[ 3 syll. e-mi-ly, em-ily ] The baby girl name Emily is also used as a boy name, though it is far more popular for girls. It is pronounced as EHM-ih-Liy- or EH-Miy-Liy- †. Emily has its origins in the Latin language and it is used largely in English. It is derived from the word aemulus which is of the meaning 'imitating, rivaling'. Aemilia is the feminine form of the Roman family name Aemilius. In Boccaccio's Teseida delle Nozze d'Emilia (1340), Emilia is the name of the heroine. Later in the 14th century, Boccaccio's work was adapted by Chaucer in The Knight's Tale, the first of his series of The Canterbury Tales. In Chaucer's work, the name of the heroine is Emily. The name Emily was thus introduced to English speakers, but it remained rare until the Hanoverians took the British throne in the 18th century; Princess Amelia of Hanover (1711-1786) was then commonly known as Emily despite the fact that Amelia is of a different origin. Emilia, originally a Latinate form of Emily, also came to be associated with Amelia. The name Emily later saw a revival in the 19th century. In literature, it has appeared as the name of the fictional Emily Peggoty in Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield (1850).
Emily is a form of the English, German, Dutch, Italian, Latin, and Spanish Amelia in the English language.
Emily is the feminine form of the Czech, English, German, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Scandinavian, and Slavic Emil.
The name Emily is used to a great extent; it has 116 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Aemilie, Aimiliona, Amalea, Amalia, Amalie (used in Czech, French, and German too), Ameldy, Amelia (used in Latin too), Ameline, Amelita, Amella, Ema (used in Czech and Spanish too), Emaili, Emaily, Emalei, Emaleigh, Emalie, Emalina, Emaline, Emaly, Emelee, Emeleigh, Emeli, Emelia, Emelina, Emellie, Emelly, Emelye, Emelyn, Emelyne, and Emera. Other English forms include the contracted form Em, the familiar forms Emma, Emmi (used in German too), Emmie, Emmy (used in Dutch too), Millie, and Milly, and the spelling variants Emalee, Emali, Emely, Emilee, Emiley, Emilie (used in French, Czech, German, and Scandinavian too), Emillie, Emilly, Emmelie, and Emylee.
Forms used in foreign languages include Aemilia (Italian), Aimil (Scottish), Amelie (French), Amilia (German), Amilie (German), Amma (German), Eimile (Irish), Emalia (Hawaiian), Emele (Hawaiian), Emelie (Scandinavian), Emelinda (Teutonic), Emeline (French), Emilia (Finnish, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Scandinavian, and Spanish), Emiliia (Slavic), Emilija (Latvian, Lithuanian, and Slavic), Emilita (Spanish), Emiliya (Slavic), Emilka (Czech), Emília (Portuguese and Slavic), Emílie (Czech), Emmaline (French), Émilie (French), Mema (Spanish), Mile (German), Milka (Czech), Neneca (Spanish), and Nuela (Spanish). The spelling variant Emili (Hawaiian) is another foreign form.
See also the related form, the name Emilse.
Emily is very popular as a baby girl name. The name increased in popularity from the 1960s up to the 1990s. Its usage peaked in 1999 with 1.365% of baby girls being named Emily. It was #1 in rank then. The baby name has experienced a decline in frequency since then. In 2016, it ranked at #9 with a usage of 0.569%, but it was nevertheless the 2nd most popular after Emma, among all girl names in its family. It was 78% more popular than Emily in 2016. Emily has primarily been a baby girl name in the last century.
Baby names that sound like Emily include Emele, Emilee, Emiley, Emili, Emilie, Emalee, Emali, Emaly, Emanuelle, Emelee, Emeli, Emelie, Emellie, Emelly, Emely, Emilei, Emilia, Emillie, Emilly, and Emilou.
† Pronunciation for Emily: EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; M as in "me (M.IY)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)"
Details of famous persons named Emily:
Actress Emily Watson, born 14 January 1967, Islington, London, England.
Actress Emily Lloyd, born Emily Lloyd Pack 29 September 1970, London, England.
Author Emily Bronte, born 30 July 1818 - 19 December 1848, Yorkshire, England.
Author Emily Post, born Emily Price 27 October 1872 - 25 September 1960, Baltimore, Maryland.
Country Musician Emily Robison, born 16 August 1972, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Poet Emily Dickinson, born 10 December 1830 - 15 May 1886, Amherst, Massachusetts.