Emma (given name)

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For other uses, see Emma (disambiguation).
Emma
George Romney - Lady Hamilton as Circe.jpg
Emma, Lady Hamilton is one famous Emma.
Gender Female
Origin
Word/Name Germanic
Meaning whole, universal
Other names
Related names Emily, Emmy, EM, Irma

Emma is a given female name. It is derived from the Germanic word ermen meaning whole or universal, and was originally a short form of Germanic names that began with ermen. Emma is also used as a diminutive of Emily, Emmeline, Amelia or any other name beginning with "em". It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of King Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of King Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called Hemma.

After the Norman conquest this name became common in England. It was revived in the 18th century, perhaps in part due to Matthew Prior's poem Henry and Emma (1709). It was also used by Jane Austen for the central character, the matchmaker Emma Woodhouse, in her novel Emma (1815).

It has been among the top names given to baby girls in the United States, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Ireland, France, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Norway, New Zealand, Hungary, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain in the past 10 years. It began gaining popularity in the United Kingdom during the 1960s. By 1974 it was the fourth most popular girl's name in England and Wales. It was still in the top 10 as late as 1995, but had fallen out of the top 20 by 2005 and in 2009 it ranked at 41st.[1]

It became popular in the United States later in the 20th century, reaching the top 100 names for girls in the late 1990s and rising to third place on the popularity chart in 2007. It was the most popular name for girls in the United States in 2008, but fell back to second place in 2009.

Notable people named Emma[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Emma - Meaning And Origin Of The Name Emma". BabyNames.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-23.