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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gender Female
Alternative spelling Theresa, Therese
Nicknames Terri or Terry
Derived perhaps from Greek therizein (to harvest)
Popularity Popular names page

Teresa, Theresa, and Therese (French: Thérèse) are feminine given names. The name is thought to be derived from the Greek verb therizein, meaning to harvest.

Its popularity likely increased due to the prominence of several Roman Catholic saints, including Teresa of Ávila, Thérèse of Lisieux and, most recently, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

The popularity of this name in the United States over the last 15 years is falling, according to the US Census. Spelled "Theresa", it was ranked as the 852nd most popular name for girls born in 2008, down from 226th in 1992 (it ranked 65th in 1950, and 102nd in 1900). Spelled "Teresa", it was the 580th most popular name for girls born in 2008, down from 206th in 1992 (it ranked 81st in 1950, and 220th in 1900).


Name variants

Notable people

In aristocracy:

In religion:

In the arts:

In politics:

  • Teresa Gutierrez, American politician
  • Teresa Heinz (born 1938), former widow of U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III; wife of Senator John Kerry
  • Teresa Isaac, American politician, former mayor of Lexington, Kentucky
  • Teresa Kok, Malaysian Member of Parliament

In sports:

In others:

Fictional people

  • Teresa Bryant, character on the British soap opera Coronation Street
  • Teresa Cammeniti, character on the Australian soap opera Neighbours
  • Theresa Rourke Cassidy, the alter-ego of the Marvel Comics heroine Siryn
  • Teresa Lisbon, one of the main characters in the hit drama The Mentalist
  • Teresa Moreno, wife of Richard Sharpe in Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series of historical fiction
  • Teresa of the Faint Smile, one of the main characters in the popular anime and manga series Claymore
  • Teresa Wisemail, character from the PlayStation role-playing game Suikoden II
  • Thérèse Defarge, character, and the main villain, from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities
  • Theresa, one of the main characters in Fable 2
  • Theresa McQueen, character from the British soap opera Hollyoaks
  • Tess Durbeyfield, character from Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  • Teresa, Barbie's best friend.



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun




  1. A female given name , an alteration of Teresa, first used in Spain, supposedly derived from the Ancient Greek name of the island of Thera in Greece.


  • 1810 Tales of real life: forming a sequel to miss Edgeworth's Tales of fashionable life. Publ. Henry Colburn, London.Vol.I, page 72:
    "Theresa!" exclaimed the stranger, "is your name Theresa?" asked she, a death-like paleness at the same time overspreading her countenance.
    "Is this name so frightful to you?" enquired the recluse.
    "Frightful!" rejoined the stranger, "O, no, I venerate it, like the name of a saint. I had once an unknown friend, whose name was Theresa.
  • 1976 Anne Tyler: Searching for Caleb Berkley Books,New York 1983. ISBN 0-425-09876-1 :page 7:
    "Theresa,", he said. "I never cared for that name."
    Justine nodded, chewing.
    "I don't like difficult names. I don't like foreignness."
    "Perhaps they're Catholic," Justine said.




Alternative spellings

Proper noun


  1. A female given name, cognate to Teresa.

Related terms

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