There seems to be agreement about Emma being of Teutonic origin.
Total consensus is lacking on the meaning, but most people seem to
favour universal or related meanings, deriving from the Old German
word irmin or ermin. Apart from the opinion on the first web
site listed below, Emily is considered to have a separate derivation
from Emma, and has the meaning industrious. Other variants relate
to one or other name, although Em, Emmy, Emmie are used as pet names
Emma signifies "the deserving", "the worthy" and "the diligent". Emma
has been used in Sweden since 1766 and it's originally from Germany.
Emma is a contraction for Emilia.
A web site on Swedish names available only in Googles cache
However, most others have Emilia/Emily as a separate name with a
Emma is derived from an Old German word "irmin" meaning "universal" It
came to Britain with the Norman invasion and is recorded in Scotland
in the 12th century. Perhaps the most famous bearer of the name was
Lady Emma Hamilton, Admiral Lord Nelson's mistress.
Derived from Aemilius, a Roman clan.
Popular Scottish forenames
And according to the BBC web site:
Emma(Teutonic)='One who heals the universe'. [I like that one!]
A site on Lithuanian names has:
EMELINA: ( f ) Lithuanian form of Emma, "whole" or "universal"
EMILIA: ( f ) Polish feminine form of Emil, "industrious" (Latin) or
EMILIJA : ( f ) Polish feminine form of Emil, "industrious" (Latin) or
EMELIN, EMILIE: hard-working
The Name Machine says:
Emma has been a popular name for girls throughout the century, though
there was a period of decline leading up to the 1970s. Since then,
Emma has seen a considerable increase in popularity as a name for
women. In the 1900s Emma saw some popularity as a name for men, but
the trend didn't last.
and gives the meaning as: Origin: Teutonic Meaning: Ancestress
It gives variants of Emmie and Emmy
Emma, a 2-syllable girl's name of Teutonic origin, means: Universal;
nurse; ancestress.The ethnic backgrounds of Emma include , Italian ,
Swedish , English/Welsh , French , Hispanic . Entertainers with this
name include , Emma Samms (Movies) , Emma Thompson (Stage) .
Nicknames for Emma are , Em , Emie , Emmalyn , Emmalynn , Emmalynne ,
Emmeline , Emmi , Emmie , Emmy , Emmye
Other names associated with Emma are , Ema , Emelina , Emeline ,
Emelyne , Emmaline
Ema, a 2-syllable girl's name of Teutonic origin, means: Ancestress;
Emelina, a 4-syllable girl's name of Teutonic origin, means: Busy;
Emeline, a 3-syllable girl's name of Teutonic origin, means:
Nicknames for Emeline are , Em , Emmeline , Emmy
Emelyne, a 3-syllable girl's name of Teutonic origin, means:
Emmaline, a 3-syllable girl's name of Teutonic/French origin, means:
Universal; nurse; ancestress.
[A certain lack of consistency here!]
Following up the Irmin trail: According to Encyclopedia Mythica,
Irmin was The ancient Teutonic god of war. He was worshipped by the
Herminones in the shape of a pillar, called Irminsul ("the Column of
the World") or Hermensul, near Detmold. After each victory sacrifices
were made to him. During the Christianization, Charlemagne had these
columns destroyed (in 772 CE).
and searching on Irmin also gave:
IRMA: Old German for "whole." Relatives: Irmin, Erman, Ermingarde,
[but Emma is not included as a related name here!]
Although ParentSoup also has:
EMILINE: Old German for "labor." Sweet and old-fashioned; more popular
overseas than in the United States. Relatives: Emmeline, Emaline,
Emmaline, Emyln, Emelyn, Emylin, Emiline, Emmiline, Emmilyne.
EMILY: From the Latin for "eager." A traditional name with a lovely
musical sound. Relatives: Emilie, Emmilie, Emmily, Emil, Em, Emilia,
Emilio, Emile, Emaline, Emeline, Emmaline. Namesakes: Emily Dickinson,
EMMA: Old German for "all-embracing." Fashionable in the late
nineteenth century and back again. Relatives: Emmie, Emmy, Em, Emmot,
Emmott. Namesakes: Emma Samms, Emmylou Harris, Lady Emma Hamilton,
And the Staffordshire-L list at Rootweb has:
Emma: (f) Old German 'ermin' (all-embracing), an element in names
such as Irmgard. A royal name in England when Emma was queen to
Ethelred the Unready, and later to King Canute. Its use in the Middle
Ages, when it was commonly found, led to surnames such as EMMET,
EMMOT. These in turn were used as first names in the 17th c. Emma
was certainly being used in the 18th c., when it was borne by the
notorious Emma HAMILTON (born Emy LYON, 1765-1815) the beautiful
mistress of Lord NELSON and others. It was also the name of the
heroine in Jane AUSTEN's 'Emma' in 1816.
[Note the form Emy here]
The Behind the Name site has:
EM f English Short form of EMILY
EMELIE f Swedish Swedish of EMILY
EMELINA f English, Spanish Feminine form of EMIL
EMELINE f French Feminine form of EMIL
EMELY f English Variant of EMILY
EMIL m German, Scandinavian, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian
From the Roman family name Aemilius, which was derived from Latin
aemulus meaning "rival".
ÉMILE m French French form of Aemilius (see EMIL). EMILEE f
Variant of EMILY
EMILIA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian Feminine form of
Aemilius (see EMIL).
EMILIAN m From the Roman family name Aemilianus, which was itself
derived from the family name Aemilius (see EMIL).
EMILIANA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese Feminine form of EMILIAN
ÉMILIE f French French form of EMILY
EMILIE f German German form of EMILY
EMILY f English Pronounced: EM-i-lee
Medieval feminine form of Aemilius (see EMIL). The British writer
Emily Bronte, author of 'Wuthering Heights', and the American poet
Emily Dickinson are two famous bearers of this name.
EMMA f English, French, Italian Means "whole" or "universal"
from Germanic ermen. This was the name of the mother of Edward the
Confessor. This is also the name of the central character in Jane
Austen's novel 'Emma'.
EMMALINE f English Variant of EMMELINE
EMMELINE f English Medieval pet form of EMMA
EMMET m English From a surname that was derived from the feminine
first name EMMA
EMMETT m English Variant of EMMET
EMMIE f English Pet form of EMMA or EMILY
EMMY f English Pet form of EMMA or EMILY
The 1911 Britannica has another variant: Imma
Einhard married Emma, or Imma, a sister of Bernharius, bishop of
Worms, and a tradition of the 12th century represented this lady as a
daughter of Charlemagne, and invented a romantic story with regard to
the courtship which deserves to be noticed as it frequently appears in
literature. Einhard is said to have visited the emperors daughter
regularly and secretly, and on one occasion a fall of snow made it
impossible for him to walk away without leaving footprints, which
would lead to his detection. This risk, however, was obviated by the
foresight of Emma, who carried her lover across the courtyard of the
palace; a scene which was witnessed by Charlemagne, who next morning
narrated the occurrence to his counsellors, and asked for their
advice. Very severe punishments were suggested for the clandestine
lover, but the emperor rewarded the devotion of the pair by consenting
to their marriage. This story is, of course, improbable, and is
further discredited by the fact that Einhard does not mention Emma
among the number of Charlemagnes children.
Entry for Einhard (c. 770840), the friend and biographer of
Search strategy: Emma combined with the following (in separate
searches): origins, means, meaning, originates, first recorded
I hope that this satisfies your curiosity about the name Emma.
However, please do request further clarification, if you feel I can