Emma Name Meaning

A name gifted to queens and saints, Emma has a long history of use among the royal and powerful. Despite it all, she remains soft and sweet, the perfect choice for a precious baby girl.

Emma has always been a favorite among parents though she did see a dip in popularity from the 1940s to the 1990s before resurging again in the 2000s. She’s dominated birth announcements ever since, beloved for her easy spelling and pronunciation.

Emma ages gracefully, fitting in effortlessly in the schoolyard and boardroom alike. Along the way the name offers up nicknames for every age group from the cutesy Emmy to the mature Em. She’s the shortened sister of Emily and Emilia, providing the vintage charm parents love with the modern appeal they can’t resist.

Possibly the most famous literary character named Emma is the main character of Jane Austen’s novel Emma, a rich and independent woman who likes to meddle in the affairs of others. She and her friends eventually find love as the character learns and grows from her initial somewhat-selfish state.

Variants of the name include Emmeline and her contemporary counterpart Emmalyn. Similar names like Ella, Anna, and Lucy provide the same dainty dose of femininity.

Infographic of Emma name meaning, which is Emma is a shortened form of Erma or Emmaline, meaning universal or whole.
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Emma Name Popularity

How popular is the name Emma? Here’s everything we know.

  • In 2018 Emma was the 1st most popular girls name, representing 1.3602% of girl births in the U.S.

  • Since 1910 Emma has been the 42nd most popular girls name, representing 0.3963% of girl births in the U.S.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 34 2,591 0.7359%
1911 35 2,599 0.6979%
1912 35 3,350 0.6643%
1913 38 3,472 0.6124%
1914 39 3,960 0.5682%
1915 40 5,044 0.5552%
1916 41 5,212 0.5396%
1917 46 5,117 0.5115%
1918 46 5,320 0.4957%
1919 45 5,080 0.4851%
1920 46 5,231 0.4705%
1921 52 5,071 0.4429%
1922 50 5,013 0.45%
1923 53 4,966 0.4434%
1924 57 4,896 0.4216%
1925 57 4,702 0.416%
1926 59 4,476 0.407%
1927 65 4,321 0.3904%
1928 67 4,007 0.3745%
1929 69 3,789 0.3658%
1930 73 3,545 0.3394%
1931 76 3,299 0.3343%
1932 76 3,312 0.3352%
1933 76 3,138 0.3368%
1934 85 2,925 0.3026%
1935 89 2,784 0.2865%
1936 85 2,819 0.2926%
1937 90 2,729 0.2769%
1938 98 2,638 0.2577%
1939 89 2,663 0.2618%
1940 94 2,585 0.2432%
1941 100 2,518 0.2237%
1942 108 2,565 0.2031%
1943 115 2,390 0.1831%
1944 119 2,218 0.179%
1945 123 2,017 0.1654%
1946 132 2,041 0.1383%
1947 141 2,120 0.127%
1948 140 2,072 0.1298%
1949 147 1,961 0.1219%
1950 155 1,860 0.1155%
1951 174 1,704 0.1005%
1952 181 1,669 0.0956%
1953 196 1,564 0.0884%
1954 202 1,489 0.0815%
1955 212 1,426 0.0775%
1956 228 1,297 0.0687%
1957 248 1,168 0.0607%
1958 267 1,045 0.0553%
1959 271 1,028 0.0541%
1960 298 937 0.0495%
1961 310 852 0.0451%
1962 330 756 0.0412%
1963 352 683 0.038%
1964 341 737 0.0419%
1965 361 595 0.0364%
1966 365 576 0.0369%
1967 386 525 0.0346%
1968 428 449 0.0299%
1969 426 475 0.0308%
1970 419 487 0.0306%
1971 447 423 0.0281%
1972 419 422 0.031%
1973 450 372 0.0287%
1974 407 454 0.0349%
1975 425 427 0.0332%
1976 456 377 0.0293%
1977 435 424 0.0315%
1978 442 404 0.03%
1979 431 441 0.0313%
1980 419 481 0.0329%
1981 408 505 0.0344%
1982 414 518 0.0347%
1983 399 511 0.0346%
1984 339 644 0.0433%
1985 265 916 0.0603%
1986 208 1,246 0.0825%
1987 175 1,582 0.1037%
1988 160 1,771 0.1136%
1989 149 1,928 0.1195%
1990 129 2,407 0.1452%
1991 123 2,584 0.1585%
1992 104 3,209 0.201%
1993 80 4,102 0.2631%
1994 74 4,763 0.3104%
1995 67 5,044 0.3347%
1996 53 6,143 0.4103%
1997 36 7,739 0.5233%
1998 22 10,437 0.6973%
1999 17 11,728 0.7831%
2000 17 12,548 0.8214%
2001 13 13,307 0.8832%
2002 4 16,538 1.1036%
2003 2 22,704 1.4924%
2004 2 21,606 1.4176%
2005 2 20,339 1.3303%
2006 2 19,114 1.2207%
2007 3 18,372 1.1644%
2008 1 18,809 1.217%
2009 2 17,892 1.1971%
2010 3 17,338 1.2031%
2011 3 18,797 1.3194%
2012 2 20,934 1.4691%
2013 2 20,936 1.4705%
2014 1 20,924 1.4361%
2015 1 20,435 1.4045%
2016 1 19,471 1.3505%
2017 1 19,738 1.4143%
2018 1 18,688 1.3602%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Emma

If you like Emma, you’ll love these other names like Emma.


What names are diminutives of Emma?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Emma sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Emma, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Em

Industrious, striving; work; rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal; emerald

Spanish

Emmi

Rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

#1,732 (0.0034%)  
Emmie

Industrious, striving; work; rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal; emerald

Spanish

#566 (0.0339%)  
Emmy

Rival

German

#509 (0.0396%)  

What names are variants of Emma?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Emma.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Emalinda

Entire, universal

German

Emelina

Industrious, striving; work; rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

#3,322 (0.0004%)  
Emeline

Peaceful home

German

#1,747 (0.0033%)  
Emelyne

Rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

Emmalee

Peaceful home; rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

#1,142 (0.0091%)  
Emmaline

Peaceful home; rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

#835 (0.018%)  
Emmalyn

Peaceful home; rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

#474 (0.0427%)  
Emmalynn

Rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

#795 (0.0195%)  
Emmalynne

Peaceful home; rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

Emme

Entire, universal

German

#1,560 (0.0045%)  
Emmeleia

Entire, universal

German

Emmeline

Work

German

#729 (0.0221%)  
Emmelyn

Entire, universal

German

#2,526 (0.001%)  
Emmelyne

Rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

Emmett

Entire, universal

German


What names sound like Emma?

If you like how Emma sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Emma.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Alma

Nourishing, kind; soul; young woman; learned

Modern

#610 (0.0302%)  
Anna

Gracious

Hebrew

#54 (0.301%)  
Ella

Other goddess

Hebrew

#15 (0.5863%)  
Emerald

Precious gemstone

Spanish

#965 (0.0137%)  
Emerson

English

Emery

Home strength

German

Gemma

Precious stone

Italian

#220 (0.0984%)  

What names are similar to Emma?

Find a name that’s like Emma, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Amelia

Work

German

#8 (0.8954%)  
Audrey

Noble strength

English

#46 (0.3385%)  
Ava

To live

Latin

#3 (1.0863%)  
Charlotte

Free man

French

#6 (0.9419%)  
Claire

Clear and bright

French

#49 (0.3187%)  
Clara

Bright and clear

Latin

#102 (0.2089%)  
Emilia

To rival

Latin

#58 (0.292%)  
Evelyn

Desired one

English

#10 (0.7552%)  
Hannah

Grace

Hebrew

#33 (0.409%)  
Sarah

Princess

Hebrew

#67 (0.2709%)  

Lists With Emma

Find inspiration in these baby girl name lists featuring the name Emma.


Siblings of Emma

Mamas with kids named Emma also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Caedmon

Poet

Anglo-Saxon

Easton

East town

English

#66 (0.3944%)  
Raymond

Protector

English

#298 (0.0814%)  
Cathy

Pure

Greek

#2,204 (0.0016%)  
Coy

Son of Aodh

#1,274 (0.0053%)  
Henry

Home ruler

English

#16 (0.7751%)  
Robert

Bright fame

German

#71 (0.3741%)  
Braydon

Descendant of Brad?

Irish

#798 (0.0155%)  
Cameron

Crooked nose

Scottish

#69 (0.3837%)  
Aubree

Elf ruler

English

#108 (0.2003%)  
Austin

Great

English

#81 (0.3379%)  

26 Comments

  1. I had my sweet baby girl 5 weeks early. She’s been growing stronger every day

  2. It was my grandma’s name, born 100 years earlier (minus 2 weeks), plus, it works in Japanese kanji; my husband is Japanese.

  3. We were having troubles figuring out a name when we came across emma it was a name that kept popping back up so it was like a sign that we should keep that name for our little girl.

  4. I just love it

  5. When I found out that I was pregnant I started searching online for babies names and as soon as I saw Emma name I fall in love with it

  6. My husband and I pick the name because we love the name Emma it’s a really cute name.

  7. My first daughters name is Favour and my second is Emma. I have relations that bear both names. I have always wanted to name my daughters both names even before I got married.

  8. I like Emma besucase it’s a short and easy name

  9. Me and my husband were going threw baby names and I couldn’t pick a girls name.. I had 5 boy names picked and no girl names.. so I told him why don’t you pick the girls name..
    We didn’t know the gender yet and the next day was when we were going to find out..
    So with out hesitation he said “EMMA
    He said he has always loved the name.. and he never knew why he did.. so I said EMMA out loud and my little peanut started kicking..
    so when we found out the gender it was meant to be..
    I love it because of how we came about the name.. she kinda picked it…
    Emma is also our miracle baby.. we got told we weren’t supposed to have kids..
    we got told after giving birth that because of me having slings for my bladder and vag there was 1-10% to be able to get pregnant. We were trying for 5 years I lost 230 lbs and then April we got pregnant but that’s my story about Emma

  10. Emma means “Wholeness” and this pregnancy has been all about soul healing and wholeness in our family. Hours of conversation my husband and I about childhood trauma and how not to bring it into our family. We’ve been healing and finding wholeness!

  11. I just just looked at her and knew she was a Emma and it fit her perfectly

  12. My dad wanted to name me Emma Jane, but my mom thought it was”too hillbilly”. I have always loved that name. When I found out we were having a girl, there was no doubt I wanted that to be her name, although we compromised on her middle name and didn’t use Jane. I like that there are a few nicknames others call her, like Em or Emmy. Some day the meaning of Emma is “Whole; complete”. Which did perfect, because she honestly completes our family.

  13. Me and my husband went round and round on names. I like older names. He wasn’t a big fan of them. He wanted to name her River but spell it Ryver. I do not like that name at all. So one day while sitting in line at McDonald’s I said what about the name Emma? He said yeah I like that name. I wanted to name her Emma Grace but then he insisted we name her Emma Sue after his mom. Her middle name is Sue. So since I picked the first name I went ahead and went with Emma Sue. So that’s how our baby got her name Emma Sue.

  14. We both decided on this name. Yes, it’s a very popular name. But, it’s a good name.

  15. I let her father pick a name for her that we would both love! He chose 1st name: Emma, Middle: Marie I absolutely loved it. After 2 of his great grandmothers one on each side of his family. We couldn’t have picked a better name for her.

  16. It’s an elegant, feminine name, but yet not “pompous”. She can go into this world and be a professional or a tom-boy, or both simultaneously. It’s simple, traditional, and timeless.

  17. I have just always loved the name Emma . My husband’s middle name is Jean , I wanted to use his middle name also. So Emma Jean is her first and middle name. I think it goes well together. I also love this name because it a nice classic.

  18. We chose Emma for two reasons, the first one is that I love the origins and signification of the name (Emmanuel << God with us >> or Hermione from German << Heime >>: << home >>).
    The second is that I wanted to call my baby Eva and Daddy didn’t like it, so for me Emma was a very good compromise! 🙂

  19. Love it all

  20. Love it

  21. We chose to name our daughter Emma because it means “whole.”

    “People with their minds set on you, you keep completely WHOLE, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit.”
    Isaiah 26:3 (MSG)

  22. Emma was my grandmother’s name

  23. Emma is a classic name. It is easy to spell and pronounce and can be shortened or changed to a variety of nicknames as she grows. Emma has German roots and means whole or universal.

  24. My husband and I spent weeks looking through baby names (before we knew it was a girl) and when I saw the name Emma I just stopped and said “that’s it.. it’s a girl and that’s her name!” My husband was a little frustrated that I refused to pick a boy name but I just KNEW that it was a little girl ?

  25. My husband is a HUGE Texas Aggie sports fan and one of the best soccer players they had while we were there was named Emma Smith. Our daughter’s middle name is Sophia, named after my husband’s grandmother.

  26. It was my mother’s middle name.


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