Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Terrence

Terrence is a variation of Terence, the English version of the Old Roman family name Terentius (which is of uncertain origin). Some have speculated that it may have been a Latin development borrowed from an ancient Aramaic word meaning “heart”. Two famous bearers in ancient Rome were Publius Terentius Afer, a 2nd century B.C. African slave turned famous playwright (earning himself his freedom) and Marcus Terentius Varro, a distinguished Roman scholar in the 1st century B.C. So Terence is a name with roots dating back over 2000 years. But it was really a couple of early popular saints named Terentius who encouraged the spread of Terentius into other languages (Terence, Terenzio, Terenti, etc). Aside from Terence’s ancient Latin roots, it is also considered an anglicized form of the Old Irish Toirdhealbhach, from the Gaelic “toirdhealbh” which means “prompting”. Toirdhealbhach would have been an ancient Irish nickname given to a person who was an “instigator" type. Terence did not become popular in England until the 19th century when it eventually spread to other English speaking nations. Terrance is the most popular spelling followed closely by Terrence.

All About the Baby Name – Terrence

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME TERRENCE

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME TERRENCE

The spelling variant Terrence has been in use in the United States since the late 19th century, although it took a few decades before he stuck more firmly to the charts. In fact, Terrence with an “e” predates Terrance with an “a” in America in terms of regular usage. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that Terrance surpassed Terrence as the more popular spelling choice. Really though, Terrence trails behind Terrance but not by a whole lot. And the most traditional of spellings (Terence) fell off the charts in 2003. It obviously comes down to spelling preference. It seems that Terrence may be considered the more traditional (given its longer history) but Terrance is more common. Neither name is particularly popular today. Terrence was most popular around 1950 while Terrance saw most of his success in the 1970s. These names are widely considered outdated by the standards of today’s naming fashions. We think of Terry like Jerry and Gary – so, so mid-century and fitting for a middle aged man. Yet we believe Terrence will make a comeback one day, maybe in a generation or two he’ll “instigate” a renewed interest in this now old-dated name. Terrence dates back to Antiquity and has demonstrated enough endurance and staying power that we just can’t picture him sulking in the corner for too long.

Quick Facts

ON TERRENCE

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

712

PRONUNCIATION:

TER-ənts

SIMPLE MEANING:

Instigator

Characteristics

OF TERRENCE

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Terrence

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME TERRENCE

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Terrence

Popular Songs

ON TERRENCE

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Terrence


Famous People

NAMED TERRENCE

We cannot find any famous people with the first name Terrence.

Children of Famous People

NAMED TERRENCE

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Terrence

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME TERRENCE

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Terrence