First used by the novelist Marie Corelli for the heroine of her novel Thelma (1887). She was supposed to be Norwegian, but it is not a traditional Scandinavian name. Greek thelēma (neuter) means ‘wish’ or ‘(act of) will’, and the name could perhaps be interpreted as a contracted form of this.
English: occupational name for a maker of wheels (for vehicles or for use in spinning or various other manufacturing processes), from an agent derivative of Middle English whele ‘wheel’. The name is particularly common on the Isle of Wight; on the mainland it is concentrated in the neighboring region of central southern England.