Thelma is a female
given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from the other members of a group (typically a f ...
. It was popularized by Victorian writer
Marie Corelli Mary Mackay (1 May 185521 April 1924), also called Minnie Mackey, and known by her pseudonym Marie Corelli (, also , ), was an English novelist. From the appearance of her first novel '' A Romance of Two Worlds'' in 1886, she became the bestse ...
who gave the name to the title character of her 1887 novel '' Thelma''. It may be related to a Greek word meaning "will, volition" see ''
thelema Thelema () is a Western esoteric and occult social or spiritual philosophy and new religious movement founded in the early 1900s by Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), an English writer, mystic, occultist, and ceremonial magician. The word ...
''). Note that although consonant with another female given name, Selma, the two are not synonymous.

People with the name

* Thelma Akana Harrison (1905–1972), American politician * Thelma Aoyama (born 1987), Japanese pop singer *
Thelma Barlow Thelma Barlow (''née'' Pigott; born 19 June 1929) is an English television actress and writer, known for her roles as Mavis Wilton in the long-running ITV soap opera ''Coronation Street'' and as Dolly Bellfield in the BBC One sitcom '' dinne ...
(born 1929), English actress * Thelma Carpenter (1922–1997), American jazz singer and actress * Thelma Cazalet-Keir (1899–1989), British politician * Thelma Drake (born 1949), American politician * Thelma Eisen (1922–2014), American baseball player * Thelma Fardin (born 1992), Argentine actress * Thelma Forbes (1910–2012), Canadian politician * Thelma Furness, Viscountess Furness (1904–1970), mistress of King Edward VIII * Thelma Harper (politician) (1940–2021), Tennessee politician * Thelma Hill (1906–1938), American silent screen actress * Thelma Holt (born 1932), stage actress and producer * Telma Hopkins (born 1948), American singer and actress * Thelma Hopkins (athlete) (born 1936), British athlete * Thelma Houston (born 1946), American singer * Thelma Leeds (1910–2006), American actress * Thelma Coyne Long (1918–2015), Australian tennis player * Thelma Nava (1932–2019), Mexican poet, magazine co-founder, publisher, journalist * Thelma "Pat" Nixon (1912–1993), former First Lady of the United States * Thelma Parr (1906–2000), American actress * Thelma Pressman (1921–2010), American microwave cooking consultant and cookbook author * Thelma Rodgers, Antarctic scientist from New Zealand * Thelma Ritter (1902–1969), American actress * Thelma Schoonmaker (born 1940), American film editor * Thelma Terry (1901–1966), American bandleader * Thelma Thall (born 1924), American two-time world table tennis champion *
Thelma Todd Thelma Alice Todd (July 29, 1906 – December 16, 1935) was an American actress and businesswoman who carried the nicknames "The Ice Cream Blonde" and "Hot Toddy". Appearing in about 120 feature films and shorts between 1926 and 1935, she ...
(1906–1935), American actress and businesswoman * Thelma Toole (1901–1984), mother of American author John Kennedy Toole * Thelma Votipka (1906–1972), American opera singer * Thelma Wood (1901–1970), American artist and lover of Djuana Barnes

Fictional characters

* Thelma Bates, from the TV series ''Hex'' * Thelma Evans, in the sitcom ''Good Times'' *
Thelma Harper Thelma Mae Harper ( nee Crowley), better known as Mama, is a fictional character played by American actress Vicki Lawrence. Mama is a purse-lipped, thickset senior citizen in her mid-to-late 60s. She has lived in an unspecified part of the Southe ...
, from ''The Carol Burnett Show'' and ''Mama's Family'' * Thelma Lou, on ''The Andy Griffith Show'' * Thelma Griffin, from ''Family Guy'' * Thelma Dickinson from the 1991 film '' Thelma and Louise'' * Thelma, protagonist of the eponymous 2017 film '' Thelma'' * T.H.E.L.M.A. an android from the Nickelodeon sci-fi series, '' Space Cases'' * Thelma, a character referred to as "New Thelma" in the '' Junie B. Jones'' book series


{{Given name English feminine given names