Emma Origin and Meaning

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

Emma has now been among the top girl names in the United States for several years, claiming the Number 1 crown in 2008 and again from 2015 to 2018 before dropping back to second place.

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 14,000 in the US last year) have chosen Emma, not just here but throughout the English-speaking world, Europe, and Latin America.

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.

It's worth noting that Emma, Emily, and the longtime British Number 1 Amelia, now in the US Top 10, all derive from different roots and have different meanings. But they continue to feel like very similar names.

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.

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.

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, many of these names are 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.

# 2 in the US

Emma Rank in US Top 1000

# 72 on Nameberry

Emma Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Emma Popularity

Famous People Named Emma

  • Emma of NormandyQueen consort of Ethelred the Unread(y) and Cnut the Great of England
  • Emma of FranceQueen consort of Rudolph of Burgundy, King of West Francia
  • (Adelheid) Emma Wilhelmina Theresia of Waldeck and PyrmontQueen consort of William III of the Netherlands
  • Emma Kalanikaumakaʻamano Kaleleonālani Naʻea RookeQueen consort of Kamehameha IV of Hawaii
  • Emma TremblayAmerican actress
  • Emma Charlotte Duerre WatsonEnglish actress
  • Emily Jean "Emma" StoneAmerican actress
  • Emma GoldmanLithuanian,American socialist and labor organizer
  • Emma ThompsonEnglish actress
  • Emma Louise SlaterEnglish dancer
  • Emma DonoghueIrish novelist and playwright
  • (Carolyn) Emma KirkbyEnglish operatic soprano
  • EmmaPrincess of Anhalt,Bernburg,Schaumburg,Hoym; Princess consort George II of Waldeck and Pyrmont; mother of Queen Emma of the Netherlands
  • Emma LazarusAmerican poet
  • Emma Louise HewittAustralian singer,songwriter
  • Emma MooreEnglish actress
  • Emma CaulfieldAmerican actress
  • Emma Kate LahanaNew Zealand actress
  • Emma of Austrasiadaughter of Theudebert II and possibly wife of Eadbald of Kent
  • Emma Hale Smith Bidamonfirst wife of American Mormon leader Joseph Smith
  • Emma LockhartAmerican actress
  • Emma Hart WillardAmerican suffragist and educator
  • Emma De CaunesFrench actress
  • Emma Catherine RigbyEnglish actress
  • Emma FergusonEnglish actress
  • Emma Kristina DegerstedtAmerican actress
  • Emma Dumont (born Emma Noelle Roberts)American actress
  • Emma Jean BellAmerican actress
  • Emma MylesAmerican actress
  • Emma Wedgwood Darwinwife of biologist Charles Darwin
  • Emma Lee Bunton aka Baby SpiceEnglish singer of the Spice Girls
  • Emma HowardAmerican actress
  • Emma Louise BlackeryBritish vlogger
  • Emma HärdelinSwedish musician of Garmarna and Triakel, daughter of violinist Thore Härdelin
  • EmmaPrincess of Schaumburg,Lippe; daughter of Prince George William
  • Emma Louise WillisEnglish TV Presenter
  • Emma Reed MartelliAmerican child model
  • Emma McKeonAustralian swimmer
  • Emma JohanssonSwedish cyclist
  • Emma TonegatoAustralian rugby player
  • Emma HellenkampAmerican dancer and model
  • Emma MitchellScottish football player
  • Emma Greer DiBiaseAmerican Internet personality
  • Emma Katherine WaltonHamilton, English actress; daughter of actress Julie Andrews
  • Emma ChawnerScottish singer; daughter of TV presenter Lorraine Kelly
  • Emma Ashleydaughter of fashion designer Laura Ashley
  • Emma Frances Gough (b. 1953)daughter of actor Michael Gough
  • Emma Kristen Walsh (b. 1971)daughter of musician Joe Walsh
  • Emma Beth Bloomberg Frissora (b. 1979)daughter of politician Michael Bloomberg
  • Emma Ruck (b. 1987)daughter of actor Alan Ruck
  • Emma Raacke (b. 1991)daughter of actors Natja Brunckhorst and Dominic Raacke
  • Emma Rose Raimi (b. 1994)daughter of director Sam Raimi and Gillian Greene
  • Emma Taylor (b. 1997)daughter of musician Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones
  • Emma Justine McBride (b. 1998)daughter of singer Martina McBride
  • Emma Claire Edwards (b. 1998)daughter of politicians John and Elizabeth Edwards
  • Emma Scarlet Faldo (b. 2003)daughter of golfer Nick Faldo
  • Emma Scott (b. 2001)daughter of actor Eric Scott
  • Emma Paula Vanderloo (b. 2004)daughter of Dutch actors Robine van der Meer and Mark Vanderloo
  • Emma Yoshiko Hedican (b. 2005)daughter of skater Kristi Yamaguchi and ice hockey player Bret Hedican
  • Emma Francisca Catharina van Vollenhoven (b. 2006)daughter of Prince Pieter,Christiaan of Orange,Nassau
  • Emma Tallulah Behn (b. 2007)daughter of Princess Martha Louise of Norway
  • Emma Rose Limadaughter of producer Brenda Chapman; inspiration for Merida of Pixar's "Brave"
  • Emma Cecile Rigonat (b. 2009)daughter of singer Elisa and Andrea Rigonat
  • Emma Metzelder (b. 2009)daughter of footballer Christoph Metzelder
  • Emma Elizabeth Biffle (b. 2011)daughter of NASCAR driver Greg Biffle
  • Emma Alonso Aranburu (b. 2013)daughter of footballer Xabi Alonso
  • Emma Marie Charlotte Sophie (b. 2015)Princess of Prussia; daughter of Prince Georg Friedrich
  • Emma Derudaughter of vlogger Julie Deru
  • Emma RantallaFinnish rhythmic gymnast
  • Emma GonzálezParkland, FL shooting survivor and activist

Emma in Pop Culture

  • Emma Woodhousemain character in "Emma" by Jane Austen
  • Emma Pillsburycharacter on TV's Glee
  • Emma Swancharacter on TV's Once Upon a Time
  • Emma Rosscharacter on TV's "Jessie"
  • Emma Frostcharacter in X,Men comics
  • Emma Cordelia Carstairscharacter in The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices series
  • Emma Bovarymain character in "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert
  • "Emma Zunz" short story by Jorge Luis Borges
  • Emma GellerGreen, Ross & Rachel's daughter on TV's Friends
  • Emma Beckercharacter in The Lying Game series
  • Emma Jane Hawthornecharacter in Mother,Daughter Book Club series
  • Emma Tollya character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
  • Emma Rylandcharacter on TV's Dallas
  • Emma Alonsomain character on TV's Every Witch Way
  • Emma Gilbertmain character on H2O: Just Add Water
  • Emma ScorpioDrake, character on soap General Hospital
  • Emma Bloomcharacter in 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'
  • Emma Nelsoncharacter on TV's Degrassi: the Next Generation
  • Emma Peelcharacter on TV's The Avengers
  • Aunt Emmacharacter in movie The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Emma Hortoncharacter from the movie Terms of Endearment
  • Emma Ravenhearstcharacter in video game "Mystery case files"
  • Emma Chotacharacter on TV's "Red Band Society"
  • Emma Hatchcharacter in "The Sims 3" computer game
  • Di. L. Emma Riddlecharacter in "The Sims 3" computer game
  • Emma Tuttweilercharacter on TV's The Suite Life on Deck
  • Emmacharacter in book/movie ''Blue is The Warmest Colour''
  • Emma Castellicharacter on TV's "Alex & Co."
  • Emma Wheelercharacter on TV's Baby Daddy
  • Emma Duvalmain character on MTV's "Scream"
  • Emmaa LEGO Friends character
  • "Emma"song by Imagine Dragons
  • "For EmmaForever Ago," album by Bon Iver
  • Emma Gellercharacter from Netflix's "Greenhouse Academy"
  • Emma Agreste/DupainCheng, imaginary daughter of Marinette Dupain,Cheng and Adrien Agrest in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
  • Emma Vanderboomcharacter in Rusty Lake: Roots
  • Emmamain character in the manga/anime series "The Promised Neverland".
  • Emmaaka Great Aunt Emma, also called Grinny , alien disguised as old elderly human woman in the 1973 Nicholas Fisk
  • Children's book "Grinny" and in the 1988 "CBS Storybreak" Special "Grinny"

Emma in Nameberry Blog Posts