The names Sophia, Sophie, Sofia and Sofie can be traced back to a single source: sophia, a Greek word meaning "skill, wisdom, knowledge." This word can be spotted in modern terms such as philosophy, sophiology, sophistication... even the name of the ancient playwright Sophocles.
Notable people with these names include Saint Sophia of Rome, actress Sophia Loren, screenwriter Sofia Coppola and novelist Sophia Lee. And don't forget the locations and institutions, such as Bulgaria's capital Sofia, Turkey's Hagia Sophia and Japan's Sophia University.
The most notable thing about these related names, though, is that they have become quite popular for baby girls all over the world in the last couple of decades.
How popular? Well, here are some statistics:
- In the United States: Sophie, Sophie and Sofia are in the top 100. Sophia is in the top 10.
- In England and Wales: Sophie, Sophie and Sofia are in the top 100. Sophie is in the top 10.
- In Norway: Sophie, Sophie and Sofia are in the top 100.
- In Sweden: Sofia and Sofie are in the top 100.
- In Scotland: Sophie has been the #1 name for three years in a row.
- In Ireland: Sophie is in the top 10.
- In Northern Ireland: Sophie is in the top 10.
- In the Netherlands: Sophie is in the top 10.
These names (and other versions of them) are also very popular in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Switzerland.
In the U.S., this popularity is due at least in part to the "old is new again" trend: parents have been using old-fashioned names (like Olivia, Hannah and Isabella) to such a degree that these names are now quite fashionable again.
Many parents love the names Sophia and Sophie regardless of their popularity. Others, though, consider this trendiness somewhat of a drawback. (If you are in the latter group, you might want to consider alternate names such as Cecilia, Felicia, Fiona, Josephine, Phoebe, Serafina, Sonya/Sonia/Sonja and Sophronia.)
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