Emmeline, Emeline

Gender: Feminine
Origin: French
Eng (EM-me-Line; Em-me-LEEN; EM-me-LIN); Fre (ey-meh-LEEN)

The name was originally a diminutive form of the Germanic, Amelia, but has been used as an independent given name since the Middle Ages. It was introduced into England via the Normans and she has had plenty of usage among English-speakers since.

In the English-speaking world, she has appeared as Emaline, Emmaline, Emmeline and Emoline.

Its French form of Emeline seems to have been most common in Maine and New France, appearing in the Census records as early as the 1860s. The highest she ever ranked was in 1886 coming in as the 476th most popular female name in the United States, while Emmaline was at one time the 449th most popular female name back in 1880.

As of 2010, Émeline was the 190th most popular female name in France.

Emmeline is the eponymous heroine of two novels, the modern classic, Emmeline by Judith Rossner (1980) brings to life a legendary figure in Maine lore. It is a modern story of Oedipidus, recounting the tragic tale of a girl named Emmeline who gives birth to an illegitimate child in her teens, gives him away, and ends up unwittingly falling in love and marrying him many years later. An opera of the same name by Tobias Picker was based on the novel.

Emmeline is the name of another eponymous heroin, the first novel written by Charlotte Turner Smith. Emmeline, The Orphan of the Castle (18th-century) is a contemporary take on the Cinderalla story set in 18th-century England.

The name also appears in the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as the names of minor characters.

Recently, Emaline was the subject of a Ben Folds’ song.

Notable bearers include:

  • St. Emeline, a 10th-century French saint, nun and hermit.
  • Lady Emmeline Stuart-Wortley (1806-1855) a British poet.
  • Emmeline B. Wells (1828-1921), an American suffragette and diarist, it should be noted that her mother had quite an interesting name, Deiadema.
  • Emeline Piggott (1836-1919) was a famous Confederate spy from North Carolina.
  • Emeline Roberts Jones (circ. 19th-century) was the first woman ever to have practiced dentistry in the United States.
  • Emmeline Pankhurst (1859-1928), leader of the British Suffragette movement.
  • Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Baroness Pethick-Lawrence (1867-1958) another British womens’ rights activist.
  • Emmeline Lott, an 18th-century British author who wrote of her life as a nanny in the Middle East.
  • Emeline Meaker (d.1883) was the first woman ever to have been tried and executed in Vermont, for the murder of her husband.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Amelina (Old High German)
  • Emeline (English)
  • Emmeline (English)
  • Émeline (French)
  • Emelina (Spanish)

Amalia, Amelia

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Germanic
Meaning: “work.”
(uh-MAHL-yah); (uh-MAHL-ee-ah); (uh-MEE-lee-yah).

Amalia, the pretty, edgy name with the stern meaning, comes from the ancient Germanic word amal, meaning “to work.” However, the name has also been linked to the Greek word amalos, meaning “soft.”

Throughout the centuries, the name has been borne by German nobility and royalty alike. Its more favored form of Amelia was introduced to the English-speaking world when the German Hanover line married into the British royal family in the 18th-century. It was borne by the daughters of George II and III of England.

The name was also borne by Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Amàlia (Catalan)
  • Amálie (Czech/Slovak)
  • Amelie (Danish/Finnish/German/Norwegian)
  • Amalia (Dutch/Estonian/Finnish/Galician/German/Greek/Italian/Polish/Spanish/Romanian/Romansch)
  • Amelia (Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/German/Polish/Spanish. Polish diminutive forms are Amelcia, Amelka, Mela, Melcia and Melcia)
  • Amaali (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Amalja (Faroese)
  • Malja (Faroese)
  • Malla (Faroese/Norwegian/Swedish: obscure)
  • Amaalia/Amaliia/Amali/Amu (Finnish)
  • Amakka (Finnish)
  • Amalkka (Finnish)
  • Maali/Maalia (Finnish)
  • Amélie (French)
  • Amke (Frisian)
  • Amalie (German/Scandinavian)
  • Amely (German)
  • Amália/Amál (Hungarian)
  • Amélia (Hungarian/Portuguese/Slovak)
  • Amalía /Amelía (Icelandic)
  • Amālija/Amēlija (Latvian)
  • Amalija (Lithuanian/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Amelija (Lithuanian)
  • Amália (Portuguese)
  • Amelita (Spanish: initially a diminutive form, occassionally used as an independent given name)
  • Amaliya (Russian)
  • Ameliya/Hamaliya (Ukrainian)

In recent years Amelia has spiked in popularity coming in as the 41st most popular female name in the United States,(2010). Amelie, which did not even appeared in the Social Security List before 2001, currently comes in at # 681st most popular female name, (2010). Amelia and her various forms’ rankings in other countries are as follows:


  • # 5 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 6 (Poland, 2009)
  • # 8 (Poland, Warsaw, 2010)
  • # 12 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 13 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 18 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 34 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 43 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 132 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 200 (France, 2009)
  • # 25 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 32 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 34 (German-speaking, Switerland, 2010)
  • # 55 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 69 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 80 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 111 (France, 2009)
  • # 297 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 11 (Amalie, Norway, 2010)
  • # 27 (Amalie, Denmark, 2010)
  • # 42 (Amalia, Romania, 2009)

Amalia does not figure in America’s top 1000. With the spotlight of Malia Obama, and the increasingly popularity of its Amelia counterpart, this name might be a potential hit within the next few years.

Possible nickname options include Amy, Mia, Lia, Mali, Malia and Molly.

There is a Scandinavian masculine form: Melius.

(Upper left, Amalie Auguste of Bavaria).


The name could be of several different meanings and origins, but its most popular usage is from the Northern Germanic diminutive form of Maria.

In the English-speaking world, the name was introduced via actress, Mia Farrow (b.1945) whose full name is Maria de Lourdes. The name did not even appear in the U.S. top 1000 the year Mia Farrow was born, but started to rise in popularity in the late 1990s. Currently, Mia is the 10th most popular female name in the United States, (2010) and her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 2 (German-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 2 (Romansch-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 3 (Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 4 (Isle of Man, 2009)
  • # 4 (Liechtenstein, 2010)
  • # 5 (Luxembourg, 2010)
  • # 6 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 7 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 13 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 15 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 15 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 16 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 17 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 18 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 20 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 25 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 27 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 37 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 38 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 49 (Denmark, 2010)
  • # 40 (French-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 40 (Italian-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 206 (France, 2009)
  • # 221 (Netherlands, 2010)

In the case of its usage in Southern Slavic countries, it is most likely derived from a diminutive form of any Slavic name containing the mio element, meaning “dear.”

In English-speaking countries, it was often used as a diminutive form of Amelia, Emilia and Hermione.

In Romansch, it was originally used as a diminutive form of Anna Maria.

Coincidentally, mia is also the feminine Italian and Spanish pronoun meaning “mine”, but the name was originally never used in reference to the pronoun.