Girl Names baby nameEmily

What does the name Emily mean?

The meaning of the name “Emily” is: “Industrious, Flatterer, to Strive or Rival”.

Additional information: Emily is a feminine English name derived from the Latin origin name Aemilia, which is the feminine form of the Roman family name Aemilius (trying to equal or excel), a name taken from the root word aemulus, meaning ‘rival’. Emily is also a form of the English, Spanish, German, Latin, Dutch, and Italian girl name Amelia in the English language. Another explanation is coming from the Greek girl name Amalia,  ‘Αμαλία’, from the word aimulos (friendly, tender and kind.)

As Emily is a very popular name for girls in English speaking countries, some parents prefer to go with similar sounding names such as Amelia, Emma, or Emmeline. A masculine variant of Emily is ‘Emil’, although Emil is more common in Germanic and Scandinavian speaking countries than in English speaking countries. Diminutives for Emily include Em, Emmie, Millie, and their variant spellings. Most foreign spellings of Emily follow the same basic spelling patterns, such as the French Émilie, the German Emilie, and the Spanish Emilia. Common misspellings of Emily are ‘Emilily’, ‘Emlyn’, and ‘Emmily’.

The name Emily increased in popularity in the seventies, rising from 173rd to 34th most popular by the end of the decade, but it wasn’t until the nineties that the name really became popular in the USA – entering the top ten in 1991, Emily was the most popular name for girls in the USA consecutively from 1996 until 2007. Since then its popularity has declined slightly, ranking at number 6 in 2012. It was the seventh most popular name for girls in 2014. Since 1996 in England and Wales, the name Emily has never fallen out of the top five names for girls; it was the third most popular name in 2013.

Emily Dickinson (American poet) and Emily Brontë (English novelist) have both helped to give the name Emily literary associations. Other famous people named Emily are Emily Blunt (English actress), Emily Pankhurst (English political activist and Suffragette), and Emily Osment (American actress).

There is a bridge in Stowe, Vermont called Gold Brook Covered Bridge, but it is also known as ‘Emily’s Bridge’. Apparently haunted by a ghost named Emily, there are several stories explaining the origins of Emily - a spurned lover, run down by horses, or broken-hearted, the stories usually end with her either plunging into the river below, or hanging herself from the bridge.