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Emma (f) The Top Girl's Name for 2003. This was originally a short form of such Germanic names as Irmgard, itself from Irmingard. The first element in such names meant ‘all embracing.’ In the nineteenth century Emma was very popular in England and Wales, less so in Scotland. It returned to force fairly recently, its renewed popularity apparently coinciding with the television series called The Avengers, featuring a character called Emma Peel. Jane Austen’s novel Emma (1816) is often used in English classes at school.

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