Unless they change it later on in life, the name you choose when your little one is born will stick with them forever. But a popular name today might be the "Karen" of tomorrow, so it's important to choose wisely. This list of baby names if you like Emma has tons of inspiration if you're on the fence about using the super popular moniker.
Emma currently sits in the No. 2 spot on Baby Center's list of
most popular baby names in 2021, which is no surprise considering that the name has graced the site's top 10 list for the past 19 years straight. (Since 2002, you guys!) Emma has been the most popular name for baby girls in the United States six out of the last 13 years, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), with a five-year hot streak at number one from 2014 to 2018.
The fact that it's such a popular baby name means that if you decide to name your baby Emma, it's likely that she will wind up with at least one — if not three or four — other Emmas in her kindergarten class. When you're 5 years old, this might not be the worst, but having to go by Emma Insert-Last-Initial-Here for all of grade school does eventually wear on a kid. (As a 1990s Ashley, I know these things.) Take a look at this list to see if any other baby name sparks joy in your Emma-loving heart.
Whether you prefer Stone, Watson, or Roberts, there's no denying that the name Emma just
screams Hollywood starlet. So, if you love the baby name Emma for its star power, another Hollywood-inspired name might be just what you're looking for. Perhaps sharing a moniker with the iconic Audrey Hepburn is exactly what your baby needs. 2 Anna
If you're looking for a name that sounds similar to Emma, Anna is a short, four-letter, two-syllable name that starts and ends with vowel sounds. The
baby name Anna means "gracious" in Hebrew. It's not nearly as popular as Emma and was ranked the 63rd most popular girl baby name in 2019 by the SSA. 3 Emily
Emily sounds very much like Emma, just with an "-ly" at the end.
Emily means "rival" in Latin, so it stands to reason that this similar baby name is an appropriate choice if you're looking for something to win out over the name Emma in your very own baby name showdown. 4 Ella
When my aunt was pregnant back in 2004, she and my uncle debated for almost her entire pregnancy about whether they would name their daughter Ella or Emma. My cousin ended up being Ella, which is still a pretty popular name, but the double "l" definitely rolls off the tongue a bit easier. (She's also the sweetest teenager I know, so the name Ella might be worth a second glance.)
Hear me out on this one — Emma was the name of Ross and Rachel's baby on the TV show
Friends back in 2002. So if you like Emma, maybe Rachel gives you similar feels. Although Emma is currently still a ridiculously popular name, Rachel is less so, ranked the 191st most popular baby name by the SSA. 6 Emme Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Changing one letter in a name can change the entire meaning, so if you like Emma, try changing the last letter to an "e" and see how the name Emme sounds. The English
baby name Emme means "jewel" or "gem," so although it is admittedly very similar, it's definitely a sparkling alternative to the name Emma. 7 Esme
Short and sweet in a way similar to the name Emma, the French
baby name Esme means "esteemed" and "beloved." Esme has gained popularity as an American baby name over the last decade, jumping from a ranking of 924 in 2010 to 433 in 2019, according to the SSA. 8 Ida
The baby name Ida has two syllables and ends in a vowel sound like Emma. Also like Emma, Ida is one of those timelessly classic names that just has so much charm and elegance.
Ida means "prosperous," so it's definitely a name filled with hope for the future of your baby. 9 Emery
Emery is a great gender-neutral name choice if you love the baby name Emma, but want something that could work for any child, regardless of gender. The
name Emery is of German origin and means "industrious." Because Emery and Emma have a similar sound, Emma could actually work as a nickname for a child named Emery if you just can't choose between the two names. 10 Gemma
Technically, the baby name Gemma has the name Emma in it, so really it's about as close as you can get to Emma without actually being Emma. Gemma means
"jewel" in Latin and "precious stone" in Italian, so if you want a baby name with some sparkle behind it, Gemma might just be what you're looking for. 11 Emmalyn
Adding an "-lyn" to the end of a short name is one way to change a baby name you love without losing it completely. Emmalyn is like Emma, but also
not Emma. It's also not as popular as the baby name Emma, as Emmalyn was ranked 571 in 2019 by the SSA. 12 Mila
Similar to Emma's short, sassy appeal, the
baby name Mila means "dear one" in Russian and is Slavic for "industrious." The name also has some Emma-like star power thanks to actress Mila Kunis. While I can't guarantee that if you name your child Mila, she will turn out to be a hilarious, hard-working actor, it might be worth a try. 13 Olivia eli_asenova/E+/Getty Images
If the baby name Emma appeals to you, Olivia is a similar baby name that has been almost as popular as Emma has been over the past two decades. Olivia has made an appearance in the SSA's top 10
baby girl names since 2001, and like Emma, it seems as if this baby name has some staying power. 14 Hannah
Although Hannah is definitely longer, it has two syllables and ends with the same vowel sound as the baby name Emma. Hannah is Hebrew for "favor" or "grace of God." It also has
biblical roots, as Hannah was the name of Samuel's mother in the Bible, according to Baby Center. 15 Ava
Like Emma, Ava is a classic name that offers plenty of feminine appeal.
Ava means "life" in Hebrew and is about as short and sweet of a baby name as you could possibly pick. Also like Emma, Ava has topped the popularity charts in recent decades, ranking in the SSA's top 10 most popular baby girl names since 2005. 16 Mia
Mia is often used as a shortened version of the baby name Maria. Like Emma, Mia is a short, easy-to-pronounce baby name that ends in an a. Of Latin origin,
Mia means "mine" or "wished-for child," so it's a very sweet way to lay claim to the precious baby you created. 17 Sophia
If you don't actually want a popular name, Sophia might not make your list (it was Baby Center's
most popular name for 2020), but if you're just looking for something similar to Emma, this could be a winner. Sophia means wisdom, so it's the perfect choice for parents looking for a particularly astute name choice. 18 Erma
The name Emma means "whole," so if you're looking for a baby name with a similar meaning, Erma is one to consider. Like Emma, the
baby name Erma is also of German origin, according to Mom Junction, and means "complete." However, the name can also be attributed to the Latin name Irma. 19 Chloe
Another feminine name choice that gives off similar vibes to the name Emma is Chloe. (Or Khloe, if you're a Kardashian.)
Chloe means "green shoot" or "blooming" in Greek, so the name definitely evokes feelings of new life, birth, and growth. Although the name is fairly popular, it hasn't ranked in the SSA's top 10 baby girl names since 2011. 20 Maya
baby name Maya has roots in several languages, including Latin and Hindi, according to Baby Center. In Latin, Maya means "great" or "larger," but in Sanskrit, it means "illusion." Maya is also a derivative of the English name May. Similar to Emma, the name Maya evokes a particularly poetic feel, thanks to the famous writer Maya Angelou. 21 Ada
If you love the name Emma, but want something a little less common, the short and sweet name Ada has a similar sound and a beautiful meaning. The
baby name Ada is of German origin and means “noble” or “nobility.” In 2020, it was the 184th most popular baby girl name in the U.S., per the SSA. 22 Sarah Sarah is a Hebrew name with biblical roots and means “princess.” The name is fairly common, but not nearly as popular as the name Emma is these days. You could also drop the “h” to make it Sara, which looks even more similar to the name Emma. 23 Amelia
Another popular choice that often rivals Emma on the baby name charts is the
baby name Amelia. While Emma ranked second among baby girls born in the U.S. in 2020, Amelia came in sixth, according to the SSA. The name means “industrious” and it has an ending sound that is very similar to the baby name Emma. 24 Cora
One of my dear friends recently named her baby girl Cora, which means “heart,” and it is just the most adorable moniker for a cuddly newborn. With two syllables and an “a” at the end, Cora is very similar in sound and length to the baby name Emma.
baby name Willa is strong, but still decidedly feminine, much like Emma. It is of German origin and means “resolute protection,” and is not nearly as popular as Emma. Alternatively, Willow is another beautiful baby name option that is similar to Willa if you want something without an “a” at the end. 26 Luna
Luna is one of the
most popular baby names of 2021 so far, but if you’re not put off by its star power, it’s a beautiful choice for your new baby that’s similar to Emma. Luna means “moon” and has recently been used by celebrity couple Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend for their baby girl born in 2016. 27 Bella
baby name Bella means “beautiful” in Latin. Personally, I love the connection to the iconic Twilight character Bella Swan, but even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, Bella is still a lovely name that’s similar in style to the baby name Emma. 28 Grace
If you’re looking for a baby name like Emma that is short, but meaningful, it doesn’t get much better than Grace. The
name Grace is of Latin origin, with roots in Greek mythology, and it means “favor or blessing,” according to The Bump. Since 2000, the name has remained firmly within the top 30 baby girl names in the U.S., according to the SSA. 29 Jane
baby name Jane means “God is gracious.” Though it is a rather common name (Jane Fonda and Jane Austen both come to mind), it is not nearly as popular as the baby name Emma. Jane currently ranks 265th on the SSA’s list of most popular baby girl names for 2020. 30 Nora VioletaStoimenova/E+/Getty Images
Much like Emma, Nora is a short, two-syllable baby name that just rolls right off the tongue. Although it may sound like an old-fashioned choice, the name is surprisingly popular. It’s been ranked in the top 50 baby names by the SSA since 2014, and was the 30th
most popular name for girls born in 2020. 31 Stella
I may be partial to the name Stella because it was my late grandmother’s first name, but like the name Ella, it is pretty similar in nature to Emma. The Latin name means “star” and is a
popular celebrity baby name choice, according to Nameberry, with stars like Ellen Pompeo, Tori Spelling, Molly Shannon, and Dave Matthews using the name for their daughters. 32 Anne
baby name Anne is of Hebrew origin and means “full of grace,” according to Baby Center. Like the name Emma, Anne has a pair of matching consonants wedged between two vowels, but unlike Emma, Anne is only one syllable and starts with an “A” instead of ending with one. 33 Claire
Claire is one of those iconic feminine names like Emma that continues to gain traction and popularity year after year. The
baby name Claire is the French version of Clara and means “bright, clear.” To make the name a bit more unique, you could drop the ending “e” or leave out the “i” in the middle to make it Clare. 34 Julia
The feminine form of the Roman name Julius, the
baby name Julia has Latin roots and means “youthful.” Much like how the baby name Emma could be short for Emily or Emmalyn, Julia can be shortened to Jules or Julie, or used as a nickname for Julianna.
This article was originally published on
Dec. 30, 2020