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The first name 

Emily is a first name typically given to girls, but in rare cases also used as a boys name.

Emily is a very popular name!

In the US, Emily is one of the most popular names ever. In the SmartGenius ranking recently, it has regularly been among the top 10 most common girls names and is currently in place 10. In fact, one out auf 300 girls under the age of 10 is named Emily. In total, there are currently 859,611 people – children, adults and seniors – named Emily living in the United States, which is approximately 0.26 % of the entire population.

You won't believe all there is 
to discover about the name

What does the name 
Emily mean?

The first name Emily means ‘the ambitious’ or also ‘the eager’. This meaning is derived from the Latin word ‘aemulus’, which means ‘rival, competitor’.

Who is ambitious? Ambitious people strive particularly hard for success in life. They are considered to be particularly hardworking.

There are many famous people called Emily

A comic character

Emily the Strange
The character represents a 13-year-old gothic girl with pessimistic and maladjusted worldview. Especially in the gloomy and rockabilly scene she is a popular character.

A writer

Emily Nasrallah (1931 - 2018))
A Lebanese writer, her works focus on the Lebanese Civil War and women's emancipation. In 2017, she was awarded the Goethe Medal, and in February 2018, she received the Cedar Medal of Honor, Commander Rank from the President of Lebanon.

An artist

Emily Carr (1871 - 1945)
Canadian painter and writer, she was influenced by the Native American cultures of Canada and was closely associated with the "Group of Seven", a landscape painters association of Canada - she was considered the "Mother of Modern Art".

A child prodigy

Emily Bear (*2001)
The young U.S. pianist, composer, songwriter and singer performed as a child prodigy on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2007 and under George W. Bush at the White House in 2008. She has already received several Young Composer Jazz Awards for her music.

A poet

Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Her poems were not published until four years after her death and were considered avant-garde - she is one of the most important American poets.

A radiator figure

Spirit of Ecstasy…
is the name given to the radiator mascot that has adorned Rolls-Royce's water cooler cap since 1911. In Germany, it is also commonly called "Emily".

Go on a journey to places 
with your name

When you hear the name Emily, you might first think of a woman or a girl. But did you know that there are also places with the name Emily? Are you also called Emily? Maybe one day you will visit the places that are named just like you...

A lake

In the US state of Wisconsin there is a lake called Lake Emily.

There is a place...

named Emily in the state of Minnesota.

A mountain

In Antarctica, a rocky peak bears the name Emily - it was named after the explorer's wife, Emily Dawson-Lambton Shackleton.

A municipality

In what is now Kawartha Lakes, Ontario was once home to the Township of Emily. At the same place you can now find Emily Provincial Park.

Emily -
a number 1 name of this millennium!

12 - this is the number of times that the first name Emily has entered the top position, i.e. rank 1, of the most popular first names for girls in the USA. The last time was not so long ago, in the year 2007, when 19,385 newborn girls were given this beautiful name. And even when it wasn't on top in the past, it has been given by new parents to their daughters every year since first name statistics began in 1880, putting it in the exclusive circle of only 432 first names for girls that are given at least 5 times a year in the USA. This makes Emily one of the timeless classics among first names that have truly become part of the American identity.

In years where the graph has no value, the name Emily was given less than five times or even none at all in the entire USA.

2022: Position 17 for the first name Emily

In 2022, the first name Emily was given 6,461 times to newborn girls, ranking it #17. The name was given least in the year 1962, where it ranked #264 - but even then 1,079 of newborn girls were given this first name.

Emily -
especially popular in Nevada

Emily is one of the most common names in the U.S. – in all states combined, 859,337 women would currently turn around if you called out EMILY really loud. Across all states and age groups, this lands Emily on position 18 in our SmartGenius ranking of the top female names – of course, the current popularity as a baby name for newborns looks somewhat different, as you can see from the statistics above. With so many women named Emily, it’s no surprise that the name is widely used in every single state in the U.S., but would you have guessed that it’s especially popular in Nevada? Here, 0,995% of all female residents bear the name Emily – that is a total of 4,443 women with this popular name and no other state has as many women named Emily relative to its population. But that’s not all the popularity: in Nevada Emily belongs to the top 10 of all womens names – the 4,443 elevate their name up to place #4 in the SmartGenius ranking of the most common female names for Nevada.

Emily has 5 letters 
and begins with an E

Well, you might say, you probably figured that out yourself! But what you might not know is: The letter E is neither particularly common nor particularly rare as a first letter for girls' names: 3.9% of all common girls' names in the US begin with this letter. The most common first letters of girls' names, by the way, are A, S and M, while U, X and Q are the least common initials of girls' names.

With five letters, the name Emily is comparatively short. In fact, 17.0% of all common first names in the US consist of exactly five letters. Only 7% of all first names are even shorter, while 75% have more than five letters. On average, first names in the US (not counting hyphenated names) are 6.5 letters long. There are no significant differences between boys' and girls' names.

That means that with 3.9%, E as the first letter in girls' names is almost as common as all 26 letters on average - and of all the girls' names that start with an E, Elizabeth is the most common.

Other names with 
E, m, i, l and y

If you take all the letters in the name Emily – E, m, i, l and y – and put them together again, you can form other names, such as Eimly or others.

With hands, flags and sounds 
How to say Emily

If your name is Emily and someone asks after your name, you can of course just tell them what it is. But sometimes that isn't so easy - what if it's too loud, and you don't understand them well? Or what if the other person is so far away that you can see them but not hear them? In these situations, you can communicate your name in so many other ways: you call spell it, sign it, or even use a flag to wave it...

This is how you spell the name Emily

So that everyone really understands you when you have to spell the name Emily, you can simply say:






This is how the name Emily is spelled in the NATO phonetic alphabet

The NATO alphabet often helps people spell words on the phone or radio when there are communication problems.

How do you write Emily in Braille?

Braille is made up of dots, which the blind and visually impaired can feel to read words.



You want to tell a deaf person that your name is Emily

Just use American Sign Language!

The name Emily is particularly colorful in the Semaphore flag signaling system!

These flags are used for maritime communication - each flag represents a letter.


Have you ever waved the name Emily

In the navy, sailors of two ships might wave flags to each other to send messages. A sailor holds two flags in specific positions to represent different letters.


Beeping like crazy...

In Morse code, letters and other characters are represented only by a series of short and long tones. For example, a short tone followed by a long tone stands for the letter A. Emily sounds like this: