|'The Girl On Fire'
by lorellashray at Deviant Art
Lately I've been hearing more and more of this name. I have to admit, I didn't instantly fall in love with Ember. But it's definitely growing on me.
I think part of my hesitation is that for some reason I think of Ember as a “boys name”, so I tend to suffer from a bit of cognitive dissonance when I hear people suggesting it for baby girls. But maybe that's just me, as Ember is used primarily for girls. It first appeared in the American charts in 1946, when it was given to 8 girls, but it didn't become a constant in the charts until 1966. That year it was positioned #5409, given to just 7 girls. Ember steadily climbed, getting into the top #1000 in 2009, and shooting to position #580 in 2012. On the other hand it has only appeared in the charts for boys in 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Ember has two accepted meanings. In Hungarian Ember means 'man' or 'person'. But for most of us Ember is a nature/word name, meaning 'small piece of glowing coal or wood'. Ember has that great Em beginning reminiscent of other popular unisex names Emery, Emerson and Emmett. I can understand why it is more popular for girls, with the Em beginning lending itself to being a great alternative to Emma related classics. It's less popular than Emma and Emily, less frilly than Emmeline.
Most children will likely also think Ember is a girls name, particularly if they watched the Nickelodeon cartoon 'Danny Phantom', which aired from 2004 to 2007. On the show Ember McLain was a recurring character - a "hard rocking siren-like ghost girl" who was the embodiment of teenage rebellion in the show. Although she was technically a villain, she was also a favourite with many viewers. Ember is also the name of the first baby 'My Little Pony', helping with it's "girly" image.
One downfall is Ember's similarity to Amber – you'd have to be prepared to say “it's like Amber, but starting with an E” a lot. Then again, if that's your biggest hurdle with the name, it's hardly a deal breaker!
But perhaps the one statement that makes the appeal of this name instantly obvious is one I saw from one mother of an Ember on BabyName Wizard:
“We came up with the idea while watching a campfire going out. It was so beautiful, but it had so much potential. It did not flaunt it's strength, but it demanded respect. And no one wanted to leave before it was gone.”
Now I get it. This is definitely a name to watch.