Jane Austen used the name Emma Woodhouse as the title character of her popular novel from 1815. Perhaps because of that book, the name actually peaked in the 1800s as one of the most popular girls names in the world. Thanks to the trend of using old school names in the new millennium, Emma saw a big comeback after some very low numbers in the 1970s. It didn't hurt its popularity that Ross and Rachel from "Friends" also named their little girl Emma. In 2011, it was the third most popular girl's name in the United States. Even though you may simply be enchanted by the simplicity of the name, you might be interested to know that it means "all-embracing" in German.