[ 3 syll. sop-hia, so-ph-ia ] The baby girl name Sophia is pronounced in English as Sow-FIY-ah or in German as Zow-FIY-aa †. Sophia is mainly used in the English, German, Greek, Italian, and Russian languages, and its language of origin is Old Greek. It is derived literally from the word 'sophia' which means wisdom.
The name was borne by Saint Sophia, apparently not a real person; the misinterpretation of the Greek phrase 'Hagia Sophia' meaning 'holy wisdom' and its Latin equivalent 'Sancta Sophia' as a person's name 'Saint Sophia' may have given rise to the Eastern cult. The name was introduced to English speakers via Hungary and Germany in the 17th century; it was known from Electress Sophia of Hanover (1630-1714), who became the mother of George I, King of England and de facto Prince-Elector of Hanover. The name was also popularized by the Henry Fielding comic novel Tom Jones (1749), which featured a character named Sophia Western. The name was widely used in the 17th and 18th centuries, but it suffered a drop in popularity thereafter. The recent revival of the name may be attributed to the fame of the Italian actress Sophia Loren (1934-). The name has also been used as the Anglicized form of the Scottish Gaelic Beathag.
The name Sophia is used to a great extent; it has 35 variant forms that are used in English and other languages. Variant forms used in English include Sofi (used in Greek, Scandinavian, and Spanish as well), Sonia (used in Russian as well), Soph, Sophey, Sophi, Sophy, Sunya, and Zofia (used in Czech, Polish, Slavic, and Ukrainian as well). The diminutive forms Sonya (used in Russian, Scandinavian, and Slavic as well) and Sophie (used in French, and German as well), and the variant spelling Sofia (used in German, Italian, Scandinavian, and Spanish as well) are other English forms.
Foreign variant forms of Sophia include Chofa (Spanish), Chofi (Spanish), Fifi (Spanish), Soficita (Spanish), Sofie (Czech, Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), Sofija (Slavic), Sofiya (Russian), Sofía (Spanish), Sofka (Russian), Sofonisba (Italian), Sofya (Russian and Turkish), Sonja (German and Scandinavian), Sophea (Italian), Sophoon (Greek), Tzofiya (Hebrew), Zocha (Polish), Zofie (Czech), Zofka (Czech), Zophia (Polish), Zosha (Polish), Zosia (Polish), and Zsófia (Hungarian). Specific foreign forms include the diminutive form Fieke (German), and the variant spelling Zsofia (Hungarian).
See also the related form, the name Annasophia.
Sophia is very popular as a baby name for girls, and it is also viewed as rather trendy. The name has been growing in popularity since the 1950s. Its usage peaked recently in 2012 with 1.153% of baby girls being given the name Sophia. It ranked at #1 then. In 2016, its usage was 0.837% and its ranking #4, and it was the most popular among all girl names in its group. In 2016, 76% more girls were named Sophia than the 2nd most popular name, Sofia.
Baby names that sound like Sophia include Sofia, Zofia, Sabaya, Sabea, Sabeeha, Sabeiha, Sabeyha, Sabia, Sabiah, Sabieha, Sabihah, Sabiyah, Sabya, Sabyah, Sabyha, Safea, Saffiya, Safiwa, Safiwah, and Safya.
† Pronunciation for Sophia: S as in "see (S.IY)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; F as in "fee (F.IY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; Z as in "zoo (Z.UW)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)"
A famous person named Sophia is Actress Sophia Loren, born Sofia Scicolone, 20 September 1934, Rome, Italy.