December 3, 2014 § 1 Comment
Unknown origin; possibly a shortened form of “Anselma”, a feminine form of the Germanic “Anselm”, meaning “divine helmet” or “protection of the gods”.
VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Anselma, Ellie, Elly, Elma, Salma, Sellie, Selly, Selmah, Selme, Zellie, Zelly, Zelma, Zelmah, etc.
REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Selma, the Nathanmeyer’s maid, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
– Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940), Swedish author and Nobel Prize winner.