Emily Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Emily Name Meaning and Origin

After entering the top 10 names in 1991, this classic name has been one of the most famous for girls in the USA for almost 11 years. A masculine variant of Emily is ‘Emil’ or ‘Emile,’ although Emil is more common in Germanic and Scandinavian speaking countries. Emily comes from Latin ‘Aemilia’ that transformed into Emily in English.

What Does Emily Mean?

Though old-fashioned to some, Emily is a timeless name derived from the Roman family name Aemilius, an elite and influential family in ancient Rome. The name was taken from the Germanic name Amalia. The meaning of Emily in Latin is ‘rival,’ ‘eager,’ ‘laborious,’ or ‘strive.’ The meaning of Emily for the Greek name Amalia comes from the word ‘Aimulos,’ meaning ‘friendly,’ ‘tender,’ and ‘kind.’


Derived from Latin origin, Emily is an English form of the Roman name Aemilia which evolved from the Latin Aemulus, meaning ‘rival’ or ‘competitor.’ This name is primarily used in the English-speaking countries of the world. The surname Emily is originally derived from the Old English word ‘Amalric,’ which referred to someone who held ‘great power.’




  • EH-mih-lee
  • Em-uh-lee
  • EM-i-lee
  • Eh-muh-lee


3 syllables


5 letters

Name Variations/Spellings

Name variants are alternatives or equivalent that differ in nicknames, spellings, abbreviations, cognates, variations in the order of components, cultural differences, and transliterations. Here are some cultural Emily name variations and other spellings for Emily in varied languages and cultures:

Name Origin
Emelie Swedish
Eemeli Finnish
Emili Hungarian
Emilia Icelandic
Emilis Lithuanian
Emlyn Welsh
Emiliya Bulgarian
Emilie French
Emilia Portuguese
Emīlija Latvian
Emilio Italian
Emilios/Aimilios Greek
Emiel Dutch
Emil German
Emili Hebrew
Aemilia Latin
Emili Catalan
Emilie Czech
Emilija Lithuanian
Yemelyan Russian

How Popular Is the Name Emily?

According to 2018 Social Security Administration data, after being immensely popular throughout the last decade, peaking in popularity at position one for girls in America from 1996 to 2007. Emily’s baby name ranking remained consistently in the top 10 from 1991 to 2016. The SSA has ranked Emily’s popularity at No.18 as per the latest statistics of 2020 among girl names in the U.S.

Over the years, Emily has stood steadfast throughout history. Its popularity increased due to its sweet sound and endearing nicknames, such as the classic Em and Emma and the more delicate Emmy. Emily was popularized after it appeared as the name of a character in Williams Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello. Bestowed upon literary figures and forward thinkers, it makes a timeless choice for parents. This is mainly due to the name being inspired by Emily Brontë and Emily Dickinson, evoking images of a smart and beautiful woman.

Interest in Emily – Worldwide

trends.embed.renderExploreWidget(“TIMESERIES”, {“comparisonItem”:[{“keyword”:”Emily”,”geo”:””,”time”:”2011-01-01 2021-08-05″}],”category”:0,”property”:””}, {“exploreQuery”:”date=2011-01-01%202021-08-05&q=Emily”,”guestPath”:”https://trends.google.com:443/trends/embed/”});

Search trends for the name Emily have recorded a consistent popularity scale score of over 40 in the last ten years, reaching 100 in Oct 2020. The lowest popularity was recorded in Sept 2019 at just 41.

Interest in Emily – US

trends.embed.renderExploreWidget(“TIMESERIES”, {“comparisonItem”:[{“keyword”:”Emily”,”geo”:”US”,”time”:”2011-01-01 2021-08-05″}],”category”:0,”property”:””}, {“exploreQuery”:”date=2011-01-01%202021-08-05&geo=US&q=Emily”,”guestPath”:”https://trends.google.com:443/trends/embed/”});

Search trends for the name Emily have also recorded a consistent search value of over 40 within the US in the last ten years. The popularity of the name reached 100 in July 2012, while search trends recorded the lowest value in March 2020 at just 39.

Popularity of the name Emily

URL: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi

Where Is the Name Most Searched?

Search trends of Emily Worldwide

trends.embed.renderExploreWidget(“GEO_MAP”, {“comparisonItem”:[{“keyword”:”Emily”,”geo”:””,”time”:”2011-01-01 2021-08-05″}],”category”:0,”property”:””}, {“exploreQuery”:”date=2011-01-01%202021-08-05&q=Emily”,”guestPath”:”https://trends.google.com:443/trends/embed/”});

Search trends of the last ten years reveal that the name has been searched the most in the United Kingdom. Countries like United States, Canada, Ireland, and Australia follow close. As most English-speaking countries have been using Emily as a forename for girls since medieval times, it has been hugely popular in the United Kingdom.

Search trends of Emily in the US

trends.embed.renderExploreWidget(“GEO_MAP”, {“comparisonItem”:[{“keyword”:”Emily”,”geo”:”US”,”time”:”2011-01-01 2021-08-05″}],”category”:0,”property”:””}, {“exploreQuery”:”date=2011-01-01%202021-08-05&geo=US&q=Emily”,”guestPath”:”https://trends.google.com:443/trends/embed/”});

Massachusetts is the city of the US where the most searches for the name Emily have been recorded over the last ten years. Following close behind are Vermont, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, and Connecticut. These are the top 5 cities of the US, where search trends for Emily have been the highest.

Middle Names That Go With Emily

The perfect middle name can augment the name Emily as well as its meaning. Here are some of the double names with Emily that can be strung together for honoring a family tradition, a loved one, making it sound lovelier, or for preserving cultural heritage:

Hannah Alexandra
Kate Rebecca
Claire Katherine
Isabella Olivia
Charlotte Scarlett
Celesta Georgia
Lucinda Abigail
Pearl Susannah
Tabitha Aurora
Violet Matilda

Famous People Named Emily

Super-cool and avant-garde names of celebrities can be fodder for inspiration while naming a baby. Here is an inventory of famous people called Emily that can make your child stand out in the crowd.

Celebrity Name Profession/Famous For
Emily Blackwell American Academic
Emily Barton American Novelist
Emily Blunt English Actress
Emily Browning Australian Actress
Emily Carr Canadian Artist
Emily Davies English Feminist
Emily Dickinson American Poet
Emily Haines Canadian Singer
Emily Hobhouse English Activist
Emily Lau Hongkong Politician
Emily Murphy Canadian Author
Emily Post American Author
Emily Procter American Actress
Emily Vancamp Canadian Actress
Emily Webley-Smith English Tennis Player
Emily Ratajkowski American Model
Emily Bronte English Novelist
Emily Freeman British Athlete
Emily Arnold McCully American Writer
Emily King American Singer, Songwriter

Similar Names & Last Names

Baby names like Emily can be chosen after determining how the first name sounds with the last name. Family names for Emily can keep the classic name alive in a unique way. Here we suggest other names for Emily that form a similar name pattern with stressed and unstressed syllables.

Other Baby Names Suitable Family Names
Eliana Baskins
Elizabeth Booth
Ella Clark
Erica Duncan
Eloise Crawford
Esme Elliot
Esthelle Freeman
Esther Jackson
Eva Holmes
Evelyn Gibbs

Names That Sound Like Emily

Be it twins or siblings, names that rhyme with Emily can sound lyrical while having the same or different meaning. You can match names with similar alphabets, a common theme, or one that corresponds to a birth star. One can transform a classic name like Emily into a contemporary form to generate interest among modern parents.

Emery Emelyn
Emilee Emmylou
Amelie Emi
Millie Elli
Elly Maelee
Emeline Emmi
Emmie Ellie
Everly Emilie
Emmeline Emilia
Eliana Elowen

Sibling Names Related to Emily

It would be best to give Emily’s siblings names that reflect a similar origin, meaning, or sound. The similarity in the names shall work together to build a stronger bond between the siblings. Here we suggest some befitting sibling names with Emily:

Sister Names for Emily Brother Names for Emily
Matilda Elias
Simona Ezra
Ava Elliot
Harriet Ellis
Addison Eli
Adelle Ellison
Eden Ethan
Sophie Evander
Isabel Harry
Laurel Jamie

Nicknames for Emily

Nicknames can be an alternative for a formal or proper name that fosters an emotional connection with your child. Here are some of the endearing nicknames for the name Emily:

Emmi Lily
Miley Emem
Emz Em
Emzee Milu
Emzy Eminem
Emster Amy
Elle Ellie
Emma Emmy
Mya Lee

Emily is quintessentially a traditional and feminine name that maintains its significance in other cultures, countries, and history, mainly due to its deep-rooted Latin association. Although its popularity has changed in the past ten years, Emily is a simple, pretty yet strong name that’s coming back in style.


Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi
Emily Name Popularity in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-08-05&geo=US&q=Emily
Emily Name Popularity Across The World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-08-05&q=Emily
Emily Name Interest in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-08-05&geo=US&q=Emily
Emily Name Interest Across the World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-08-05&q=Emily

Previous article «
Next article »
Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.