Saturday, June 8, 2013


'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.


  1. Ooh I like that reason for choosing Ember at the end there.

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  3. Much better than the more know Amber ' Ember is fresh and new and has more nickname potential with Em - Emmy - B what could go wrong with this name x

  4. I'm Ember
    I love my name
    I hate it when people call me Amber
    It annoys my SO MUCH!!
    at least some people get it right
    So yay!


  6. My name is Ember and I love my name. I love what it stands for. I do get called Amber a lot. But I love that my name is unique.

  7. How the heck are Emerson or Emmett unisex names??? Those are very masculine or male sounding names.

  8. Our daughter is an ember, and we were prepared to constantly say it's amber with an E. Surprisingly, we hardly ever get it. Instead we get tons of compliments on the name. It suits her to a tee!

  9. My daughter is called ember. She was an ivf Baby and We referred to her As 'embie' (for embryo) in the womb. She's beautiful :)

    1. What a great story of an in-womb nickname inspiring the final choice! And as a fellow mum of an IVF baby I say congratulations and I'm so glad your IVF was successful :)

  10. My name is Ember and the name is unique I was always told my name means to glow so I always tried to glow and show my inner flame so I like my name

  11. We named our daughter Ember, which we had picked out for a few years. We just had to wait for our little girl to be born to use it.

  12. My daughter is named Ember Rose, she's a fiery, happy, laughing one year old. She has red hair too, like her momma. ��