Baby names

Emma is a Baby Girl Name

Find out the meaning behind the name Emma.

The name Emma is a girl's name of German origin meaning "universal".

Emma is most popular in Canada, USA, France, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands where the name ranks in the #1 top spot.

Also, the name of many a great literary heroines, Jane Austen’s among them. Its meaning is fitting these days, too; Emma has landed in the top of the lists for several years running. While it’s definitely not uncommon, it is charming and classic (rather than trendy). Emma originated as a diminutive for Germanic names beginning with the ermen root. A very old royal name well used throughout the centuries—Queen Emma married King Ethelred the Unready in 1002—Emma is also historically associated with Lady Hamilton, the mistress of Lord Nelson and muse of painter George Romney.

It's worth noting that Emma, Emily, and the new British Number #1 Amelia all derive from different roots and have different meanings. But they continue to feel like very similar names.

Emma has now been the top girl name in the United States for four years in a row, claiming the crown again for 2018. Emma has done handsprings up the charts internationally thanks to a legion of Emma heroines, from Bovary to Goldman to Jane Austen's protagonist, along with famous modern Emmas such as Emma Stone and Emma Watson. Parents who have turned from Emily to Emma seeking something more distinctive will have to keep looking.

Emma was given a big boost among popular baby names when it was given to Rachel and Ross's baby on Friends in 2002. It's also at the top of the list of the many fashionable girl names starting with E, which also includes Ella, Eleanor, and Eliza.

Emma is simple but has deep history, is streamlined and modern-feeling yet distinctly feminine. It's hard to find all those qualities combined in one name, which is exactly why so many parents (over 17,000 last year) have chosen Emma and made it the top girls' name.

Parents who love Emma but think it's overexposed have been moving to such alternatives as Amelia, Emilia, Amelie, Emmeline, and Ella. But, of course, these names might be poised to move up and take Emma's place near the top of the list.

Three of the hottest young female stars share the name: Emma Watson, Emma Roberts, and Emma (born Emily) Stone.

Emma was particularly fashionable in the 1800s and early 1900s in the United States, but has always been a long-standing classic name. It started to decline in the 1940s and experienced its lowest usage in America in the 60s and 70s. The name regained favor by the 1980s before catapulting to the very top of the charts at the turn of the 21st century. In fact, Emma even secured the #1 position in one year (2008). Like her fellow sisters currently on the list of Top 5 most popular girls’ names (Isabella, Sophia, Olivia and Ava), Emma’s usage is following a naming trend that has popularized old fashioned, time-honored picks.

Popularity Baby Names

Popularity of Emma

  • Emma is ranked #1 in Canada
  • Emma is ranked #1 in USA
  • Emma is ranked #1 in France
  • Emma is ranked #1 in Belgium
  • Emma is ranked #1 in Norway
  • Emma is ranked #1 in Netherlands
Characteristics Baby Names

Characteristics of Emma

  1. Freedom-loving
  2. Adventurous
  3. Adaptable
  4. Intellectual
  5. Easygoing
  6. Progressive
  7. Sportive
Celebrity Baby Names

Celebrity with the name Emma

  • Emma Watson (actress)
  • Emma Thompson (actress)
  • Emma Lazarus (poet)

What Moms are Saying about the Baby Name Emma

Dads Baby Names