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Thea Name Meaning (Origin, Popularity & Nicknames)

Learn about the name Thea, including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Thea Overview

  • Meaning: Thea means “goddess” and “godly” in Greek, including “gift of God” and “divine gift,” when based on Dorothea.
  • Gender: Thea is a female name used for girls.
  • Origin: Thea has Greek origins as a diminutive for names ending in “-thea,” such as Dorothea, Althea, and Theodora. It’s an Anglo spelling for Theia, the Greek goddess of sight, goddess of light, and mother of the moon.
  • Pronunciation: Thea is pronounced “THEE-uh” in English and “TEH-uh” in German.
  • Popularity: Thea ranked around 300th between 2020 and 2022 for U.S. girls, 55th in Sweden in 2019, and 12th in Norway in 2015. It peaked at 273rd for U.S. girls in 2018.
  • Nicknames: Taa-Taa, Tay, Taye, Teddy, Tee, Tee-Tee, Tees, Thee, Ti, Tilly.
  • Variations: Tea, Teca, Teija, Teja, Theia, Thera, Tia, Tiia.
  • Namesakes: Thea Beckman, Dutch writer known for the children’s book “Crusade in Jeans” (1973). Thea E. Smith, American writer known for “She Let Herself Go.”

What Does Thea Mean?

Thea originated from the Greek Theía, meaning “goddess.” Thea is also considered a shorter version of many female names, like Dorothea, meaning “gift from God,” Theodora, meaning “God’s gift,” and Althea, meaning “healer.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Thea?

Thea comes from ancient Greece, where it refers to a “goddess.” In Greek mythology, Thea (as Theia) was the goddess of light and was also called “mother of the sun, moon, and dawn.” Noble women in ancient times used Thea since it also meant “divine gift.”

Thea stands independently but was always considered a diminutive of names ending in “-thea.” Thea is the Anglo spelling of Theia, the goddess known as a Titan of sight. In Greek literature, it may refer to a lesser-known deity called Leucothea, the ocean goddess who rescued Odysseus.

Thea mostly appears today in English, German, and Scandinavian countries as a nickname for Dorothea or Theodora.

How Popular Is the Name Thea?

Thea has ranked around 300th in the U.S. in recent years. Within the last decade, it’s also ranked 55th in Sweden and 12th in Norway. Thea first appeared on the U.S. naming chart in 1910 and has grown in popularity since the 2010s. It peaked in 2018 at 273rd in the U.S.

How Do I Pronounce Thea?

Thea is pronounced “THEE-uh” in English and “TEH-uh” in German.

Is Thea a Boy or Girl Name?

Thea is best known as a girl’s name since the male equivalent is Theo.

Variations of Thea

Find out which international variation of Thea is your favorite.

  • Tea (Italian)
  • Teca (Hungarian)
  • Teija (Finnish)
  • Teja (Slovene)
  • Theia (Greek)
  • Thera (Dutch)
  • Tia (English)
  • Tiia (Estonian)

Nicknames for Thea

You can go super short with Thea’s cute nicknames.

  • Taa-Taa
  • Tay
  • Taye
  • Teddy
  • Tee
  • Tees
  • Tee-Tee
  • Thee
  • Ti
  • Tilly

Similar Names to Thea

Many other classical-sounding names fit right in alongside Thea.

Middle Names for Thea

Thea can be followed by any of these fun middle names.

Sibling Names for Thea

Thea’s sister or brother will enjoy one of these unique sibling name choices.

Famous People Named Thea

Anyone with a name as powerful as Thea can do great things in the world.

  • Thea Andrews: Canadian journalist.
  • Thea Astley: Australian writer.
  • Thea Dorn: German writer.
  • Thea Einöder: German rower.
  • Thea Flaum: American TV producer.
  • Thea Garrett: Maltese singer.
  • Thea Gilmore: British singer-songwriter.
  • Thea Gregory: English actress.
  • Thea Halo: American writer.
  • Thea Hochleitner: Austrian alpine skier.
  • Thea Kano: American conductor.
  • Thea Kellner: Romanian fencer.
  • Thea Knutzen: Norwegian politician.
  • Thea Loch Næss: Norwegian actress.
  • Thea Muldoon: New Zealander first lady.
  • Thea Musgrave: Scottish composer.
  • Thea Porter: English fashion designer.
  • Thea Slatyer: Australian footballer.
  • Thea Trinidad: American wrestler.
  • Thea Vidale: American comedian and actress.

Thea in Popular Culture

Thea is otherworldly enough to match the ways it appears in pop culture.

  • Thea: Playable character in the Fire Emblem Binding Blade video game.
  • Thea Fenchel: Love interest in Saul Bellow’s novel “The Adventures of Augie March.”
  • Thea Queen: Version of DC Comics Speedy for the “Arrow” TV series.
  • Thea Stilton: Title character appearing in the Thea Stilton book franchise.
  • The Thursday Fairy: Character in the Rainbow Magic book franchise.

Thea FAQs

Thea has plenty of other cool associations and uses in multiple international languages.

Does Thea Mean “God”?

Thea means “goddess” instead of simply “god” in Greek myth. When appearing as the original Theia, it also means “divine” and “wide-shining.” Theia was one of the twelve Titans, the children of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus. Even when Thea is part of another name, it tends to have similar god-like meanings, like “divine gift” and “gift from God.”

Is Thea a Full Name?

Thea’s history suggests that it was mainly a nickname for other female names ending in “-thea,” such as Dorothea or Theodora. It wasn’t typically used as a stand-alone name in the U.S. until around 2013. As a name focused on a Greek goddess, Thea joins other mythological names that have risen in popularity in the last decade or so.

Does Thea Mean “Aunt”?

In Greek, the word “thea” (often appearing as “theíā”) means “aunt” in Greek. The Greek name Thea is most often a nickname for Althea, meaning “healer.” As a name, Thea refers to the Greek goddess of light. It’s no wonder Thea has also been used to describe a powerful, yet loving aunt.

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.