renia, Tesia, Terenia, Tereska (Polish) Terina, Teresa, Tersa (Italian) Reza, Terka, Terezka, Terezia, Rezka, Terezie, Terinka (Czech) Thérèse, Tereson (French) Zizi, Tereza (Romanian) Zilya, Terezilya (Russian) Terike, Terez, Rizus, Riza, Teca, Rezi, Treszka, Teruska, Tercsa (Hungarian) Toireasa (Irish) Teresia (Swedish) Teressa (Brazilian) Terese (Norwegian)