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The short form of Theresa and the name of the unfortunate heroine in Thomas Hardy's 19th century novel, "Tess of the d'Urbervilles." The name was also used for Dick Tracy's girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, in the popular comic strip that debuted in 1931 and adapted into a film in 1990. It's been used as a girl's given name since 1983.
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