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Emily - The Meaning, Origin And Other Facts About The Name

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

National Board of Review

The name Emily comes from the Latin family name Aemilia. Several meanings of the name have been suggested, most commonly 'rival' from the Latin 'aemulus'.

Emily became popular in the UK during the 18th century, when the German Hanover family came to the throne. George II and George III both had daughters named Amelia who were commonly referred to as Emily because Amelia was an unknown name in England at the time (even though the two names are not related).

Since the 1800s, the name has remained a favourite for baby girls in the UK.

Famous people called Emily:

Emily Brontë, English author of Wuthering Heights

Emily Blunt, British actress

Emma Stone, American actress

Emily Davison, English suffragette

Emily Dickinson, American poet

Can be shortened to:

Em, Emma, Emmy, Millie

Surnames to avoid with Emily:

Surnames beginning with an 'Li' or 'Ly' sound, ie. Linford or Lyman, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.

Similar names:

Foreign variants include Émilie (French), Emilia (Italian/Spanish), Emel (Turkish) and Aimiliona (Irish).

Similar English names include Amelia, Emilia, Emma, Lily and Amy.

Male variations:

Masculine variations of Emily include Emil, Emile, Emmet and Emery.

Celebrities who named their baby Emily:

Chevy Chase

Gloria Estefan

Dianne Wiest

John McEnroe

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