The name on my birth certificate is Emmaculate. I am not sure if it was a typo from the word 'immaculate,' but I love it that way. I have been looking up name meanings, but it seems to have no acutal meaning.

So, what does the name 'Emmaculate' mean?

Emma means universal/whole. What does the -culate suffix mean? I have seen it used in words like calculate, emasculate, or speculate.

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    It’s probably an alternative spelling of Immaculate. That word means “free of sin,” which is nice. So enjoy your name. My real name has an odd spelling also. And I like it.
    – Xanne
    May 11, 2020 at 8:28
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    Someone whose parents are not English speaking might make this type of error. In Spanish, there are plenty of women called Immaculada. The name as you wrote it is not used in English and the adjective is spelled immaculate. From Latin: maculus, free of stain/immaculatus: not stained, i.e. free of sin, it has come to mean. The virgin birth in Spanish is: Immaculada Concepción
    – Lambie
    Apr 3, 2023 at 19:30
  • See babycenter.com/baby-names/details/emmaculate-195475 . Or Emmaculate Msipa is a Zimbabwean footballer; perhaps you were named for her.
    – GEdgar
    Apr 3, 2023 at 21:29
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    @Lambie No, it’s Iɴᴍaculada Concepción, como lees ahí. There’s no ‹mm› in native Spanish words, which ‘must’ ᴀʟᴡᴀʏꜱ be spelled ‹nm›. Although (except in super-careful speech) /nm/ under regressive assimilation may come out single [m] como no português or geminated [mː] come nel italiano, still must it be written ‹nm› in standard Spanish. But see coɴɴotación.
    – tchrist
    Apr 23, 2023 at 16:59
  • @tchrist Yes, inmaculada but you might want to acknowledge the basic idea of a typo in a registry name.
    – Lambie
    Apr 24, 2023 at 14:27

3 Answers 3


It is likely an intentional portmanteau of "Emma" and "immaculate." We certainly cannot determine why that name was chosen. I would hypothesize that the goal was for you to have a unique name (like "immaculate") while allowing you to adopt a more ordinary nickname ("Emma").


I think it may be a mistake for immaculate (or deliberately spelled that way to resemble the name Emma). Immaculate means spotless (literally or metaphorically), from the Latin macula, a spot.

I believe the suffix is -ate, and the other words you quote also have roots that happen to have the syllable -cul- in them.

  • 1
    A "mistake", eh? Maybe it was intentional.
    – GEdgar
    Apr 3, 2023 at 21:24
  • @GEdgar - The OP herself had suggested that her name might be a 'typo' - and I did add that it might be deliberate!! Apr 4, 2023 at 7:42

Like many have said, I also suspect that your name Emmaculate comes from the name Immaculate, a Biblical name.

Thus, a plausible etymological and Biblical explanation to me for the "I" versus "E" spelling would be that one came from the Hebrew transliteration and one came from the Greek transliteration ("I" from Hebrew and "E" from Greek). Looking at the explanation for another Biblical name with two spellings, Immanuel and Emmanuel, we can see that this has occurred elsewhere as well (link below).

Source: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/is-it-immanuel-or-emmanuel-biblical-meaning-and-significance.html

PS -- On a personal note, since we don't know you nor are we familiar with your background and the person/people who had given you your name, I also find the comment re: Spanish/English pronunciation plausible.

Likewise, although I think this is not applicable in your case (meaning I think you identify as female?), in my personal opinion, Emmaculate looks more masculine than Immaculate, so if I were to name a boy Immaculate, I would consider spelling it Emmaculate since the name Immaculate is typically a name for women.

Meanwhile, my question is, had you not been able to ask the person who had given you your name? Or is it that you had not received a satisfactory answer?

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    Immaculate is Latin, not Hebrew or Greek. The Greek translation of immaculate is άμωμος (ámomos) and the Hebrew translation is לְלֹא רְבָב (lelo revav).
    – Juhasz
    Apr 3, 2023 at 22:11
  • Ah, @Juhasz, thanks! Apr 3, 2023 at 22:19
  • Asking a parent/namer is probably the only way to be sure, as reasons for naming are often personal and eclectic (and if you're named after someone, the meaning of the name may not be important compared to who you're named after). But this isn't always possible.
    – Stuart F
    Apr 5, 2023 at 10:49

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