Norma (given name)

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Pronunciation /ˈnɔːrmə/ NAWR-mə
Gender Female
Meaning "precepts", "Norsewoman", "Norn"
Other names
Related names Nora

Norma is a female name. A single instance of the name Norma is recorded 1203, where it perhaps derives from the Latin word norma, meaning "precept". The name's general usage seems to be subsequent to the 1831 debut of Vincenzo Bellini's opera Norma whose librettist Felice Romani borrowed the name (and the plot) from the recent tragedy Norma by Alexandre Soumet. Soumet's choice of name for his title character may possibly have been influenced by the name of the Germanic mythological Norns.[1][2] More recently Norma has been used as a female equivalent of the name Norman, meaning "Norseman".[3]

The name has fluctuated in popularity over the past 100 years. It is still a very common name in the United States, but the name was most often given to babies in the 1930s, and is now seldom given.[4]

Notable people named Norma[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

  • Norma Desmond, in the film Sunset Boulevard
  • Norma Rae Webster, heroine of the 1979 film Norma Rae
  • Norma Bates, Passions character
  • Norma Bates, a fictional character created by writer Robert Bloch
  • Norma Cenva, a character from the three prequels to Frank Herbert's Dune novels
  • Norma, a minor character from Square's console role-playing game Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
  • Norma Arnold, mother of Kevin Arnold in the 1988-1993 television series The Wonder Years
  • Norma is a character in the novel Carrie by Stephen King and film Carrie (1976). She helps switch the prom ballots for her friend Chris Hargenson (the school bully) so that she can pull a mean trick on Carrie.
  • Grammy Norma is a character in the 2012 animated movie The Lorax. The voice over was done by Betty White.[5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Withycombe, E. G. (1985) [1945]. English Christian Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 230. ISBN 0192812130. 
  2. ^ Tuan, Laura (2010). Che nome dare al tuo bambino (in Italian). Firenze: Giunti. p. 172. ISBN 9788841240267. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Macleod, Iseabail; Freedman, Terry (1995). The Wordsworth Dictionary of First Names. Ware: Wordsworth Reference. p. 173. ISBN 1853263664. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Norma". Think Baby Names. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  5. ^