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All About the Name Emma


Updated June 30, 2012

baby name trends

The name Emma illustrates how a name can take a break in popularity for a generation or two.

Jennifer White

Meaning of Emma:

Emma has roots as a Germanic name with the root ermen meaning "whole" or "universal". It traveled from Germany to England with Emma of Normandy during the first century when she married King Ethelred II and later King Canute.

Popularity of Emma:

Emma has consistently appeared on the Social Security Administration baby name charts for as long as they go back to 1880. From the 1880s to about the turn of the century, Emma remained in the top 10 list. From 1900 until 1976 Emma continued to drop in usage, reaching her all-time low at rank #458.

She began to slowly climb the charts starting in 1977, finally cracking the top 100 names in 1992 and the top 50 names in 1997. By 2002, she appeared within the top 10 in position #4, and briefly held the #1 spot in 2008. In 2010 she was positioned at #3, following the names Isabella and Sophia.

The rankings shift slightly when names that are pronounced the same but spelled differently (ie Sophia and Sofia) are grouped together. Emma does slip down the chart slightly and is also surpassed in popularity by Chloe/Khloe/Kloe as well. When taking a broader look at the popularity of Emma through the Top 100 Names of the Past Century, Emma falls into position #69.


In English Emma is pronounced EM-ə.

Middle Names for Emma:

Emma Grace, Emma Rose and Emma Marie are likely very common first name - middle name pairings. Additional ideas might be:

  • Emma Claire
  • Emma Elizabeth
  • Emma Jade
  • Emma Kate
  • Emma Kathryn
  • Emma Paige
  • Emma Pearl
  • Emma Renee

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

Emma Nicknames:

"Em" and "Emmy" are common nicknames for Emma.

Baby Name Trends:

In recent years, there has been a naming trend of using names that were popular several generations earlier. Such is the case with Emma, a name that was very popular in the late 19th century but declined greatly during much of the 20th century.

Sibling Name Suggestions:

Parents may find inspiration for sibling names for Emma by considering names beginning with E, two syllable names, or names that were more popular in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

  • For girls: Alice, Anna, Elizabeth, Evelyn, Helen, Mary, Margaret, Ruth
  • For boys: Charles, Edward, Ethan, Henry, James, John, Thomas, William

Famous Emmas:

  • Emma Samms, Actress
  • Emma Thompson, Actress
  • Emma Watson, Actress
  • Emma Amos, Artist
  • Emma Anderson, Musician
  • Emma B, Model
  • Emma Balfour, Model
  • Emma Blair, Published Author
  • Emma Blocksage, Model
  • Emma Boyd, Artist
  • Emma Bugbee, Writer
  • Emma Bull, Writer
  • Emma Bunton, Musician
  • Emma Caulfield, Actress
  • Emma Cooper, Romantic American Painter
  • Emma Currie, Published Author
  • Emma Davis, American Modernism Artist
  • Emma Donoghue, Writer
  • Emma Goldman, Writer
  • Emma Green, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Harrison, Actress
  • Emma Herwegh, 20th Century Writer
  • Emma Hindle, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Johansson, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Karlsson, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Kete, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Knox, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Laine, Tennis Player
  • Emma Lathen, Writer
  • Emma Lazaron, 20th Century Artist
  • Emma Lazarus, Poet
  • Emma Lung, Actress
  • Emma Macrae, American Modernism Artist
  • Emma Mcdermott, Artist
  • Emma Miles, Published Author
  • Emma Moffatt, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Monplaisir, Writer
  • Emma Neale, Writer
  • Emma Noble, Model
  • Emma Page, Writer
  • Emma Parga, Writer
  • Emma Peters, Actress
  • Emma Pooley, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Randall, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Roberts, Actor
  • Emma Samuelsson, 2008 Olympic Athlete
  • Emma Sandys, English Artist

Celebrity Babies Named Emma:

Several celebrity babies bare the name Emma:

  • Emma de Caunes (1976), daughter of Antoine de Caunes
  • Emma Kate Schlamme (1993), daughter of Christine Lahti
  • Emma Rose Marie Gilliland (2001), daughter of Cynthia Watros and twin sister of Sadie Anna Marie
  • Emma Rose Roberts (1991), daughter of Eric Roberts
  • Emma Marie Gretsky (2003), daughter of Janet Jones and Wayne Gretsky
  • Emma Claire Edwards (1998), daughter of John Edwards
  • Emma Katherine Walton (1962), daughter of Julie Andrews
  • Emma Yoshiko Hedican (2005), daughter of Kristi Yamaguchi
  • Emma Justine McBride (1998), daughter of Martina McBride
  • Emma Townshend (1969), daughter of Pete Townshend
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