Alma (given name)
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Alma Parens, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
|Variant form(s)||Allma, Almah|
Alma (// AHL-mə) is an English feminine given name, but has historically been used in the masculine form as well, sometimes in the form Almo. The origin of the name is debated, it was reserved as a title for classical goddesses as in the use "alma mater". It gained popularity after the Battle of Alma in the 19th century and appeared as a fashionable name for girls and a popular place name, but it has decreased in appearance in the 20th and 21st centuries. The name Alma also has several meanings in a variety of languages, and is generally translated to mean that the child "feeds one's soul" or "lifts the spirit".
The exact origin of the name Alma is debated, but it is most likely derived, in the female form, from the Latin word almus, which means "kind", "fostering", or "nourishing". It has been most familiarized by its use in the term alma mater, which means "fostering mother", or "nourishing mother", and in modern times is most associated with a collegiate hymn or song, or to encompass the years in which a student earned their degree. Also, the Arabic word for "the water" and "on the water" are el-ma and al-ma, respectively. It may also be of Greek derivation, where the word αλμη means "salt water".
It has been applied repeatedly for the title of goddesses, namely Diana and Ceres, as well as other deities of the light, earth, and day. Alma was used classically in connotation as a way to reflect the traditional female roles in providing nurture, following its derivation from its Latin root. It was introduced with minimal usage during the Italian Renaissance, as the likely result of a character by Edmund Spenser in his poem "The Faerie Queene". Alma, who is the head of the House of Temperance, is considered to parallel the spirit metaphorically.
On 20 September 1854 the Battle of Alma, named after the Alma River nearby, which was a war between the French, English, and Ottoman empires and the Russian empire was fought and ended. This battle is typically considered to be the first battle of the Crimean War. Alma is the Crimean Tatar word for "apple". The name had limited use for females prior to the war, and afterwards it began appearing in birth registers for both male and female, and in significantly higher frequency. Alma also came in conjunction with many terms related to the circumstances of the war, such as "Alma Victoria", "Alma Balaklava" and "Alma Inkerman". Primarily in West England, many were christened with the name Alma. The widespread use has been attributed to the extensive news coverage of the Crimean War.
The Book of Alma, a part of The Book of Mormon features two men named Alma: a father and a son who are both prophets. Critics have found humor in the texts use of the name in the masculine form, primarily because it was historically used in religious texts as a feminine title and name.
The name Alma also appears in Irish folklore in the masculine form: the son of Nemed was named "Alma One-Tooth", a noble prince who fought repeatedly for a respite in taxes issued by Conann on his people.
Alma reached its highest popularity of usage in the year 1901, when it ranked No. 52 of most popular names. In birth registers, this constituted .47% of the population, or roughly 1 in every 213 births. Its usage today has dropped into the thousands.
The name Alma, with its Latin origin, appears in various European languages, and has different meanings in each. These varieties do not generally stray from the notion of the wise, nurturing mother, however.
- Arabic • Woman with beautiful lips, The Unbelievable but True
- Aramaic • World
- Gothic • Working One, Brave One, also short form of names starting with 'Amal-' and Member of the Amals
- Greek • Salt Water
- Hebrew • Young girl
- Hungarian • Apple
- Italian • The Spirit Soul
- Kazakh Language • Apple
- Kyrgyz Language • Apple- Алма
- Latin • The Nourishing One, Gentle, Loving, Bounteous One and The Spiritually Supportive One
- Mongolian • Wild Man (Yeti-like creature)
- Spanish • The Spirit Soul
- Turkish Language • Apple
In the Hebrew Bible, Almah means young girl or young woman. In the Septuagint, the word is often rendered as parthenos ('virgin'), most famously in Isaiah 7:14, which is quoted in Matthew 1:23 as a prophecy about Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary.
- Alma Adams (born 1946), American politician and educator
- Alma Alexander (born 1965), American writer
- Alma Allen, Danish resistance member
- Alma Allen, American politician
- Alma Allen (born 1970), American sculptor
- Alma Åkermark (1853–1933), Swedish feminist
- Alma Bella (1910–2012), Filipino actress
- Alma Beltran (1919–2007), Mexican film actress
- Alma Bennett (1914–1958), American film actress
- Alma Birk (1917–1996), British journalist and politician
- Alma Čardžić (born 1968), Bosnian singer
- Alma Carlisle (born 1927), American architect
- Alma Cogan (1932–1966), English singer
- Alma Cook (Alma; born 1991), American singer
- Alma Delfina (born 1954), Mexican actress
- Alma Denny (1906–2003), American columnist
- Alma Deutscher (born 2005), English composer and musician
- Alma Evans-Freke (born 1931), New Zealand television personality
- Alma Fahlstrøm (1863–1946), Norwegian theatre actress, director and manager
- Alma Delia Fuentes (born 1937), Mexican actress
- Alma Galarza, Puerto Rican singer
- Alma Garcia (born 1970), American writer
- Alma Gluck (1884–1938), American opera singer
- Alma Guillermoprieto (born 1949), Mexican journalist
- Alma Hanlon (1890–1977), American film actress
- Alma Hinding (1882–1981), Danish film actress
- Alma Hjelt (1853-1097), Finnish women's rights activist
- Alma Hunt (1909–2008), American religious leader
- Alma Hunt (1910–1999), Bermudian and Scottish cricketer
- Alma Jodorowsky (born 1991), French actress, model and singer
- Alma Kar (1908–1992), Polish actress
- Alma Karlin (1889–1950), Slovene-Austrian author
- Alma Kruger (1868/1871–1960), American actress
- Alma Mahler (1879–1964), Austrian socialite and composer
- Alma Martínez (footballer) (born 1981), Mexican footballer
- Alma Martinez (actress) (born 1953), American actress
- Alma McClelland (1921–2000), American poker player
- Alma Moodie (1898–1943), Australian violinist
- Alma Moreno (born 1959), Filipina actress and politician
- Alma Muriel (1951–2014), Mexican actress
- Alma Murray (1854–1945), English actress
- Alma Pihl (1888–1976), Finnish jeweller
- Alma Powell (born 1937), American audiologist
- Alma Prica (born 1962), Croatian actress
- Alma Qeramixhi (born 1963), Albanian heptathlete
- Alma Redlinger (born 1924), Romanian painter
- Alma Reville (1899–1982), English film director, screenwriter and editor, wife of Alfred Hitchcock
- Alma Rosé (1906–1944), Austrian violinist
- Alma Rubens (1897–1931), American actress
- Alma Söderhjelm (1870–1949), Swedish-Finnish historian
- Alma de Bretteville Spreckels (1881–1968), American socialite and art collector
- Alma G. Stallworth, American politician
- Alma Taylor (1895–1974), British actress
- Alma Thomas (1891–1978), American painter
- Alma Vītola (born 1992), Latvian long distance runner
- Alma Vogt (born 1925), Australian cricket player
- Alma Wagen (1878–1967), American mountain climber
- Alma Bridwell White (1862–1946), American religious leader
- Alma Richards (1890–1963), American high jumper
- Alma Sonne (1884–1977), American Mormon general authority
- Alma O. Taylor (1882–1947), American missionary and translator
- Alma Beoulve, in the video game Final Fantasy Tactics
- Alma Coin, in the novel Mockingjay
- Alma Gutierrez, in the American television series The Wire
- Alma Halliwell, in the soap opera Coronation Street
- Alma Hodge, in the soap opera Desperate Housewives
- Alma Jinnai, in the Japanese anime Jewelpet Tinkle - see List of Jewelpet Twinkle episodes
- Alma Montemayor, protagonist of Porque el amor manda
- Alma Singer, in the novel The History of Love
- Alma Wade, an antagonist from the game F.E.A.R.
- Alma Walker, in the television series American Horror Story: Asylum
- Alma Whittaker, in the novel The Signature of All Things
- Alma Winemiller, protagonist of Tennessee Williams' play Summer and Smoke
- Alma, main character in Ingmar Bergman's 1966 film Persona
- Alma, a Greater Fiend from the video game Ninja Gaiden
- Alma Karma, an artificial human in the Japanese anime and manga series D.Gray-man
- Alma Garret, later Ellsworth, in the HBO series Deadwood
- Alumit • English, Hebrew.
- Amalia • Hebrew, German, Scandinavian, Czech, Hungarian, Italian
- Almeta, Almetta • African American.
- Aerma (阿 爾 馬) • Chinese.
- Almachka (In Hungarian, Almácska)
- Alloom (In Arabic)
- Allooma (In Arabic)
- Amelia • English
- Amelberga • English.
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