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Sofia Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Sofia including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Sofia Overview

  • Meaning: Sofia is a girl’s name that means “wisdom.”
  • Gender: Sofia is a female name.
  • Origin: According to the Ancient Greek language, “Sophia” is the abstract noun of the word “Sophos” which translates to “clever, skillful, wise, intelligent.”
  • Pronunciation: “so-FEE-uh,”
  • Popularity: In the United States, it sits as the 18th most popular female name at present.
  • Nicknames: Fi, Fia, Fifi, So, Sof, Soph.
  • Variations: Sophia, Soffia, Sofieke, Sofija, Sonya, Zofia, Zsofia.
  • Namesakes: Saint Sophia of Rome, Princess Sofia, Queen Sofia of Spain, Sofia Vergara.

What Does Sofia Mean?

Sofia is a girl’s name that means “wisdom.” It is an alternative spelling of the given name Sophia. According to the Ancient Greek language, “Sophia” is the abstract noun of the word “Sophos” which translates to “clever, skillful, wise, intelligent” (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Sofia?

Sofia is a different spelling of the name Sophia and carries the same meaning. The origin of Sofia as a given name goes back to the 4th century (2).

Origins of the given name are from the Byzantine Empire. People in this area and time likely named their children after the idea of “Sophos.”

How Popular Is the Name Sofia?

Sofia is a popular spelling in countries with romantic languages like Spanish or French-speaking countries. However, many eastern European countries have a long history of using Sophia and Sofia as female names.

Sofia has only recently gained popularity in the West. From the 1990s through the 2010s, the name rose significantly in popularity. In the United States, the name has jumped from the 161st most popular name in 2001 to the 18th most popular name in 2021 (3).

How Do I Pronounce Sofia?

Sofia is an easily pronounced name. The traditional pronunciation is “so-FEE-uh.” Though it has few letters, it is a tri-syllabic name. The emphasis is on the second syllable. The name “Sophia” is also pronounced this way.

Is Sofia a Boy or Girl Name?

Based on historical use, Sofia is exclusively a girl name. The Greek word it comes from is a feminine language, and its use historically is only for women or feminine gendered things. There is no evidence to suggest the names have switched to apply to the opposite gender.

Variations of Sofia

Sofia is already a variation of the commonly used name Sophia, but other variations have cropped up over time. Here are a few versions of the name commonly used in other countries and cultures:

  • Soffia (Icelandic, Welsh)
  • Sofie (German, English, Scandinavian)
  • Sofieke (Dutch)
  • Sofija (Baltic, Southern Slavic, Eastern Slavic)
  • Sofiya (Baltic, Southern Slavic, Eastern Slavic)
  • Sofya (Baltic, Southern Slavic, Eastern Slavic)
  • Sonia (Russian)
  • Sonja (Russian)
  • Sonya (Russian)
  • Sophia (German, English)
  • Sophie (French, English)
  • Zofia (Polish, Czech-Slovak)
  • Zsofia (Hungarian)

Nicknames for Sofia

While Sofia is a multisyllabic name, it is composed of a few letters. Nicknames are not as readily available as most multisyllabic names. Here is a short list of a few common nicknames:

  • Fi
  • Fia
  • Fifi
  • So
  • Sof
  • Soph

Similar Names to Sophia

If you like the name Sofia but want something a little different, try out one of these girl names inspired by Greek culture and positive ideals for a similar name to Sofia:

Middle Names for Sofia

Pairing two names that end in the letter “a” or the “a” sound is a good idea for a full name that flawlessly rolls off the tongue. A few options for a middle name are:

Sibling Names for Sofia

Choose a sibling name that is also historic in its way. Consider a name that is also from romantic language roots. Check out these ideas for a sibling name:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Sofia

There are many historical figures and famous figures named Sofia! Take a look at this list and see if you recognize any of the following:

  • Saint Sophia of Rome: A Christian martyr.
  • Sofia of Bavaria Wittelsbach: Queen of Bavaria.
  • Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom: British Princess.
  • Queen Sofia of Spain: Queen consort of Spain.
  • Sofia Brahe: Danish astronomer.
  • Sofia Sakorafa: Greek javelin thrower and politician.
  • Sofia Vergara: Columbian model and actress.

Sofia in Popular Culture

The name Sofia, and its alternate spelling Sophia, is commonly used for pop culture names. Check out these fictional characters and pop culture figures to see which ones you know and which you might have missed:

  • Princess Sofia: Main Character in Disney’s Sofia the First.
  • Sophia Petrillo: Character from the television show Golden Girls.
  • Sophie Neveu Saint-Clair: Character in Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code.
  • Sophie Hatter: Character from the book and movie Howl’s Moving Castle.
  • Sofia Richie: Daughter of Singer Lionel Richie.
  • Sophia Loren: Famous Hollywood actress.

Sofia FAQs

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about the name Sofia.

Is Sofia a Biblical Name?

In a sense, it is a biblical girl name. Sofia is not found in the Bible as a name for a figure, but it is related to the Greek idea of wisdom. Sophia is considered to be a female personification of wisdom in many Christianity-based faith systems.

Is the Name Sofia Too Popular?

In the United States, it is in the top 20 names for a girl and is steadily rising each year. However, if you like the name and it speaks to you, do not be afraid to use it! Your child might be one of many Sofias, but you can always choose a different spelling to set them apart.

Is Sofia or Sophia Better?

Preference largely depends on your native language. Many English-speaking countries prefer Sophia because the “ph” is used in names like Stephen or Phoebe commonly in these countries. Sofia is more common in French and Spanish-speaking locales. Neither version is better than the other, so you can choose to use the version you prefer!

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