Emma first name popularity, history and meaning

Find out how popular the first name Emma has been for the last 50 years (from 1974 to 2023) and learn more about the meaning and history.

Meaning of Emma

A Germanic feminine name meaning "universal" or "whole".

Popularity of Emma by gender

Based on the last 50 years of data, Emma is more commonly used as a female name, with approximately 100% of people named Emma being female.

For the most recent data in 2023, there were 13,527 female babies and 17 male babies born with the name Emma.

Yes—according to the SSA data, 17 baby boys were named Emma in 2023, despite it being a predominantly female name. We'd love to know why!

Year Male Count Female Count
2023 17 13,527
2022 15 14,435
2021 14 15,510
2020 18 15,680
2019 11 17,194
2018 9 18,801
2017 14 19,857
2016 18 19,536
2015 10 20,478
2014 12 20,958
2013 18 20,958
2012 20 20,964
2011 33 18,814
2010 17 17,357
2009 20 17,908
2008 15 18,823
2007 21 18,381
2006 22 19,126
2005 36 20,353
2004 102 21,617
2003 37 22,714
2002 15 16,554
2001 14 13,325
2000 15 12,559
1999 17 11,746
1998 11 10,448
1997 9 7,749
1996 6 6,146
1995 5 5,050
1994 5 4,765
1993 8 4,108
1992 0 3,212
1991 0 2,595
1990 9 2,420
1989 18 1,938
1988 11 1,793
1987 9 1,587
1986 5 1,258
1985 0 946
1984 7 678
1983 7 553
1982 5 561
1981 0 534
1980 0 531
1979 5 488
1978 0 445
1977 0 478
1976 0 414
1975 0 477
1974 0 492

The history of the first name Emma

The name Emma has its origins in the Germanic language and is derived from the word "ermen," meaning "whole" or "universal." It is believed to have originated as a shortened form of the longer Germanic names like Ermentrude or Irmengard.

Emma first appeared in Europe during the Middle Ages, particularly in Germany and England. One of the earliest recorded instances of the name can be found in the Domesday Book, a survey of land ownership commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086, where it was spelled "Eme" or "Emme."

In the 12th century, Emma became a popular name among the English nobility, likely influenced by the Norman French culture that had been introduced to England after the Norman Conquest. One notable bearer of the name was Emma of Normandy, who was born around 985 and married two English kings, Ethelred the Unready and Cnut the Great.

The name gained further prominence in the 13th century when Emma of Lesum, a German mystic and Benedictine nun, lived from around 1200 to 1284. Her spiritual writings and reputation for piety contributed to the name's popularity in Germanic regions.

Throughout history, several notable individuals have borne the name Emma. Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) was an American poet and author best known for her sonnet "The New Colossus," which is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. Emma Bovary is the protagonist of Gustave Flaubert's acclaimed 1856 novel "Madame Bovary," which explored the life of a provincial housewife in 19th-century France.

In the realm of science, Emma Noether (1882-1935) was a pioneering German mathematician who made groundbreaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was a Russian-born political activist, writer, and influential figure in the anarchist movement in the United States.

Another notable Emma was Emma Woodhouse, the central character in Jane Austen's novel "Emma," published in 1815. The book's exploration of Emma's misguided attempts at matchmaking and her eventual growth and self-awareness made her a beloved and enduring literary figure.

Data source

The first name data used on this page comes from the Social Security Administration (SSA). They've been collecting data on baby names since 1880.

The history and meaning of the name Emma was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Emma, please contact us.

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If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Emma first name popularity, history and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 12, 2024. http://namecensus.com/first-names/emma-meaning-and-history/.

"Emma first name popularity, history and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/first-names/emma-meaning-and-history/. Accessed 12 July, 2024

Emma first name popularity, history and meaning. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/first-names/emma-meaning-and-history/.

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