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Updated February 1, 2024

Table of contents

Girl name origins & meanings

  • Old English: Emery's son

What does Emerson mean and stand for?

The name Emerson is of Old English origin and means "Emery's son" (or daughter in more modern times). It was originally a surname, borne by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Syllables: 3

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Old English : Emery's son

Boy name variations

How Popular Is The Name Emerson

Family name origins & meanings

  • English : patronymic from the personal name Emery.
  • The poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) was born in Boston of a line on his father’s side that can be traced back through preachers to the first colonial generation. The name Emerson was brought over from England independently by various other people, including a Thomas Emerson who settled at Ipswich, MA, in about 1636.

Famous people who gave their babies this name


According to Social Security Administration data, Emerson fairly stagnant for the past five years, staying in the top 160. For the most part, however, Emerson has been on the rise throughout the years.

However, it is the 8th most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Emerson was at its peak popularity in December 2016.

Emerson originally started as a boys' name but has quickly gained popularity as a unisex name after Shonda Rhimes and Teri Hatcher chose it for their daughters. It's also appeared in the movies Airheads and What to Expect When You're Expecting. It's also a private college in Boston, MA.

Where is it Popular?

Emerson was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Emerson

  • Em
  • Emmy

Pairs well with these middle names


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