Emmett \e-mme-tt\ as a boy's name (also used as girl's name Emmett), is pronounced EM-it. It is of English origin. Male variant of Ancient-German name Emma, meaning "universal". Also possibly from Old German "energetic, powerful", or Old English "an ant". Given by Irish and Irish-American families to celebrate early 19th century Irish patriot Robert Emmet, who tried to overthrow English rule in Ireland with French help. Today, actor M. Emmet Walsh features his unusual middle name rather than his first name, Michael. Famous clown Emmett Kelly; football player Emmitt Smith.