English form of the Spanish Teresa
"to harvest"

Theresa Origin and Meaning

The name Theresa is girl's name of Spanish, Greek, Portuguese origin meaning "to harvest".
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.

Theresa Popularity

20 Names Similar to Theresa

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Famous People Named Theresa

  • Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia ChristinaQueen of Germany; Holy Roman Empress
  • Theresa Mary Braiser Maycurrent British Prime Minister
  • Theresa WeldAmerican Olympic figure skater
  • Theresa Shank GrentzAmerican basketball coach
  • Theresa CaputoAmerican psychic and TV personality of "Long Island Medium"
  • Thérésa CabarrusMadame Tallien, leading social figure during the French Revolution
  • Theresa Hak Kyung ChaAmerican novelist
  • Theresa SaldanaAmerican actress
  • Theresa RandleAmerican actress
  • Theresa ZabellSpanish Olympic sailor
  • Theresa Magdalena "Tisa" Farrowsister of American actress Mia Farrow
  • Theresa Anne VilliersBritish MP
  • Theresa Lynn RussellAmerican actress
  • Theresa RebeckAmerican playwright and novelist
  • Theresa FuHong Kong pop singer
  • Theresa (born Therese Charlotte Marianne Auguste)Princess of Bavaria, German ethnologist
  • Theresa Maria Josepha MarthaPrincess of Liechtenstein; Princess of Bavaria
  • Theresa Monika Valerie Elisabeth Ludovika Walburga AnnaPrincess of Bavaria, Archduchess of Austria
  • Theresa Owana Kaʻohelelani LaʻanuiPrincess of Hawai'i
  • Theresa Anna Elisabeth (b. 1992)Princess of Leiningen; daughter of Prince Karl Emich

Theresa in Pop Culture

  • Theresa "Terri" McGreggorcharacter on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
  • Theresa Diazcharacter on TV's "The O.C."
  • (Jeannie) Theresa Donovancharacter on American soap "Days of our Lives"
  • Theresa Tatumcharacter in short film "Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade"
  • Theresa "Tessa" Youngmain character in "After" by Anna Todd
  • Theresa Mariah Magdalene McQueencharacter on British soap "Hollyoaks"
  • Theresa "Terry" Cherry Perrycharacter on TV's "Lab Rats"
  • Theresa Cullencharacter in TV's "Westworld"
  • Theresa "Tessa" Graymain character in Cassandra Clare's "The Infernal Devices" book series.
  • Theresa "Tree" Gelbmanmain character in "Happy Death Day" and "Happy Death Day 2 U"