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The Baby Name Emily


Updated June 19, 2014

Meaning of Emily:

Today, the name Emily is often considered to be one of the most popular of girl names. However, that was not always the case. The name Emily did not come in to common use in English speaking countries until the 1700s when the German House of Hanover took the British Throne. Princess Amelia Sophia was often referred to as Emily at that time. However, Amelia and Emily are not derived from the same name.

Emily is from the Roman family name, Aemilius, which is derived from a Latin word meaning "rival." Amelia is based on a Germanic root meaning "industrious."

Popularity of Emily:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been compiling data on popular baby names since 1880. Since that time, Emily has always made the list. However, for the first part of the twentieth century the name was not overly popular. It dropped to its lowest point in popularity in the 1960s. By the early 70s the name started to catch on, climbing the charts quickly. By 1976, Emily had moved into the top 50 names, by 1982 the top 25, by 1991 the top 10. From 1996-2007, she clinched the number one spot.

However, in recent years she is starting to drop in popularity. The most recent Top 50 Name Ranking marked her in the number 6 position, falling behind Sophia, Isabella, Emma, Olivia, and Ava. When looking at the Top 100 Names of the Past Century, Emily does manage to claim a spot.


Emily has three syllables with emphasis on the first. EM-ə-lee.

Middle Names for Emily:

In recent years Emily Rose and Emily Kate have been a very popular middle name choice. Additionally, parents might consider:

  • Emily Claire
  • Emily Elizabeth (though a character in the popular kids' series Clifford)
  • Emily Grace
  • Emily Jane
  • Emily Lorraine
  • Emily Mae
  • Emily Raine
  • Emily Renee

Share your suggestions for middle names at the "Write a Review" link below.

Emily Nicknames and Related Names:

Emily is often shortened to the nicknames Em and Emmie. Currently there are many spelling variations of Emily including Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee.

Sibling Name Suggestions:

If parents are looking for a baby name that pairs nicely with Emily they might consider another 3 syllable name, a name beginning with the letter e, or a name that has similarly been familiar for an extended time period. They might consider

  • For girls: Elizabeth, Erica, Hannah, Hailey, Megan, Jessica, Rachel, Samantha
  • For boys: Benjamin, David, Eric, Ethan, Jackson, Morgan, William

Famous Emilys:

Some famous women named Emily include:

  • Emily Alexander, Model
  • Emily Bergl, Actress
  • Emily Bezar, Jazz Artist
  • Emily Blunt, Actress
  • Emily Browning, Actress
  • Emily Corrie, Actress
  • Emily Deschanel, Actress
  • Emily Dickinson, Poet
  • Emily Lloyd, Actress
  • Emily Milburn, Actress
  • Emily Mortimer, Actress
  • Emily Neves, American Idol Semi-Finalist, Season 4
  • Emily Post, Master Of Etiquette
  • Emily Prager, Saturday Night Live Cast Member
  • Emily Watson, Actress

Celebrity Babies Named Emily:

  • Emily, (1986) daughter of Beau Bridges
  • Emily, (1987) daughter of Dianne Wiest
  • Emily Rose, (1988) daughter of Anthony Head
  • Emily Evelyn (1988), daughter of Chevy Chase
  • Emily, (1991) daughter of Tatum O'Neal and John McEnroe
  • Emily Taylor, (1992) daughter of Scott and Melissa Reeves
  • Emily, (1993) daughter of Tony Danza
  • Emily Marie, (1994) daughter of Gloria Estefan
  • Emily Grace Stanley, (2011) daughter of Paul Stanley
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