Classic girl baby names: About the name Emmeline

Classic girl baby names: About the name Emmeline

This article is reprinted from a series on names originally published in the year 1921, and appeared in The Palmyra Spectator in Palmyra, Missouri, on November 9, 1921. For more stories from yesteryear, check out our site!

Emmeline is a feminine name produced from the root Amal, of which Amelia is also derived. But Emmeline, which has often been erroneously confused as a derivative of Emma, has an interesting history.

The name, which is translated to mean “work serpent,” has no connection other than by similarity of letters with Emma, which means “grandmother.”

Emmeline came into existence through the queens of Navarre and the Asturias. The sister of Spain’s King Sancho I of Navarre, who married Alphonse the Great, was called Amelina. But the ladies of Navarre were not content with a single name — they must have equivalents. So Amelina was also Simena and Ximena.

Ximena survived the longest of any of her other names, and came to be popular in all classes. The wife of the Cid was so called, but the French turned her into Chimene. The English promptly called this strange name Emmeline, and even France now has an Emeline. The form Emylyn, which appears in old ballad poetry, is identical with Emmeline.

Jasper is Emmeline’s talismanic gem. This brilliant green stone will drive away evil spirits and prevent the bites of venomous creatures, particularly of snakes. A prayer for rain will be answered if the one who prays wears jasper. Tuesday is Emmeline’s lucky day, and five her lucky number.

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