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.

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 1.4142%
2018 1 18,688 1.3602%
2019 2 17,102 1.2633%
2020 2 15,345 1.2056%

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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

Emmie

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

Spanish

Emmy

Rival

German


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

Emeline

Peaceful home

German

Emelyne

Rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

Emmalee

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

Latin

Emmaline

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

Latin

Emmalyn

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

Latin

Emmalynn

Rival; laborious; eager; entire, universal

Latin

Emmalynne

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

Latin

Emme

Entire, universal

German

Emmeleia

Entire, universal

German

Emmeline

Work

German

Emmelyn

Entire, universal

German

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

Anna

Gracious

Hebrew

Ella

Other goddess

Hebrew

Emerald

Precious gemstone

Spanish

Emerson

English

Emery

Home strength

German

Gemma

Precious stone

Italian


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

Audrey

Noble strength

English

Ava

To live

Latin

Charlotte

Free man

French

Claire

Clear and bright

French

Clara

Bright and clear

Latin

Emilia

To rival

Latin

Evelyn

Desired one

English

Hannah

Grace

Hebrew

Sarah

Princess

Hebrew


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
Raymond

Protector

English

Cathy

Pure

Greek

Coy

Son of Aodh

Henry

Home ruler

English

Robert

Bright fame

German

Caedmon

Poet

Anglo-Saxon

Easton

East town

English

Braydon

Descendant of Brad?

Irish

Aubree

Elf ruler

English

Cameron

Crooked nose

Scottish

Austin

Great

English

Natalie

Christmas Day

French

47 Comments

  1. Emma was my grandmother’s name. She was a woman that I respected beyond measure. She was my rock and my mentor ?

  2. It was cute!

  3. Timeless and classy.

  4. 1. We needed a patron saint for our baby, and there is a Saint Emma. We had liked the name Emma when picking a name for the previous baby, but the name Anna Catherine suited her best. (She is extremely excitable and imaginative, personality-type INFJ. Our other, first, baby we named Inga Saskia. Calm, creative martial artist, personality-type ISFP.) We had forgotten about the name Emma this time, until we were about to go to the hospital for her to be born. My husband didn’t like my ideas, e.g. my favorite name was Olga, especially because of Saint Olga, and I didn’t like his ideas, e.g. the names Cecilia and Theresa, which I thought were both too long to pronounce, and Cecelia seems overly-delicate, and Theresa is outdated, like a name of someone almost my mom’s age, or of a much older sister of my husband slightly older than me, if he were to have one, and Theresa seems foreign compared to us: it is Spanish, but we are Americans of mainly Germanic and Slavic descent. I think our baby could have been an Olga just as well as an Emma (but my husband and I both love the latter). She seems serious, calm, and happy. Has a large build, light skin, wavy hair that might be called light brown but is expected to get darker, and the same gray eyes as her sisters have. She gets a lot of compliments. (You should post sets of pictures of all babies with each name, for people to see what babies with each name generally look like.)
    2. Sounds pretty, looks pretty, easy to say and spell, has a meaning and a patron saint, stylish and classic. I think it would have been best and most traditional to have chosen a name that Emma is used as a nickname for, for a complete meaning, but we added the middle name Maria, more of one of my husband’s favorites than mine. The names Inga and Saskia are very rare, but a name such as Ermengild I think would have been going too far for him. I thought the nickname Emmy was cute, but he said it reminded him of the Emmy Awards and thus Hollywood, which is too political. So she is just Emma, or Emma Maria. Also, we have several Ingeborgs and a few Emmas in my family tree, and Marias and many Annas, Catherines, Anna Katerinas, etc. on both sides. Saskia is Frisian and some of my husband’s background is Frisian, but no known relatives with that name.
    3. I think I have covered everything. Sorry to have “over-analyzed”. ?

  5. Nine months ago I was sexually assaulted by a family friend me and my family thought we could trust and little Emma was the result of that attack. When I told my mother all she could do was cry and hug me and she helped me tell everyone else in my family what happened to me so that they could report him to the police and cut him and anyone related to him out of their lives. One month after my mother told me to take a pregnancy test and to my horror it came back positive. When I told people who weren’t in my family that I was pregnant they immediately assumed that I was going to have an abortion, every day a prayed to God, St. Anne, The Virgin Mary, and of course, Jesus. After a month of praying I knew that I wouldn’t kill my baby. My mother totally let me decide but was very happy when I told her I wasn’t going to kill my baby and promised to take care of her with me until I graduated and told me that I am always welcome to stay with her even during college. After I came to my decision we went to our church and the priest blessed me and my baby and thanked me for not taking the life away from a beautiful child of God. My pregnancy was hard and painful and I had to do online school for most of it but it is all worth it. I named her Emma MaryAnne Jennifer Johnston. Her first name means a lot to me because my beloved grandmother’s name was Emma and the meaning “whole” felt right to me because the man who assaulted me took something away from me, but Emma made me whole again. Her middle name “MaryAnne” is after St. Mary and St. Anne who I prayed to and helped me decide to keep her and they also guided me through my pregnancy. Her second middle “Jennifer” is after my mother who helped me all through my pregnancy and is the best mother a girl can have. She is already very close with little Emma. I am happy to say that on June 30th 2021 at 11:32 AM I became the mother to my sweet, healthy, baby girl. The day after the man who assaulted me was sentenced to 10 years in prison. My 15th birthday was yesterday and I am healing with happiness, God, my family, and little Emma.
    If you become pregnant accidentally please think things over before you have an abortion, your baby has a heartbeat, a little face, a beautiful laugh and smile. Please do not take a life a away from one of God’s beautiful creations.

    Much love,

    Kayleigh

    • Beautiful! You should be an inspiration to all young women! Kayleigh, you sound like a strong, smart, beautiful young woman. I’m here because my granddaughter’s name is Emma and now the name is even more lovely. There are somethings that only God can forgive and what that man did to you is one of them. I’m glad that you overcame what happened to you. I’m glad to see a young lady who is against abortion, too many women your age are “pro-choice” aka pro-babymurder. Every girl should read this post! I wish you, your family, and little Emma well.

      • Amen Kayleigh!

        • Beautiful story! There is a special place in Hell for men who assault little girls. I wish you and Emma a long and happy life!

          • This is a nice little Christian bubble on the unholy Internet. God bless you all! My granddaughter was saved by my daughter, she has down syndrome and the doctors almost demanded that she would kill her. I sat down and said, “Jessica Ann, whatever you do I will not be mad, I will be sad, but whatever you do is what you feel is right.” She saved my beautiful daughters life and I am forever thankful. Disabled people are just like everyone else, their life isn’t any less important than a able bodied person. My granddaughter is named Stella Carolyn and she is a beautiful happy girl. Thank you for choosing life for your daughter. God bless you, Emma, and your family.

  6. As a young girl, my mom always said she loved the name Emma. For really long time I hated it for some reason! Then when we got pregnant with our girl after having two boys, we were over the moon. We were thinking of Emery, or Everleigh or Eleanor after my grandma who passed but my husband didn’t like either. He said how about Emma. I sat on it for a little while, I tried calling her Everleigh or Emery or Ellie but it always felt odd and off. I always came back to Emma. She is Emma Rose, Rose is after my grandmother. I literally just found this and found out her name means wholeness which is makes it so much more special because she was the missing piece to complete our family! She is our last child, and she made us all whole. ? Absolutely love her name.

  7. Just like the name and boyfriend dose to

  8. Just like the name

  9. I just the name

  10. I named one of my 38 children Emma, she is quite the a nuisance. I was thinking of feeding her to the demons.

  11. Goes with names of
    My other girls. Pretty, classic, feminine

  12. Loved it since i was a little Girl

  13. Family and friends like it. Its one lettershorter than Grace.

  14. My name is Emma, and i absolutely LOVE that name. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  15. She is a miracle child! Cause we weren’t expecting her! She was kinda a surprise! She is a happy accident! And we both almost died during birth! I just love the name, we were going to have her name Emily or Elizabeth but her name fits her!

  16. She is named after my husband’s grandma and first name was picked by my grandma

  17. Emma sounds so sweet and beautiful. Emma kay . She fits the name perfect.

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

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

  20. 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.

  21. I just love it

  22. 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

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

  24. 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.

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

  26. 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

  27. 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!

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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! 🙂

  36. Love it all

  37. Love it

  38. 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)

  39. Emma was my grandmother’s name

  40. 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.

  41. 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 ?

  42. 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.

  43. It was my mother’s middle name.


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