Skip to main content

Updated April 16, 2024

Table of contents

Girl name origins & meanings

What does Emily mean and stand for?


  • Latin: To strive or excel or rival; eager
  • English: Industrious and hardworking

Gender: Female

Syllables: 3

Pronunciation: The name Emily is pronounced em-uh-lee

The name Emily, derived from the Roman family name Aemilius, implies industriousness and a striving nature, meaning "rival" or "eager." It has been widely used in English-speaking countries since the 18th century.

How Popular Is The Name Emily

Family name origins & meanings

Western Europe: respelling of German and Swiss German Emele, a variant of Emel.

English: variant of Emley.

Famous people with this first name

Emily in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Emily Thorne from Revenge - A determined woman seeking vengeance for her family's downfall.
  • Emily Fields from Pretty Little Liars - A compassionate and athletic character with a strong moral compass.
  • Emily Cooper from Emily in Paris - An ambitious marketing executive navigating life in Paris.
  • Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls - The matriarch of the Gilmore family, known for her high society standards and sharp wit.
  • Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds - An intelligent and fluent profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit.

Popularity of the Name Emily

According to Social Security Administration data, Emily has been a beloved name in the United States, consistently ranking in the top 20 names for girls since the 1990s. It enjoyed its peak popularity in the early 2000s, claiming the spot as the number one name for girls from 1996 to 2007. Though its ranking has slightly declined, it remains a popular choice among new parents.

Emily has not only been popular historically but also culturally, shared by famous personalities like poet Emily Dickinson, model Emily Ratajkowski, and actresses Emily Blunt and Emily Deschanel. Fictional characters named Emily have appeared in a variety of media titles, including Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Friends, Twilight, and Revenge, demonstrating the name's widespread appeal across different genres.

Where Is the Name Emily Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Emily

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Em
  • Ems
  • Millie

Emily Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

People Who Like the Name Emily Also Like

Check out these names that are similar, but still unique to your baby.

Subscribe to Family Education

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.