Thomas Name Meaning

baby boy

Jessica Peterson / Getty Images

If you are looking for a strong, traditionally masculine name that never goes out of style, consider using the name Thomas. Thomas comes from the Hebrew word “ta’om,” meaning “twin.” It came into English via the New Testament of the Bible, where St. Thomas was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus.

  • Origin: The Hebrew word תָּאוֹם (ta’om) led to the Aramaic name Taoma. This name was rendered in New Testament Greek as Θωμάς (Thomas).
  • Gender: Thomas is traditionally the masculine form of the name. Thomasine, Thomasina, and Tamsin have been used as feminine variations.
  • Pronunciation: TAH-mis

Although baby names are often separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex need not play any role in your name selection process. It’s important to select the name that you feel is best suited for your new baby.

How Popular Is the Name Thomas?

Thomas is a perennial favorite in the U.S., ranking among the top 50 boy names in America throughout the 20th century. It was most popular between 1931 and 1966, remaining a top 10 boy name for those 35 years. Thomas reached its peak in the 1940s and early 1950s, consistently ranking 8th in the U.S. during that period.  

The name has dipped in popularity in recent decades, reaching a low point of No. 63 from 2011 to 2012. However, it has rebounded somewhat, and 2020 statistics rank Thomas as the No. 45 name for boys in America.

Although the name Thomas is typically used as a masculine name, it can certainly be used however you see fit, as sex doesn't have to be a part of your name selection process.

Name Variations

As a biblical name, Thomas has an equivalent in virtually every known language. These include:

  • Foma (Russian)
  • Tamás (Hungarian)
  • Tamati (Maori)
  • Tavish (Scottish)
  • Toma (Serbian)
  • Tomás (Spanish)
  • Tomáš (Czech)
  • Tomaso (Italian)
  • Tomasz (Polish)
  • Tomi (Hungarian)
  • Tomos (Welsh)
  • Toomas (Estonian)

Similar Names

Though Tom is usually a short form of Thomas, it can also be a name in its own right. Thompson, usually a surname, has occasionally been seen as a first name as well.

Other boy names starting with T:

  • Terrence
  • Theo
  • Timothy
  • Todd
  • Trent
  • Trevor
  • Trey
  • Tyson

 Other boy names from the New Testament:

  • Andrew
  • James
  • John
  • Luke
  • Matthew
  • Paul
  • Philip
  • Stephen

Common Nicknames

Some languages form nicknames for Thomas based on its ending rather than its first syllable, such as the Dutch nickname Maas and the Italian nickname Maso. 

Additional nicknames can include:

  • Thom
  • Tim
  • Timmy
  • Tom
  • Tommy

Suggested Sibling Names

Some sibling names for Thomas might be:

  • Benjamin
  • Carolyn
  • Charles
  • Daniel
  • Emily
  • Joshua
  • Kristen
  • Laura

Famous People Named Thomas

There are many notable people with the name Thomas and Tom.

Famous Thomases

  • Thomas from the Bible, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. He is best known for the post-Resurrection moment where he asks for proof that Jesus has really returned from the dead. This scene is the origin of the phrase “Doubting Thomas”
  • Thomas Aquinas, Catholic priest and theologian
  • Thomas Dewey, American politician best known for nearly defeating President Truman in the 1948 election 
  • Thomas Alva Edison, American inventor known for over 1,000 patents including an early electric light bulb
  • Thomas Stearns Eliot, American poet known as T.S. Eliot, considered one of the major poets of the 20th century
  • Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Confederate general during the American Civil War
  • Thomas Jefferson, American statesman who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States
  • Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher best known for his book “Leviathan”
  • Sir Thomas More, English philosopher and statesman, known for his opposition to the Protestant Reformation and his 1516 book “Utopia”
  • Thomas Paine, English-born American philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary, known as the author of “Common Sense”
  • Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian whose account of the French Revolution inspired Charles Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities”
  • Thomas Lanier Williams, American playwright known as Tennessee Williams, considered one of the great dramatists of the 20th century
  • Thomas Wolsey, English archbishop and Lord Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII

Famous Toms

  • Tom Brady (born 1977), American football player widely considered as the greatest quarterback of all time
  • Tom Brokaw (born 1940), American television journalist known for his long tenure as the host of “NBC Nightly News” 
  • Tom Cruise (born 1962), American actor known for starring roles in highly successful films including “Risky Business,” “Top Gun,” and “Born on the Fourth of July”
  • Tom Hanks (born 1956), Academy Award-winning American actor known for starring roles in dozens of films including “Big,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump,” and the “Toy Story” film series
  • Tom Hiddleston (born 1981), English actor best known for playing Loki in “Thor,” “The Avengers,” and related Marvel films
  • Tom Holland (born 1996), English actor known for playing Spider-Man in the Marvel film series
  • Tom Jones (born 1940), Welsh singer known for such hits as “It’s Not Unusual” and “What’s New, Pussycat?”
  • Tom Lehrer (born 1928), American singer-songwriter and satirist, best known for writing and performing humorous songs in the 1950s and ‘60s
  • Tom Petty (1950–2017), American singer-songwriter and musician who was the lead vocalist and guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 
  • Tom Selleck (born 1945), American actor who gained fame playing the title role in the TV series “Magnum, P.I."
  • Tom Stoppard (born 1937), Czech-born British playwright whose screenplay for “Shakespeare in Love” won an Academy Award
  • Tom Waits (born 1949), American singer-songwriter, musician, and actor
  • Tom Wolfe Jr. (1930–2018), American author and journalist known for such best-selling books as “The Electric Kool-Aid Test” and “Bonfire of the Vanities”

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names.

Additional Reading

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.