Suppose I have a series of theorems that I would like displayed as

Jim's Theorem.

Bob's Theorem.

Will's Theorem.

rather than as “Theorem (Jim).”, “Theorem (Bob).”, and “Theorem (Will)”. If I have a lot of these, it becomes tedious having to always go back to the preamble to define a new theorem environment. So I'm curious whether there may be some way to define a new theorem environment that accepts the theorem title as an argument. Ideally, I would like something which I can enter, for example, as

\begin{namedtheorem}{Jim's Theorem}

and which produces

Jim's Theorem. ...

I can achieve a pretty similar effect by defining a separate new environment, but I cannot get the spacing before and after it to match up with the normal spacing that precedes and follows a theorem environment.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

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    – Caramdir
    Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 4:08

6 Answers 6


You can use the amsthms customisable theoremstyles to do this. The trick is just figuring out what arguments to pass! By trial-and-error, I came up with the following:




\newtheoremstyle{named}{}{}{\itshape}{}{\bfseries}{.}{.5em}{\thmnote{#3's }#1}


Now let us present that most famous of all theorems.

All odd numbers are prime.

If you don't believe that Fred was involved, you may prefer the following.

All odd numbers are prime.

The proof of this is left as an exercise.
Of course, some may prefer to see this as follows.

All odd numbers are prime.

But still, we shan't bother with the proof here.
As we said, some people don't think that Fred had much to do with this.

All odd numbers are prime.

Nonetheless, the proof remains trivial.


Here's the result. Note that the first theorem is in the default style so it's the second pair that you should be looking at.

named theorems

(Added in edit: I wasn't clear what \thmnote was doing; a little further experimenting shows that if the optional argument isn't given then \thmnote swallows its argument whole so it can be used to change the behaviour depending on whether or not the argument is given. This makes it look better if you do forget the Fred.)


Loop Space's answer is good, but has the disadvantage of clobbering the optional argument, so attribution can't be specified any more.

I'd suggest using a mandatory argument.


\swapnumbers % optional, of course
\newtheorem{thm}{Theorem}[section] % the main one
% other statement types

% for specifying a name
\theoremstyle{plain} % just in case the style had changed



A theorem


And a named theorem

\begin{namedthm}{Zorn's Lemma}[Zermelo]
All well-behaved ordered sets have maximal elements.


enter image description here

Of course the optional argument after the mandatory argument to \begin{namedthm} is really optional.

For unnumbered theorems, define a genericthm* theorem in the same fashion



\begin{namedthm*}{Zorn's Lemma}


\begin{namedthm*}{Zorn's Lemma}[Zermelo]

will do.

  • 1
    This works brilliantly for what I want! Thanks! Is it also possible to define the "thm" environment to behave normally if it hasn't an optional argument, and if it has an argument, behave like your namedthm ?
    – Kasper
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 11:28
  • 1
    This works great, but just a word of caution: loading the thmtools package seems to break this solution. Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 19:48
  • @JaapEldering Sure, with thmtools the method should be different.
    – egreg
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 19:49

the ntheorem package is more flexible

% normal theorem
% Now the optional argument takes over

 Some text

\begin{namedtheorem}[Jim's Theorem.]
  Extra text
  • Nice solution. However, what I don't like about the ntheorem package is that it doesn't work with amsart class. Or does it? Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 10:19
  • @JairoBochi no, of course not, it autoloads amsthm which is not compatible with ntheorem (or something like that)
    – daleif
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 12:03

How about this:

   \newtheorem*{thm#1}{#1's Theorem}\begin{thm#1}#2\end{thm#1}}

\namedthm{Jim}{Hello.  My name is Jim.}

\namedthm{Bob}{Hello.  My name is not Jim.}


One disadvantage is that it's a command, not an environment, and so you have to give the statement of the theorem as the second argument. But it's defined in terms of the \newtheorem command, so it should be typeset consistently with other theorems.

  • 3
    Using \newenvironment, you should be able to make the desired syntax from the question work. Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 10:22

Along the line of Hendrik's comment to John Palmieri's answer somewhere on this page (or maybe the previous or the next, if this question gets sufficiently many answers :) )


    \theoremstyle{plain}\newtheorem*{nmdthm\roman{nmdthmcnt}}{#2's Theorem}%


Test. This is

A theorem that I just proved recently

here's another

\begin{namedthm}{Some big-shot dude}
A theorem that I am just borrowing

And my theorem again,

\begin{namedthm}[version 2]{Willie}
Restatement of the theorem.

I use a counter for each theorem environment, instead of just the "name" of the contributor, so that spaces and special characters in the name won't break the \newtheorem command, and that I don't have to worry about name collisions. I also included compatibility with the optional argument for theorems, as you can see in the third example.


I'ld recommend taking a look at the various documents related to math typesetting available here: http://tug.org.in/ and in particular, the LaTeX primer document downloadable from http://sarovar.org/projects/ltxprimer/ The chapter on math typesetting in the latter discusses in detail how to do various kinds of customization of theorem names, etc.

  • The closest I found in ltxprimer is on page 113/114 in the chapter about typesetting theorems, but it doesn't say anything about the syntax the OP would like. Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 10:08

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