Sophia: Popular Name for Baby Girls

Baby girl laying in bedsheets
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The popularity of the baby name Sophia has been on a rapid rise. The name means "wisdom" in Greek, and has repeatedly topped the lists of most popular baby names over the past ten years. Sophia was No. 1 on the list in the U.S. in 2013, and its alternate spellings of Sofia and Sophie remain popular in Europe.

It's one of a handful of traditional, somewhat old-fashioned names, like Emma and Olivia that have enjoyed a resurgence, as parents look for names for their baby girls that will stand the test of time.

According to baby-naming websites, Sophia appeals to parents looking for an intellectual and feminine name for their baby.

Origins of the Name Sophia

St. Sophia was an early martyr in the Christian church, and was particularly venerated in the Eastern Orthodox traditions. During the Middle Ages, Sophia was a popular name among the royalty of Continental Europe. It then became increasingly popular in Britain in the 1700s when the German House of Hanover inherited the throne. Sophia was the name of the both mother and wife of King George I.

Sophia's Rise to the Top of the Charts

In the United States, the name Sophia has had a dramatic increase in popularity since 1996. In 1997, the name broke in to the top 100 girl names, by 2000 it hit the top 50, in 2006 the top ten, and in 2010 was number 2 on the name charts. Sophia took the top spot in 2013.  In 2014, Sophia was still ranking in at #3 in the most popular baby girl names in the United States by the Social Security Administration.

 

Variants on the name Sophia include Sophie and Sofia, and the name has retained popularity in many Western countries, including Canada, England, Ireland, and France. The French version of Sophia is actually Sophie, and that can be a variation of the name or simply just a nick name. And let's not forget the popular cartoon character these days, named "Sophia the First," a show that tries to instill education and training to be a "real" princess to young children--pretty fitting for the name, huh?

 

Middle Names for Sophia

Today, popular middle names for Sophia include Rose, Grace, and Marie. Since it has three syllables and ends in a vowel sound, a middle name for Sophia should be short and sweet, to preserve the name's melodic sound. 

Suggested Sibling Names of Sophia

Parents looking for a well-paired sibling set of names might consider choosing another classic-sounding name, a name ending with the "ee-ah" sound for girls, a name beginning with the letter "S," or a name with three syllables. Some suggestions might be

  • For girls: Amelia, Chloe, Catherine, Elizabeth, Grace, Hannah, Sarah
  • For boys: Benjamin, James, Henry, Matthew, Noah, Samuel, Oscar

Famous People Named Sophia 

  • Sophia Loren, (1934 - ) Italian actress who won the Best Actress Academy Award for the film Two Women in 1961.
  • Sofia Coppola, (1971 - ) screenwriter who directed the 2003 film Lost in Translation. Daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola.

Celebrity Babies Named Sophia

Celebrity babies can often fuel the popularity of a name.

Here are some celebrities who have had girls they named Sophia. 

  • Sophia Burk (2009), daughter of actor Jude Law
  • Sophia Pujols Alcántara (2006), daughter of baseball player Albert Pujols
  • Sophia Rosalinda Bratt (2002), daughter of actor Benjamin Bratt
  • Sophia Eva Pietra Meloni (2001), daughter of actor Christopher Meloni
  • Sophia Rose Stallone (1996), daughter of actor Sylvester Stallone

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