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Thecla betulae


(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Proper noun[edit]

Thecla f

  1. A taxonomic genus within the family Lycaenidae – certain hairstreaks.

Usage notes[edit]

Formerly used as a catch-all genus for hairstreaks, particularly from South America. Most have since been moved to other genera in the tribe Eumaeini (within subfamily Theclinae).





A statue of Saint Thecla in Ma'loula, Syria
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Alternative forms[edit]


From the name of an apocryphal early Christian martyr, Ancient Greek Θεοκλεία (Theokleía), (from θεός (theós, god) + κλέος (kléos, glory)).


  • IPA(key): /θɛklə/, /θiːklə/

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A female given name from Ancient Greek.
  2. An early Christian saint, whose life is recorded in the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla.
    • 1990, Karen Armstrong, 8: Karen Armstrong: The Acts of Paul and Thecla, Ann Loades, Feminist Theology: A Reader, page 83,
      One of the first of the virgin saints to act as an important role model for women was Thecla, the legendary disciple of St Paul.
    • 2002, Mary F. Foskett, A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity[1], page 106:
      In the context of impending martyrdom, the beauty of Thecla’s virgin body connotes dynamis owing less to the eros she evokes and more to the chastity, piety, and resistance she promotes.69
      That Thecla is also an object of erotic desire, however, is evidenced in men's reactions to her.
    • 2008, R. John Kinkel, Cinderella Church: The Story of Early Christianity[2], page 40:
      Thecla, a saint of the Catholic church and whose feast day is celebrated on September 23, traveled with Paul on occasion and was even called “female apostle” and “equal to the apostles.”