Gender: Feminine
Meaning: “emerald.”

The base name is the Greek Smaragda which is a feminine form of Smaragdos Σμάραγδος meaning, “emerald.” Its masculine and feminine forms were most likely used in the Pre-Christian Hellene world but were later popularized across Christian Europe in the vernacular forms we know today as Emerald, Esmeralda & Smeralda due to the cult of a 3rd-century Greek martyr and saint of the same name, as well as it’s associations with St. John the Apostle.

Contrary to popular belief, gemstone names have been in use as traditional female given name since at least the 12th-century. The old French form of Esmeraude is recorded in 13th-century France. Though unusual these days in French-speaking countries, Émeraude is a legitimate French feminine given name which has been in out of use since Medieval times.

Esméralda is currently borne by Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium (b. 1956).

It’s Spanish and Portuguese form of Esmeralda was used by Victor Hugo as the name of one of the key characters in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831), which inspired several Ballets of the same name.

The gemstone itself is the birthstone of May. It is also the name of a genus of orchid.

Currently, Esmeralda is the 379th most popular female name in the United States, (2019), it peaked in popularity in 1998 when it was the 133rd most popular female name in the United States.

Emerald recently entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2019, coming in at #968. It has been in and out of the U.S. Top 1000 since 1991.

It’s Turkish form of Zümra is currently the 19th most popular female name in Turkey.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Zümrüd (Azeri)
  • Smaragda (Belarusian/Bosnian/Bulgarian/Croatian/Greek/Lithuanian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Maragda (Catalan)
  • Esmeralda (Czech/English/Icelandic/Ladino/Latvian/Polish/Swedish)
  • Smeraldina (Czech)
  • Émeraude (French)
  • Esmeralde (Old French)
  • Esmeraude (Old French)
  • Eszmeralda (Hungarian)
  • Smeralda (Italian)
  • Emerauda (Late Latin)
  • Smaralda (Romanian)
  • Zümrüt (Turkish)

Diminutives include:

  • Esminka (Czech)
  • Mera (Czech)
  • Esme (English)
  • Essie (English)

Masculine forms include:

  • Smaragdos Σμάραγδος (Greek)
  • Esmeraldo (Italian)
  • Smeraldo (Italian)
  • Smaragdus (Latin)
  • Smaragds (Latvian)
  • Smaragdas (Lithuanian)
  • Szmaragd (Polish)

1 thought on “Esmeralda

  1. I was almost named Esmeralda, but I am happy I didn´t get the name. It´s to frilly for me. Esmeralda was quite popular in Bosnia. A relative is called so, but she always goes by her nickname Esma.

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