- this week

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

The name Theresa is a girl's name of Spanish, Greek, Portuguese origin meaning "to harvest". Theresa and is often added to lists like Classic Girl Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Girls Makeover - Two Middles".

From the experts:

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.

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

Famous People Named Theresa

Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina, Queen of Germany; Holy Roman Empress
Theresa Mary Braiser May, current British Prime Minister
Theresa Weld, American Olympic figure skater
Theresa Shank Grentz, American basketball coach
Theresa Caputo, American psychic and TV personality of "Long Island Medium"
Thérésa Cabarrus, Madame Tallien, leading social figure during the French Revolution
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, American novelist
Theresa Saldana, American actress
Theresa Randle, American actress
Theresa Zabell, Spanish Olympic sailor
Theresa Magdalena "Tisa" Farrow, sister of American actress Mia Farrow
Theresa Anne Villiers, British MP
Theresa Lynn Russell, American actress
Theresa Rebeck, American playwright and novelist
Theresa Fu, Hong Kong pop singer
Theresa (born Therese Charlotte Marianne Auguste), Princess of Bavaria, German ethnologist
Theresa Maria Josepha Martha, Princess of Liechtenstein; Princess of Bavaria
Theresa Monika Valerie Elisabeth Ludovika Walburga Anna, Princess of Bavaria, Archduchess of Austria
Theresa Owana Kaʻohelelani Laʻanui, Princess of Hawai'i
Theresa Anna Elisabeth (b. 1992), Princess of Leiningen; daughter of Prince Karl Emich

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)


Caroline Aurelius Says:


im eight years old using my moms computor my names theresa btw

headintheclouds Says:


Super classic name, which I feel has fallen by the wayside like Mary, and seems less perennial than Elizabeth today. In my experience, the Theresas I've met have been older baby boomers or from Catholic backgrounds, though I think it deserves to be much more popular. As previous commenters have pointed out, there are many lovely nickname options, including Tess and Tessa which have been on the rise and on point with the vintage revival trend. I prefer this spelling to Teresa; I think the added h makes the name look cozier and more grounded.

WiseBird39 Says:


I really like Theresa. As has been pointed out, there are so many nickname options - Tess, Tessa,'s such a sweet, versatile name.

CupcakeGirl13 Says:


Why should Tessa get all the love? Theresa/Teresa is beautiful! Plus the nicknames Tess, Tessa, Reesa, maybe even Terry if you you are a tomboy make me love this name even more!

_Theresa_ Says:


My name is Theresa and I really like that it's a classic, old-fashioned name. I've been told I have a sexy name, believe it or not. It will never go out of style. :)

ThistleThorn Says:


I LOVE this name. I would definitely call her Tess.

ThistleThorn Says:


I know at least six Theresas.

theresaelsmore Says:


I like my name. I don't think people associate it too much with Catholicism anymore. It's a pretty name to me. It sounds unique enough but it's still somewhat classic. The "h" makes it look a lot nicer. Teresa is also the spelling for the barbie, so I'd avoid that. And I love the many nicknames I have, especially Tessa and Resa.

Guest Says:


Here's my opinion about growing up with the name Theresa.
First, I was the only one I ever knew named Theresa until about 20 years old. As a result, I still think I'm the most unique person I know just because of my name. Second, it doesn't matter how you wanna spell it to me, at least just learn how to pronounce it, it's not TREE-sa. Also, unless I tell you to call me T, Tera, Terri, Tess, Reese, or Resa, just don't. Third, when I was younger I hated it because it seemed so unpopular, but as an adult I fully love my name. To me, sure, it's a little outdated but more so I think of it as classic and timeless; I mean, coming from a Greek origin makes it really old and yet it's still survived. Now that I've grow up some and grown into my name, I like to think of it as the name of a woman who knows herself, who is strong, kind, loyal, graceful, steadfast, elegant, and friendly. Not saying that I'm these things! Just that those are the kinda things my name helps me aspire to be. Overall, my name and I have had some rocky times, but it has helped the shape the person I am and still wish to be, as well as help me stand out from others (which can be both good and bad), and develop a deeper sense of myself. Nowadays, I love meeting people who have never met or heard of a Theresa because it gives me a chance to put a new context to it in their mind as not just an old lady name conjuring pictures of Mother Teresa, but as something more eclectic than your everyday Jennifer (I mean how many more celebrities are we gonna have with that name? Shouldn't there be a cap or something?) and still just as classy, fun, and confident. I already know what my (future) daughters name will be. <- That sounded like a sales pitch right there, but really I do want to name my 1st daughter Theresa for no other reason than to have her live the struggle of having the odd name out among peers just as I did. I'm so mean. Haha.

Tree . Says:


My name!

unicornluvgirl Says:


A gorgeous name. I love it.