In the 17th century, a poet named Richard Lovelace used the name Althea as a poetic pseudonym for his beloved in the poem "To Althea, from Prison". In modern times, this name is most commonly associated with the great tennis player, Althea Gibson, who was the first African-American to win at Wimbleton.
As far as nicknames go, modern parents would probably opt for Thea. I also like the idea of Allie for a small child.
This name has been in regular usage since 1880 in the US. It has had two dramatic popularity boosts in the past. One around 1920 and the other in the late 1950s even though this name has never seen more than 400 births in a single year. Althea has had steady usage since the 1970s in the 40-80 births per year range. It has not seen the Top 1000 since 1972. In 2013, there were 99 baby girls named Althea for a ranking of #1964.
Revision: As of 2016, Althea rose to #1674 for a total of 127 births for the year. The name is due for another popularity boost.
What do you think of this ancient name? Do you feel as though it could be relevant again today?
Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Bronwyn, Calliope, Daphne, Hyacinth, Juno, Olympia
Brothers: Atlas, Evander, Jasper, Oscar, Sebastian, Tarquin
Middle Name Ideas:
As a Middle Name:
Share your thoughts on this name in the comments below.
First published: 2/7/14