Gender: Female Meaning of Emma: "universal" Origin of Emma: German Emma's Popularity in 2019: #2

Emma Origin and Meaning

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

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 baby 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.

16 names similar to Emma

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Emma. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Emma, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Emma using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #2

- this week

Famous People Named Emma

Pop Culture References for the name Emma

Emmaline, Emmeline, Emmalynn, Emmalyn, Emmie, Emmy, Emmelyn, Emelyne, Emmah, Emmette, Emelina, Ema, Emme, Emmye, Em, Emmelyne,


ariel44 Says:


Pretty name just wish it wasnt too popular.

dogs+books Says:


There is absolutely no way to know how a person's possible future daughter would feel about a certain name.

ivy194 Says:


It's a cute name, but it's too popular for me to use. Great meaning, though.

Isabella_188 Says:


I know this name is at the #1 spot right now, but I've met more Sarah's than Emma's.

Isabella_188 Says:


Enna is a nice, less popular, similar name too Emma, too!

Emma J Says:


My name is Emma and I really like it. I know at least 5 other Emmas so it can be a bit confusing when someone calls our name.
I wish it wasn't so popular but I can understand why it is.

Glemma Says:


Classic, pretty, elegant name, no wonder people love it!

QueenieGuldbaek Says:


Also Isabella

Msvlz Says:


I’m sorry to offend anyone but I just think this name is very dull.

ParanoidAndroid Says:


Although Emma is an undisputed classic, it's nonetheless boring. Maybe because I've met too many Emmas and the once delightful appeal has withered away into something utterly dull?

SerenaZayne123 Says:


too common

Clareneko Says:


This is like the default girl name. XD

acf876 Says:


I don't like this name. I much prefer Emmeline, Emily or even Emmy/Emme.

TechnoKitten Says:


I really dislike this name

fromtheocean12 Says:


Emma is uber-popular for a reason: it's pretty, easy to pronounce in many languages, sweet, short, ages well, and has history and meaning behind it. I hate that it's so popular, because when every other girl is named Emma it makes it seem much less special. I know 7 Emma's in my grade at my school, not even counting the other classes :( I feel the same way about Ava, Sophia and Olivia! Hate that these names are so beautiful but extremely common.

bluepoptart09 Says:


That's sad. Cause I guess that means Emma passed away..

I'm a Banana Says:



I'm a Banana Says:


Ugh! No.

I'm a Banana Says:



I'm a Banana Says:


I would love this name if it weren't so overused. Use Emery, Emmaline or Emmalyn instead.

ThatFireySparkle Says:


Very overused. Will probably make the child feel not very special. It’s a nice name in essence, but it’s been used to death

NovaRaya Says:


I don't hate this name, but it is a bit too common for my taste and I do think that it sounds a little bit too plain to be a first name, however it would make an ideal middle name. I also think that it makes a nice nickname for "Emily."

ThatCrazyJedi Says:


This is my name and I don't like it. It is accompanied by the lack of individualism. I've never felt like and individual in my entire life. In high school, i never had 1 class where I was the only Emma. In fact, there where usually at least 3 of us. I do agree that it sounds okay, and that it's not the worst name, but it's not a good name anymore because of the popularity.
Only name your daughter this if you want her constantly looking over her shoulder when she hears her own name, looking at the other Emma, or worse, not even responding to her own name anymore because it's only her they're referring to about 20% of the time. Sorry for the rant

IMO Says:


I don’t see the hype for this name and it’s way too common.

I'm a Banana Says:


It's Violet now.

I'm a Banana Says:


Don't use something so popular. Your daughter would hate it.

Eliza1303 Says:


If ur trying to get something more unique, consider some less popular but similar names:

Emma Says:


My name is Emma and I really love it! I used to hate it for being so "plain" but as I've gotten older I have really come to appreciate the simplicity of it. I love having a name that no one ever misspells or gives me an awful nickname for haha. I was born in 1995 and at that time it wasn't that popular - my parents didn't know any Emma's accept for my great grandmother. I think around the time that Ross and Rachel named their baby Emma on Friends is when the name really became popular. I've only ever gone to school with one other Emma and we have been friends since we were 3! I think it is short and sweet but still has a lot of personality to it :)

emmakitty Says:


My name is Emma, and I absolutely adore it... it's simple, global, and fits any type of girl. I've always heard it's quite popular, but personally, I've only known a handful of other Emmas in my lifetime. I met many more Emilys growing up. I am usually the only one with the name Emma in the building! Maybe it's where I grew up and where I live now...? Not sure, but I don't think anyone who loves this name should shy away from it just based on popularity... your girl will own it! All the other Emmas I've met love our name :)

Liz Kent Says:


My twin sister is an Emma, and we both hate the name. Firstly, we are annoyed at our Mum for calling us Emma and Elizabeth, and Emma is just too common. My sister answered to Emma, Emmie, Ellie, Ella, Emily, Amelie, Amelia, and so on. And there are too many Emma's about for all generations, and the only nickname is my sister's loathed name - Em.

Sony Garner Says:


I named my 9 month old Emma Grace! Both names are extremely popular but the first time my co worker suggested Emma I just fell in love and couldn't see my Emma being named any other name. I literally googled middle names that sounds good with Emma and Grace came up. I know it's not unique but I absolutely love it!

Piteco Says:


I don't like this name. I find it so boring and Meh.

Emma Says:


I love it too! Mine's Emma Isabel, which I think is lovely. I love yours!

Emma Says:


No offense, but that's kind of rude to say. What if I said your name sounded like a fart?

Emma Says:


I was born in 2005, and have loved my name. I know two other Emma's, one online and one in real life. I love the name, and think it's beautiful!

NameLover 11 Says:


i love this name.

cellularconfusion Says:


There honestly isn't a single name for either gender that I adore more than Emma! It's absolutely gorgeous!!!!

sunshinexoxo Says:


I like this name, but don't love it. Especially now with how popular it is, I dislike it even more.

funnybunny771 Says:


This is my name! I love it. My twin brother is called Danny and I think the names go well together too. I am Emma Elizabeth Katharine - I love the name!

cellularconfusion Says:


I adore the name Emma so much, its popularity doesn't even bother me in the slightest! I'd use it for a future girl in a heartbeat!

MonikerWanderer Says:


I know at least 7 Emmas, ranging in age from 18 to 2. One year, my younger brother had a class with 5 Emmas, and there were only 15 kids in the class! The name is pretty, but it's so popular where I am that it's becoming a near epidemic. It's probably not that big everywhere, but it is still #1, so it's still really popular.

kasebug617 Says:


Absolutely love the name Emma! I am obsessed with Once Upon a Time, and the main character is named Emma. The more I hear it on the show, the more I love it! Although, I'm hoping by the time I have kids (and we've got many years to go!), it won't be as popular. It's so timeless and gorgeous!

cabosanmucus Says:


The oldest woman in the world right now is named Emma. fun fact.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Love this name, one of my absolute favourites

paulapuddephatt Says:


I love this name so much, classic and beautiful. I can see why it's become so popular. It will always be a favourite for me.

paulapuddephatt Says:


When I was maybe about 8 years old, a family moved in next-door with a young daughter called Charlotte, and the mother, Judy, was pregnant - and soon there were Charlotte and Emma. They were so adorable. I've loved the names ever since, and never got over it. They'll always be in my girls' name top 5. I know they're both really popular right now, especially Emma, but I can definitely see why. I think that, before I met those girls, I was slightly more in love with the name Emily, which is also now super popular - but the shift that happened, at that time, has led me to place Emma as the firm favourite. I love Emerald as an alternative, though - and Em and Emmy can still work as nicknames, or even Emma. The Jane Austen novel 'Emma' is my personal favourite of hers, so that is another bonus for the name, and I can't see myself falling out of love with it, ever.

indiefendi2 Says:


Something about this name I just don't like and I cannot figure it out. It doesn't even sound like a name to me. I don't even know.

VelvetEar Says:


Oh! haha yeah that was a mistake. Thanks for pointing that out to me!

Fluffykitten101 Says:


I'm confused. Is that sarcasm or is it a mistake: 'I've vowed not to give my future children unique names'. Just asking!

Fluffykitten101 Says:


I'm neutral on this name. Emma...
It doesn't sound pretty to my ears, nor looks appealing. But after the book by Jane Austen I have warmed up slightly to it. Yet the only Emma I have met was one of those obnoxious, extroverted and loud types. Plus, it's number 1! Extreme popularity. I can see the appeal, but I just don't like it.

CaggieMcMasters Says:


too popular.

hermioneameliastyles Says:


I don't know where my love for this name came from, but it's a favorite. I can't get enough. I might not consider this name for a few years to come and by then the hype for this name should be over.

VelvetEar Says:


My name is Emma and I hate it. I was born right before the big "emma boom" that happened after that baby in Friends was named Emma. I never know who is talking to me. In fact, I'm typing this in a classroom with two other Emmas. I even got the most generic middle name for Emma...Grace. Ive vowed not to give my future children unique names

namesrahobby Says:


I did my own version of the 'If you like Emma, you might love...', check it out if you are interested.


madisonbrooke Says:


I love this name so much!!! It's simple and elegant. No wonder it's the top name of the year.

madisonbrooke Says:


I know twins named Emma and Mia.

Baby Name Addict Says:


I've found the same in the terms that Emma was meant to be really popular when I was born but at nursery, primary, and secondary school there's never been any other Emma's. I'm in the Emma Louise crew! (Emma is after my Mum's Auntie and Lousie is after my Dad's Grandma Lousia)

Baby Name Addict Says:


I'm called Emma and it's a really awkward name to have. Though it's quite simple and traditional and easily to spell I rarely tell someone my name for them to get it right the first time as it's so similar to Emily, Ella, Ellie, Emmie, etc.

shelbynh Says:


I don't hear this name that much. I've only met one little girl named Emma.

Emma-Claire Says:


My name is Emma-Claire, I also have a middle name. As a kid I hated it but now I have made peace with my name but have always gone by Emma only Emma-Claire with some family members

Yessica Says:


Despite the popularity never met anyone named this.

Emsliz Says:


I was born in 2004 and also named Emma. I have never had another Emma in my school.

Emsliz Says:


My name's Emma. I like my name but I hate how popular it is!

lok Says:


i dont think this name is pretty. i think it's very dull. dont see the hype

Hailey Says:


I can think of 8 Emmas that i know right off the top of my head. This name has been murdered violently for me, having been a preschool teacher for 7 years.

Andrya Cain Says:


My grandmother is named Emma and as a child my relatives named their dog Emma. I thought it was such an common, boring, old lady sounding name. Ironically, my opinion completely changed and I named my daughter Emma Grace in 2004. I am not one for trendy-popular names and at the time, it wasn't that popular. I think its popularity depends on regions and social circles. My now 12 year old daughter has no one at her school of 500 with this name but every year that we play on a softball team, we come across a few Emmas!

mxdxsxn Says:


i like emmalyn

cabosanmucus Says:


This is the most popular name all over the Western world. It's too much! But the thing is it was never UNpopular. Ever.

Lena_Aline Says:


Same here! I was changing a main character's name over and over again. I reluctantly replaced Micheline (which I decided was atrocious on the character) with Emma. Then, I wound up loving it!

Gabrielle Jones Says:


I don't really like this name because it is too short. But, when you add another syllable or two like Emmalyn or Emmabeth, it still doesn't work. Overall, I'm not a fan of this popular name.

mellohorn20 Says:


My name is Emma and I love it!!!! I only know about 5 other Emmas, all spread out age wise. I go by Emma, Em, and Emmy. I like the fact that it is just as fitting on a newborn as it is on a 90 yr old.

berry_chick Says:


I agree! While I'm not in love with it, I can certainly see it in all ages.

headintheclouds Says:


As previous commenters have said, I've always just regarded Emma as a given popular name, not one I paid much attention to, until one day I looked at it and went, "hmm, Emma! it's nice". It's elegant, short and sweet and simple, with a lot of character in its two syllables. I feel an Emma can be anyone or embody anything- from an artsy contemplative person to a spirited and lively personality, as well as any age from baby girl to elderly woman. Emma's just beautiful, and is a classic name that deserves its wide usage and popularity.

ambercat Says:


I have positive associations with the name Emma, so I like it an awful lot. The Emma I know has a sister named Mia and I really like both names even though I know they are very popular. Not sure if I would like the names as much if I didn't have those associations.

gabbygrace1915 Says:


I simply adore this name. I don't give a crap that it's the number 1 name right now. It's just so beautiful. Names are usually popular for a reason.

Catastroffy Says:


Funnily, I used to dislike this name very strongly, but my dislike wore off without any reason. It's still not really my thing, though.

Mmamaoftwo Says:


Very cute name. I prefer it over Emily.

Zelliew Says:


You are lucky to have such a nice name

Zelliew Says:


Both Emily & Emma are really lovely names

Jinxgirl Says:


I really don't like this name much. It seems very boring and flat to me. Emily and Emmaline or Emmelyn or Emilia just seem prettier.

CatherineAnn Says:


Short and simple and is so sweet and yet classic! I think it deserves the popularity

SimoneKadele Says:


Same! I found it on a TV show and then I started reading Jane Austen and was like, "huh, Emma!"

racheljean Says:


This name is very pretty but I wish it wasn't so popular. I know many Emma's.

Emma Jane Says:


Wow. I'm impressed. You totally nailed my name.

GuineapigGirl15 Says:


I don't like it a lot.I don't HATE it . It just isn't my favorite.And this name is so popular!

Saffron_Rice Says:


Classic and dignified, yet also spunky and cute. When I hear it I think of Lady Hamilton (Emma Hart) and Emma of Normandy. I would either pair it with another four-letter name for balance - Emma Faye, Emma Hope, Emma Jane, Emma Kate, Emma Lois, Emma Rose - or something spectacular - Emma Aurelia, Emma Bryony, Emma Persephone, Emma Rosamond, Emma Seraphine, Emma Zuleika.

CupcakeGirl13 Says:


Maybe as a nickname for Emmalee or Emalee, even though Emily is popular, Emily is less common than Emma.And you know how popular Emma is!

CupcakeGirl13 Says:


I prefer Emily or Emme, but this is still a nice name, just wish it was not so popular.

EmmaJoy Says:


I was born in Australia in 1989 and it was the third most popular girls name in my state that year. It peaked in popularity in the 80s/90s here but it's only just starting in the US. I have loved having this name as it has characteristics attached that summed the kind of person I want to be. I haven't met as many other Emmas as I'd expect but those that I have often have the middle name Louise. Just something I've noticed.

htw Says:


Im aware! :0) but thanks for letting me know.

MarieLalie Says:


Well, I only met an Emma in my entire life. It's not that popular en every country, you know...

htw Says:


I work at a mall and i see like five emmas a day sooo

MarieLalie Says:


Emma is so beautiful and sweet! I don't know why people is so worried about the popularity of this name. It isn't that popular, specially in certain countries. If you think that, try to be named Mary or her variations that have been popular for centuries. That's what I call common! xD

Toronto87 Says:


i just don't see the appeal at all. It sounds like the noise someone would make if they had their mouth full of food.

Caroline Says:


I love this name, I like Emma Stone and I have a relative named Emma but I would never use this name, its up there for me with all those other too common names already!

enjc2802 Says:


My name is Emma I was born in 2002 and have only ever met one other Emma before. (no, I was not named after Ross and Rachel's baby or the Jane Austen character!) I live in Oregon and it's not very common here, so if you live in Oregon you might not have to deal with the popularity. Side note, my middle name is, Nicole - Jean and I think that's a go's good with Emma or just Emma Nicole or Emma Jean works good to. Also I don't get that many people think of Emma as very pretty, because I'm not very attractive!

PuppyPaw Says:


I really like the name! I can see why it's so popular!

Leah3456 Says:


One of my many favorite girl names. It's such a pretty sweet name.

Patricia13 Says:


Three of my friends are named Emma, and they're all amazing people. I might use Emma as a middle name to honor them.

jordalini Says:


I don't understand the love for this name, it reminds me of something a baby says because they can't pronounce your real name.

em.taylor_ Says:


I love the name emma it is sweet,cute and short. love the name even though it is sooooooooo popular!!!! :):):):):):)

The_Supernatural_Hufflepuff Says:


This name isn't really popular where I live or where I work. I actually really like this name and I don't usually like the really popular names

emma107 Says:


My name is Emma and I really like it. I was lucky to be born in the late 90s so the names wasn't too popular at the time. I am now in high school and I only know 2 other Emmas in the whole school, but who knows for the kids going into kindergarten? They're going to have to go as Emma B., Emma S., and Emma T. for example, for quite some time unfortunately. My mom and dad call me Em, and most of my friends call me Emma but some call me Emmy. It's pretty fitting and can go with a bunch of personalities.

clairels Says:


Don't get the appeal; never have. Never been a fan of Emily, either. Every third Hollywood starlet is named this too, which makes it worse.

mabespark Says:


So beautiful, but oh-so-popular. Grrr.

SparkleNinja18 Says:


I could never love this name. Everything in my mind is telling me how much I hate it because it's so popular, overdone, and because there is an incredibly nasty girl named Emma in my grade. I've tried to like it or at least become neutral but it won't work.

Clarissa. Says:


Dito ! If you hear it all the time you gonna hate it, but if you really recognize the name you'll start liking it ! Unfortunately it is so popular - I wish it wouln't be.

EryGasai Says:


This name is just perfect. That's why it's so freaking popular. And its popularity is its imperfection for me. :-)

unicornluvgirl Says:


I don't care if it's popular. I actually don't really like it that much, but strangely enough, I LOVE Emily.

senseandsensibility Says:


I can totally see why it's so popular now. It's so sweet yet strong; short yet very feminine. I love the connection to Jane Austen's "Emma" - she was kind of my role model for this name (especially the one from BBC adaptation). Absolutely beautiful.

DearestJules Says:


I used to be very neutral about this name, maybe even disliking it a little bit, but then I looked at it one day (I mean, REALLY looked at it) and realized how beautiful it was. And now it's a total namecrush for me. I just wish it wasn't so dang popular.

loverofnames86 Says:


Emma is short, sweet, and has a cute spelling. I can see why it is so popular.

csd267 Says:


This name is so over-used. I hate hearing it all of the time.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I never liked Emma. It's very common. I really dislike Emma Watson though, and that made the name worse for me.

Guest Says:


I think Emma is growing on me (because of the wonderful Emma Stone) but I still don't understand why everyone loves this name so much.

MaryKathryn Says:


Emma has become too popular in my opinion, though I still think it's a wonderful name.