- this week

Gender: F Meaning of Emma: "universal" Origin of Emma: German Emma's Popularity in 2014: #1

Emma made a surprise return to the Number 1 spot, having done handsprings up the popularity charts thanks to a legion of Emma heroines, from Bovary to Goldman to Jane Austen's protagonist. So parents who have turned from Emily to Emma seeking something more distinctive will have to keep looking.

The name was given a big boost when it was given to Rachel and Ross's baby on Friends in 2002.

It's 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.

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.

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.

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

Famous People Named Emma

Emma of Normandy, English queen consort of Ethelred the Unread(y) and Cnut the Great
Emma of Austrasia, daughter of Theudebert II and possibly wife of Eadbald of Kent
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, Queen consort of William III of the Netherlands
Emma Goldman, Lithuanian-American socialist and labor organizer
Emma Hale Smith Bidamon, first wife of American Mormon leader Joseph Smith
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson, English actress
Emma Rose Roberts, American actress
Emma Thompson, English actress
Emma Louise Slater, English dancer
Emily Jean "Emma" Stone, American actress
Emma Donoghue, Irish novelist and playwright
(Carolyn) Emma Kirkby, English operatic soprano
Emma Lazarus, American poet
Emma Louise Hewitt, Australian singer-songwriter
Emma Caulfield, American actress
Emma Kate Lahana, New Zealand actress
Emma Lockhart, American actress
Emma Hart Willard, American suffragist and educator
Emma De Caunes, French actress
Emma Catherine Rigby, English actress
Emma Ferguson, English actress
Emma Kristina Degerstedt, American actress
Emma Dumont (born Emma Noelle Roberts), American actress
Emma Jean Bell, American actress
Emma Myles, American actress
Emma Wedgwood Darwin, wife of biologist Charles Darwin
Emma Lee Bunton aka Baby Spice, English singer of the Spice Girls
Emma Howard, American actress
Emma Louise Blackery, British vlogger
Emma Tallulah Behn, daughter of Princess Martha Louise of Norway
Emma Härdelin, Swedish musician, best known from bands Garmarna and Triakel, daughter of violinist Thore Härdelin.

Pop Culture References for the name Emma

Emma Woodhouse, main character in "Emma" by Jane Austen
Emma Bovary, main character in "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert
"Emma Zunz," short story by Jorge Luis Borges
Emma Geller Greene, Ross & Rachel's daughter on TV's Friends
Emma Becker, character in The Lying Game series
Emma Jane Hawthorne, character in Mother-Daughter Book Club series
Emma Tolly, a character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
Emma Cordelia Carstairs, character in The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices series
Emma Ryland, character on TV's Dallas
Emma Alonso, main character on TV's Every Witch Way
Emma Gilbert, main character on H2O: Just Add Water
Emma Pillsbury, character on TV's Glee
Emma Swan, character on TV's Once Upon a Time
Emma Ross, character on TV's "Jessie"
Emma Scorpio-Drake, character on soap General Hospital
Emma Bloom, character in 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'
Emma Nelson, character on TV's Degrassi: the Next Generation
Emma Peel, character on TV's The Avengers
Emma Tuttweiler, character on TV's The Suite Life on Deck
Aunt Emma, character in movie The Wolf of Wall Street
Emma Horton, character from the movie Terms of Endearment
Emma Frost, character in X-Men comics
Emma Ravenhearst, character from the Ravenhearst series in Big Fish games' Mystery case files
Emma Chota, character on TV's "The Red Band Society"
Emma Hatch, character in "The Sims 3" computer game
"Emma", song by Imagine Dragons
"For Emma, Forever Ago," album by Bon Iver
Emma, character in book/movie ''Blue is The Warmest Colour''