Sophia (given name)

  (Redirected from Sophia the Martyr)

Sophia, also spelled Sofia, is a feminine given name, from Greek Σοφία, Sophía, "Wisdom". Diminutive forms include Sophie and Sofie. The given name is first recorded in the beginning of the 4th century.[1] It is a common female name in the Eastern Orthodox countries. It became very popular in the West beginning in the later 1990s and became one of the most popularly given girls' names in the Western world during the 2010s.

Derivationfrom Greek Σοφία, Sophía
Region of originRoman Empire
Other names
Alternative spellingSofia
Variant form(s)Sophie
Related namesSofija, Sofiya, Sofya
See alsoSonia
A depiction of Saint Sophia and Her Three Daughters, Faith, Hope and Charity (icon of the Novgorod school, 16th century).
Sophia Loren in 1955


The name was comparatively common in continental Europe in the medieval and early modern period. It was popularized in Britain by the German House of Hanover in the 18th century. It was repeatedly popularised among the wider population, by the name of a character in the novel Tom Jones (1794) by Henry Fielding, in The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) by Oliver Goldsmith, and in the 1960s by Italian actress Sophia Loren (b. 1934).

Sophia was comparatively popular in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century; its use declined in the 1920s to 1950s; it became again moderately popular during the 1960s to 1980s.

During the 1990s to 2010s the popularity of the name rose dramatically in many countries throughout the western world. Suggested influences for this trend include Sofía Vergara and Sofia Coppola (popular from the late 1990s) and Sofia Hellqvist (popular from the 2000s).[2]Sophia was the most popularly given girls' name in the United States during 2011–2013. The form Sofia was rarely given in the United States before the 1970s; it also steeply rose in popularity in the 1990s to 2000s and peaked at rank 12 in 2012.[3]

When combined all spelling variants (Sophia, Sofia, Sophie, etc.) together, Sophia was the most popular name for 8 years in a row during 2000-2017 in the United States.[4]

Sophie was the fifth most popular name for girls in Australia in 2013.[5] The name had a similar rise in popularity in other countries, reaching rank 1 in the 2010s in Italy, Chile, Denmark, Finland,[3] Russia[6] and Estonia.[7] and was in the top ten most popular girls' names in the Czech Republic, [8] in Poland (as Zofia),[9] Spain, Switzerland[3] Romania[10] and Bulgaria.[11]

Name variantsEdit

Greek Σοφία was adopted without significant phonological changes into numerous languages, as Sophia (German, and thence English) and Sofia (Romance languages, and thence also to Germanic languages and Finnish, etc.). The spelling Soffia is Icelandic and Welsh. Hungarian has Zsófia. Modern Spanish uses the acute diacritic, Sofía. South and East Slavic and Baltic languages have Sofija (Софија), Sofiya (София) and Sofya (Софья). West Slavic (Polish and Czech-Slovak) introduced a voiced sibilant, Zofia, Žofia, Žofie.

French has the (disyllabic) hypocoristic Sophie, which was also introduced in German, Dutch/Flemish, English and Scandinavian in the spelling Sofie. A Dutch hypocoristic is Sofieke. Russian has the hypocoristic Соня (Sonya), which in the late 19th century was introduced to Western languages, in the spellings Sonya, Sonia and Sonja, via characters with this name in the novels Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866, English translation 1885) and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869, English translation 1886).

Turkish Safiye is from the unrelated Arabic Safiyya (صفية "pure").

Persian Sofia (Persian: صوفیا) is from unrelated Sufi, a sect of Islam.




Arts and entertainment industryEdit



Fictional charactersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ V. Saxer, "Sophia v. Rom" in: Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche vol. 9 (1993), 733f., citing H.-L. Marrou,Dame Sagesse et ses trois filles: Mél. Ch. Mohrmann (1963), 177–183.
  2. ^ Olivia Petter, This is the most popular girl's name in the world, 25 October 2017. Miranda Larbi, Sofia is the most popular girl’s name in the world,, 26 October 2017. Catriona Harvey-Jenner, This is the most popular baby name for girls in the world, Cosmopolitan, 26 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Sophia, Sofia (
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Australia's 100 most popular baby names". Kidspot. 2 April 2013. Archived from the original on 10 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Russian Girls Names: Popular Girls Names in Russia 2014 - Baby Name Wizard - Baby Name Wizard". 1 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Estonian Girls Names: Popular Girls Names in Estonia 2014 - Baby Name Wizard - Baby Name Wizard". 1 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Czech Girls Names: Popular Girls Names in the Czech Republic 2014 - Baby Name Wizard - Baby Name Wizard". 1 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Polish Girls Names: Popular Girls Names in Poland 2014 - Baby Name Wizard". 1 January 2015.
  10. ^ "TOP 10 cele mai populare nume la băieţi şi fete. Cum au ales românii, în 2014, numele copiilor".
  11. ^ "Bulgarian Girls Names: Popular Girls Names in Bulgaria 2014 - Baby Name Wizard - Baby Name Wizard". 1 January 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d Paul Guerin, Les petits Bollandistes vies des saints (1874), p. 552

External linksEdit