Thursday, February 2, 2012


emmeline pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline is all the rage right now online, popular with pretty much everyone, and it is easy to see why. It is familiar like Emma and Emily, currently two of the most popular names, and Emmeline is a little unique, mysterious and alluring, and rare enough that you think you've heard it before, but haven't. In fact, in 2010 there were 140 baby girls named Emmeline. It was also popular in medieval times.

Other variants and names that are very similar are as follows: 13 Emalina, 40 Emaline, 117 Emalyn, 6 Emalyne, 40 Emalynn, 36 Emelin, 35 Emelina, 75 Emeline, 98 Emelyn, 5 Emelyne, 9 Emelynn, 11 Emilene, 10 Emilina, 10 Emiline, 73 Emilyn, 5 Emmalena, 15 Emmalene, 75 Emmalin, 76 Emmalina, 203 Emmaline, 370 Emmalyn, 14 Emmalyne, 215 Emmalynn, 19 Emmalynne, 6 Emmelin, 13 Emmelina, 140 Emmeline, 21 Emmelyn.

It is hard to tell if the names listed above are true variants of Emmeline or if they are variations of Emma or Emily. All of these versions considered, I would not call Emmeline "rare" anymore.

Emmeline is Old French from Old German, Ameline from Amal, meaning "(to) work," "industrious," or "hard worker." It is from the same root as Amelia. However, as a variant of Emma it means "whole, entire, universal." Both the em-eh-leen and em-eh-line pronunciations are correct, although the em-eh-leen version is more prevalent and also more accurate. Variant spellings include Emeline, Emelina, Emmelina, Emmelyn, Emmalyn, Emmaline and Emaline. Nicknames can include Em, Emmy, Emma, Mellie, Millie, Lina, Linny, Elle, Ellie, and Ella.

The most famous namesakes are Christian Bale's daughter and Emmeline Pankhurst, women's suffrage activist (whose daughter Christabel was also into women's rights). The name is also featured in a couple of songs, "Huckleberry Finn," a character in the Harry Potter series, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," the name of the girl in The Blue Lagoon, an opera, ballad of "The Child of Elle," Emmeline B. Wells, and a poem called "Before Tea" by A.A. Milne, the movie Anne of Avonlea, and more. It is more popular than you think!

1 comment: