Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
Meaning: “world; whole; universal”
Germ (AIR-mah); Eng (ER-muh)

The name is ultimately from the Old German word, irmin meaning, “world; whole; universal.” She shares the same etymology with Emma.

This element has appeared in several other Germanic female names such as Irmengarde, Irmela and Irmentraud.

In 1911, Irma was the 136th most popular female name, as of 2009, she does not even appear in the top 1000. In the anglophone world, the name has come to be associated as a very dated name.

In Sweden, the name has ranked as high as the 94th most popular female name (2008), as of 2009, she fell out of the Swedish top 100.

As of 2010, Irma was the 68th most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Other forms of the name include:

Erma (English/German)
Imma (Frisian)
Imke (Frisian/German)
Irmela (German/Swedish)
Irmeli (German/Swedish)
Irmelin (German/Swedish)
Irmine (German)
Irmuska (Hungarian)
Irmina (Polish/Italian)

Irma itself is used in English-speaking, German-speaking and Spanish speaking countries. She has also had a history of usage in Scandinavia, the Baltic, Central Europe and Eastern Europe.

The name was borne by a German singer, Irma Baltuttis (1920-1958) and is borne by American soul singer, Irma Thomas (b.1941).

The designated name-days are: March 20 (Lithuania); March 31 (Estonia/Finland); April 7 (Sweden); May 3 (Hungary); September 10 (Czech Republic); September 18 (Poland); October 13 (Latvia); November 14 (Slovakia); December 24 (Poland).