What does the baby name Selma mean? Learn about what Selma means, its history & origin, popularity in our random name database, pronunciation, similar names, nicknames & spelling variations.

Selma - Name Meaning, Origin & Popularity

Spelling of Selma
S-E-L-M-A, is a 5-letter female given name.
Pronunciation of Selma
SEL mah
Meaning of Selma
Comely, god's helmet, protective like god's helmet, fair, beautiful.
Origin of Selma
The name 'Selma' originates from the Old Norse language, specifically from the words 'sel' meaning 'hall' or 'house' and 'maðr' meaning 'man' or 'person'. In its earliest known use, 'Selma' was a popular name among the Vikings in Scandinavia. It was often given to girls as a way to honor their family 's ancestral halls or houses. The name 'Selma' eventually spread beyond Scandinavia and found its way into different cultures and languages.
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Similar Names, Nicknames, & Spelling Variations of Selma
Popularity of Selma
Over the years, the popularity of the name 'Selma' has varied. In the early 20th century, the name experienced a notable spike in usage, particularly in the United States. This surge in popularity can be attributed to the influence of the novel 'Selma' by Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, which was published in 1879. The book gained international acclaim and introduced the name 'Selma' to a wider audience. However, in recent decades, the name has seen a decline in popularity, with fewer parents choosing it for their children.
Selma currently has 61 likes, and is in the top 8% of liked girl's names. The name Bristol is slightly more popular than Selma.

Etymology of Selma

The etymology of the name 'Selma' can be traced back to its Old Norse origins. The combination of 'sel', meaning 'hall' or 'house', and 'maðr', meaning 'man' or 'person', gives the name a strong and grounded meaning. It can be interpreted as 'person of the hall' or 'person of the house'. This etymology reflects the historical significance of the name and its connection to ancestral homes and family heritage.

Cultural Significance of Selma

While the name 'Selma' may not have a specific cultural significance attached to it, it is worth noting that names often carry cultural connotations based on their usage and associations. In the United States, for example, the name 'Selma' became associated with the civil rights movement in the 1960s. 'Selma', Alabama, was the site of a pivotal event in the struggle for African American voting rights, known as the 'Selma' to Montgomery marches. The name 'Selma', therefore, holds a place in history and symbolizes the fight for equality and justice.