Esme: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Esme | Girls
Origin of the name Esme:
Derived from the French esmé (loved), the past participle of the verb esmer (to love). Alternatively, some believe the name to be a variant of Aimé (beloved).
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- Comments and insights on the name Esme: | Edit
Originally a male name, Esmé now predominantly female, and is traditionally spelled "Esmé" with an accute é and pronounced as EHZ-may. It can also be spelled "Esmée," or "Esme" without an accent, with the same EHZ-may pronunciation.
The traditional accute é indicates a sound like the English "e" in "bet" or "let."
But as a BabyNameWizard blog reader said, "... in Britain there is that very old and honorable tradition of taking Continental names and rendering them 'Anglicized.' Thus an old name like "Esme" is just as legitimately pronounced as "Esmee" rather than the French-ified "Esmay", in English."
"Esme" appeared in the top 1,000 baby names in the U.S. in 2010, debuting as the 921st most popular girls' name. It seems to have gotten popular in the U.K. starting in 2007/2008 (source MumsNet forum and personal experience).
- Personal experiences with the name Esme: | Edit
My daughter's name is Esmé, after the lovely young Esmé character in J.D. Salinger's "Nine Stories."
- If people are familiar with Salinger's story they say EHZ-may correctly.
- If people see the name written out or notice the accute "é" indicating the different pronunciation, they say EHZ-may correctly.
- If they are Twilight fans, they also usually pronounce EHZ-may correctly and assume we chose the name from the popular vampire book series. Sorry, but no! :)
- It helps to say "it sounds like 'Estée' in 'Estée Lauder,' only it's Esmé." Women who know the makeup line get it immediately.
- We've corrected only a few people who say it with a long e as EHZ-mee, and most of them have been from the U.K.
I am called Esmée (I spell it with an accent and I pronounce it EHZ-mee, which isn't really correct since the accented "é" indicates an "ay" sound). Esmée is the original female version of the French male name "Esme."
- Nicknames for Esme: | Edit
- Mémé (note: this is also the French informal for Grandma!)
- Meanings and history of the name Esme: | Edit
The origin is linguistically Old French: esmé (feminine esmée), "esteemed", past participle of esmer, "to esteem." That said, Esmé is not a common name in France.
The original masculine name was carried by the Norman French who came to Scotland in the 12th century by way of England. An early recorded appearance in Scotland is by Esmé Stewart, the 1st Duke of Lennox. In the early 20th century, Esmé became popular among the British. Several subsequent holders of the title Duke of Lennox were named Esmé.
In modern years, the original masculine Esmé has become acceptable as a feminine name. The original feminine version of the name, Esmée, is now given less frequently than does Esmé.
- Famous real-life people named Esme: | Edit
- Actor Anthony Edwards has a daughter named Esme (born in 1997).
- Actress Samantha Morton has a daughter named Esme (born in 2000).
- Actor Michael J. Fox has a daughter named Esmé Annabelle (born in 2001).
- Actress Olivia Williams has a daughter named Esmé (born in 2004).
- Actress Katey Sagal has a daughter named Esmé Louise (born in 2007).
- Esme in song, story & screen: | Edit
- Esmé: The girl in J.D. Salinger's short story, "For Esmé with Love and Squalor."
- Esmé Squalor: Count Olaf's girlfriend and fellow villain in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (one of the many literary references in the book, this time to Salinger's short story).
- Esme Vanderheusen: A character on the now defunct American soap opera, "Passions."
- Euphemia "Esme" Lennox: The title character in the book "The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox" by Maggie O'Farrell.
- Esme (Esmerelda) 'Granny' Weatherwax: A character in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.
- Esme Cullen: A vampire, the beloved of Carlisle Cullen. A loving and gentle woman, and the caring adoptive mother of Edward, Alice, Rosalie, Emmet, Jasper Cullen in the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer.
- Singer Joanna Newsom has a song called "Esme" on disc 3 of her 2010 album "Have One On Me."