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Emily Name Meaning

Updated
Learn about the name Emily including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Emily Overview

  • Meaning: The name Emily has many sources of origin and several meanings. Some of the most popular are “wily” and “persuasive,” from the Greek word “aimylos”. The Latin may also derive from “aemulus,” which means “rival.” Other translations include “striving” and “eager.”
  • Gender: Emily is predominantly a female name. Emily is predominantly a female name. Male equivalents include “Emil” and “Emilio.”
  • Origin: Emily, a Latin name, can be traced back to ancient Rome, where the Aimilia family was one of the most powerful around. They claimed that they were descendants of Numa Pompilius, the second leader of Rome. From there, the Italians turned the Latin name “Aemilia” into “Emilia.” Eventually, the name made it into English as Emily.
  • Pronunciation: Emily has two common pronunciations. The first, “EM-uh-lee,” has a soft “u” in the second syllable. While others pronounce it as “EM-i-lee,” adding the soft “i” in the middle instead.
  • Popularity: The name Emily is very popular. In English-speaking countries, it is one of the most popular selections for girls. That includes the United States, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Nicknames: Em, Emmy, Emz, Emzie, Mil, Mille, Millie.
  • Variations: Eemeli, Emelie, Emiel, Emil, Emile, Emili, Emília, Émilie, Emīlija, Emilio, Emilis, Emiliya, Emīls, Emlyn.
  • Namesakes: Emily Blunt, Emily Brontë, Emily Ratajkowski.

What Does Emily Mean?

The name Emily has many sources of origin and several meanings. Some of the most popular translations are “wily” and “persuasive,” from the Greek word “aimylos.” The Latin traces may derive from “aemulus,” which means “rival.” Other meanings include “striving” and “eager.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Emily?

The name Emily can be traced back to the Aimilia family of Ancient Rome. They were one of the most powerful families and claimed to be descendants of Numa Pompilius, the second leader of Rome (1).

Over time, the Latin name “Aemilia” was adopted by Italians and turned into “Emilia.” Eventually, it made its way into English as Emily.

How Popular Is the Name Emily?

In English-speaking countries and communities, it is one of the most popular selections for girls. That includes countries like the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Emily stayed in the top five in the United States until 2009. The name ranked number 18 in 2020 (2). In many other countries, it remains in the top ten. However, in the UK, it dropped to number 49 in 2019 (3).

How Do I Pronounce Emily?

The name Emily has two common pronunciations. The first, “EM-uh-lee,” has a soft “u” in the second syllable. Others pronounce it as “EM-i-lee,” adding the soft “i” in the middle instead. Typically, that will depend on regional accent differences.

Is Emily a Boy or Girl Name?

Emily is predominantly a female name. However, there are male equivalents, such as “Emil” and “Emilio.”

Variations of Emily

Given its long history, it’s no surprise that there are many regional variations on the name. Examples include:

  • Eemeli (Finnish)
  • Emelie (Swedish)
  • Emiel (masculine, Dutch)
  • Emil (masculine, German)
  • Emile (masculine, French)
  • Emili (Catalan)
  • Emília (Spanish, Italian, Hungarian)
  • Émilie (French)
  • Emīlija (Latvian)
  • Emilio (masculine, Italian, Spanish)
  • Emilis (Lithuanian)
  • Emiliya (Bulgarian)
  • Emīls (masculine, Latvian)
  • Emlyn (gender-neutral, Welsh)

Nicknames for Emily

While there are many variations, there are not that many common nicknames. Some include:

  • Em
  • Emmy
  • Emz
  • Emzie
  • Mil
  • Mille
  • Millie

Similar Names to Emily

There are also a handful of names similar to Emily, such as:

Middle Names for Emily

Emily is a classic name, which helps it pair well with several middle name options, like:

Sibling Names for Emily

Many names go great alongside Emily for a sibling, whether boy or girl. Some of them include:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Emily

There are also many famous people named Emily. Some of the most prominent include:

  • Emily Blunt: English and American actress, writer, and director.
  • Emily Brontë: English novelist and poet, best known for her only novel “Wuthering Heights.”
  • Emily Carr: Canadian writer and poet for her work inspired by indigenous peoples.
  • Emily Deschanel: American actress, director, and producer.
  • Emily Dickinson: American poet.
  • Emily Ratajkowski: American-British model and actress.

Emily in Popular Culture

Many characters in pop culture have taken the name Emily over the years. From books to movies and video games, here are some of the most notable characters you might recognize:

  • Emily Barham: One of the main characters from the 1964 film “The Americanization of Emily,” played by Julie Andrews.
  • Emily Drozynski: Character in the western drama “Yellowstone.”
  • Emily Fields: Primarycharacter in the TV series “Pretty Little Liars.”
  • Emily Fitch: Character from the TV series “Skins.”
  • Emily Gilmore: Character from the TV series “Gilmore Girls.”
  • Emily Grierson: The main character from William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily.”
  • Emily Rose: The main character from “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.”
  • Emily Young: Character from the “Twilight” book series.
  • Emily: Character from the TV series “Power Rangers Samurai.”
  • Emily (Thomas & Friends): A character from the British children’s TV series “Thomas & Friends.”

Emily FAQs

Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions asked about the name Emily.

Is Emily a Special Name?

Emily is a special name with enduring popularity. It embodies tradition, elegance, beauty, and classic feel all into one.

What is Emily’s Personality?

The personality of the name Emily is often associated with qualities like charisma, communication, leadership, intelligence, and stimulation.

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