Girl Names baby name Emma

What does the name Emma mean?

The different meanings of the name Emma are:
  • Whole, Complete, Universal.
  • American meaning: Industrious.
  • German meaning: Derivative:  Form of Emily; Industrious.
  • Latin meaning: Universal and all-embracing.
  • Swedish Meaning: Nurse.
  • Teutonic meaning: The healer of the universe
The meaning of the name “Emma” is different in several languages, countries and cultures and has more than one possibly same or different meanings available.

Additional information: Emma is a feminine name of Germanic origin – it is derived from the word ermen, meaning ‘whole’ or ‘universal’, a form of the name Erma, or a shorter form of Germanic names meaning strength, beginning with Erm(en) or Irm(en) but generally translated as "universal" or "complete". It might also be a nickname from girl names like Emilia or a diminutive of Emmanuelle.

Common diminutives for Emma are Em, Emmie, and Emmalyn, and Emma is a diminutive itself for Emily, Emelia, and Emmeline. ‘Ema’ is the most regularly used foreign variant for Emma, and is used in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, and Spain. In the Netherlands, they use Ima as a variant spelling. Similar sounding names to Emma are Anna, Ella, Emily, and a similar looking masculine name is Ethan. Emma is sometimes misspelled as ‘Ema’ and ‘Emam’.

The name Emma fell in popularity after during the forties, dropping from being consistently in the top 100 names for girls to 458th at its lowest in 1976 in the USA. It climbed back up rapidly during the late nineties, and the birth of Ross and Rachel’s baby Emma from Friends in 2002 contributed to the name staying in the top five names for girls from 2002 until 2014, where it was the most popular name for girls in the USA. Emma’s popularity as a feminine name in England and Wales has decreased since the start of the 21st century, and was the 55th most popular name for girls in 2013. Emma saw brief popularity as a masculine name in the USA during the late nineteenth century.

Famous people with the name Emma include Emma Bunton (British musician; Baby Spice from the Spice Girls), Emma Stone (American actress), Emma Thompson (British actress), and Emma Watson (British actress). Emma Bovary is the famous protagonist of French novelist Flaubert's "Madame Bovary". In Jane Austen's novel "Emma" (1816),  Emma Woodhouse was designed by Jane Austen to be a character that no-one but her would actually like.

The name Emma was brought over to English speaking countries by Emma of Normandy, the queen consort of England three separate times between 1002 and 1035. There is a legend surrounding her fidelity; accused of being too intimate with the Bishop of Winchester, she was subjected to trial by burning iron, where she had to walk across red-hot iron ploughshares to prove her innocence. Miraculously (according to the legend), her feet remained uninjured.