Selma (name)

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Selma is a feminine name of ambiguous origin. It could be a form of Selima, which in turn is a name first recorded in a poem by Thomas Gray (died 1771). One possibility is that Selima was influenced by the Arabic name Selim meaning "peaceful".[1] The Turkish name Selma is ultimately of Arabic origin. The use of Selma in Germany and Scandinavia stems from the Ossianic poetry of James Macpherson (died 1796), where it appears as a place name.[1][2][3] Its specific popularity in Sweden is likely due to the Selma poems of Frans Michael Franzén (died 1847). It was later introduced into Denmark by Swedish immigrants, after which it likely became more common due to the works of the author Selma Lagerlöf (died 1940).[2]

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  • Hanks, P; Hardcastle, K; Hodges, F (2006) [1990]. A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1.
  • Vigsø, O (2005). "168: The Language of 19th Century Translations II: Danish". In Bandle, O; Braunmüller, K; Jahr, EH; Karker, A; Naumann, H-P; Teleman, U; Elmevik, L; Widmark, G. The Nordic Languages: An International Handbook of the History of the North Germanic Languages. Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (series vol. 22). Vol. 2. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 1513&ndash, 1514. ISBN 3 11 017149 X.