Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Emma

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, French, German
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 2
Simple meaning:
whole, universal, complete

Characteristics of Emma

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Emma

We arrive at the name Emma after a lengthy evolution through time, beginning with medieval versions of ancient Germanic names such as Ermintrude and Irmengarde. These names were later shorted to Irma, Irmen or Ermen; which is the German word for “universal”. The name later evolved to the feminine form of Hemma and was first introduce to Britain by Viking conquerors who came to England via northern France (Normandy). In the 10th and 11th centuries, Hemma, daughter of Duke Richard of Normandy, would eventually marry the King of England, “Ӕthelred the Unready” and become the mother of two more Kings of England, Harthacnut and Edward the Confessor (more on Hemma below). A spelling reform in the nineteenth century eliminated the silent “H” leading us to the modern spelling of the name. Today, the name Emma is extremely popular throughout the English-speaking world. In 2010, it was ranked #2 in Canada, #3 in Ireland, #17 in Australia and #48 England. It’s the 11th most popular name in Scotland, and ranked in third place in the United States according to 2011 data. Emma is most popular in France, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands where the name ranks in the #1 top spot.

Popularity of the Name Emma

Emma was particularly fashionable in the 1800s and early 1900s in the United States, but has always been a long-standing classic name. It started to decline in the 1940s and experienced its lowest usage in America in the 60s and 70s. The name regained favor by the 1980s before catapulting to the very top of the charts at the turn of the 21st century. In fact, Emma even secured the #1 position in one year (2008). Like her fellow sisters currently on the list of Top 5 most popular girls’ names (Isabella, Sophia, Olivia and Ava), Emma’s usage is following a naming trend that has popularized old fashioned, time-honored picks.
Popularity of the Girl Name Emma
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Emma

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Emma

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Emma

    Emma Bovary (Madam Bovary) Emma Bovary is the central character in the 1857 novel Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. The novel was considered scandalous for its day and attacked for its “obscenity” by public prosecutors when it was first serialized in La Revue de Paris between October 1 and December 15, 1856, resulting in a trial in January 1857 that made the story notorious (and widely-read, as well, which is surely not what the censors were hoping to happen). Today it stands as one of the most influential novels ever written. The story focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who refuses to acknowledge the banalities of her unsophisticated country life: wife, mother, provincial, empty, boring [yawn]. So what does she do? She engages in a couple of adulterous affairs, she spends money extravagantly accumulating insurmountable debt; she over-romanticizes and fantasizes the true realities of life right down to her own destruction. And yet the reader sticks by her with twisted compassion despite her bad behavior. Perhaps we fear there is a little Emma Bovary in us all.

    Emma Woodhouse (Emma) Emma Woodhouse, the protagonist of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel “Emma,” is a beautiful, high-spirited, intellectual, and 'slightly' spoiled woman of 21. Her mother died when she was very young, and she has been mistress of the house ever since, certainly since her older sister got married. While she is in many ways mature for her age, Emma makes some serious mistakes, mainly due to her conviction that she is always right coupled by her lack of real world experience. Although she has vowed she will never ever marry, she delights in making matches for others. The popular 1995 movie “Clueless” is a portrayal of the modern-day Emma.

  • Popular Songs on Emma

    Popular Songs on Emma

    Emma - a song by Hot Chocolate

    Emma Jean's Guitar - a song by Chely Wright

    Emma's Song - a song by Sinead O'Connor

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Emma

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Emma

    Emma Lea's First Tea Party (Babette Donaldson) - Emma Lea is excited to attend the annual tea party with the ladies of her family to celebrate her grandmother's birthday. She dresses up for the special occasion, like her mother and three aunts. "I want to look like a big girl for Grammy," she tells her mother. The table is elegantly set with Grammy's finest china and trays of teacakes and sandwiches. But Emma Lea brings a new twist to their old tradition. "Tea parties should be for everyone!" Other titles are availabe in the "Emma Lea" series, such as "Emma Lea's First Tea Ceremony", "Emma Lea's Magic Teapot" and "Emma Lea's Tea with Daddy". Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Emma the Easter Fairy (Daisy Meadows) - Every year, Emma the Easter Fairy paints the three special eggs that make Easter sparkle. But this year, Jack Frost has ruined everything! The magic eggs have disappeared. Now the chocolate is melting, the eggs are going bad, and the Easter Bunny is missing! Can Rachel and Kirsty hop to it and help Emma the Easter Fairy save the holiday? Or will this Easter be totally rotten, thanks to Jack Frost and his goblins? Find the magic painted eggs in all three stories inside this Rainbow Magic Special Edition and help save Easter! Recommended for ages 3-7.

    Emma's Magic Winter (Jean Little) - A new friend? When Sally moves into the house next door, Emma's mom thinks it will be easy for the two girls to become friends. But Emma is so shy, she can barely even read out loud in school. Will Emma ever make friends with her new neighbor? Part of a series of more Emma books. Recommended for ages 4-7.

    Emma's Turtle (Eve Bunting) - Emma's prized pet discovers a whole world in the backyard. Winborn's warm watercolors make simple scenes look fascinating and even perilous, and she gives the turtle an impressive range of expressions. Young readers should relate to an odyssey close to home. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Fix-It (David McPhail) - It is when the fix-it man is trying to repair the television and her parents are trying to entertain her that Emma becomes so interested in reading, she no longer cares about TV. Part of a series of more Emma books by McPhail. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Only Emma (Sally Warner) - Eight-year-old Emma McGraw loves science. She also love being an only child! So when four-year-old Anthony moves in for a while (into her room!) Emma isn't too happy. He may be cute, but he can't keep his hands off her stuff. But Emma's in for a surprise. Part of a series of more Emma books. Recommended for ages 7-9.

  • Famous People Named Emma

    Famous People Named Emma

    Famous People Named Emma - Emma Thompson (actress); Emma Watson (actress); Emma Lazarus (poet)

  • Children of Famous People Named Emma

    Children of Famous People Named Emma

    Famous People who Named their Daughter Emma - Christine Lahti (actress); Cynthia Watros (actress); David Hallyday (French singer); Eric Roberts (actor); Janet Jones (actress); John Edwards (politician); Julie Andrews (singer/actress); Kristi Yamaguchi (figure skater); Martina McBride (country musician); Nick Faldo (golfer); Pete Townshend (musician); Wayne Gretzky (hockey player)

  • Historic Figures

    Emma - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Emma of Normandy (c. 985-1052) - Like many important women from the medieval period, Emma of Normandy was no different in terms of her determination and fortitude. She was born a noblewoman, the daughter of Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy. At the turn of the 11th century, Normandy was providing shelter to those pesky little Vikings, who were, of course, intent on invading England. The King of England, Ethelred II, had a few tricks up his sleeve. One was to try and buy the Vikings off with money, and another was to arrange to marry Emma (he needed all the alliances he could form). This would prove helpful, as the King of Denmark, Sweyn, decided England was his for the taking. Ethelred fled to Normandy and was given protection by his wife’s brother, so called Robert the Good. Sweyn was successful in his ambitions to ascend the English throne, but died shortly thereafter. So Ethelred returned and reclaimed the throne, only to die himself a couple years later. Houston, we have a problem; who is next in line to be King of England? A battle ensued between the heirs of Sweyn and the heirs of Ethelred. Canute, son of Sweyn, eventually won (after Ethelred’s son by his first wife, Edmund Ironsides, is suspiciously murdered). So what does the opportunistic Emma do next? Why, marry Canute, of course (thus cleverly protecting the lives of her own sons who were natural rivals to Canute). While the men were picking fights on the battlefield, young Emma was using her feminine wiles to jockey her own sons into power positions. Smart lass, this one. She would eventually succeed. Two of her sons, Hardicanute (by the Dane Canute) and Edward the Confessor (son by Ethelred) would go onto become Kings of England. Oh, and so would her nephew, William the Conqueror.

Personality of the Girl Name Emma

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Emma

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