British novelist Sophia Lee, 1750–1824
Sophia, which means “wisdom” in Greek, has been extraordinarily popular over the last 15-20 years, after decades of being unfashionable and considered geriatric. In 1997, it shot into the U.S. Top 100, at #94, up from #124 the previous year. It continued rocketing upwards, reaching #1 from 2011–13. In 2017, it was down to #5.
It’s also #3 in Canada; #5 in Austria; #10 in Northern Ireland; #11 in England and Wales; #15 in Australia; #17 in Switzerland and Scotland; #18 in Ireland; #23 in New Zealand; #42 in The Netherlands; #54 in Belgium; and #90 in Norway.
Saint Sophia with her daughters Faith, Hope, and Love
Sofia, which is modern Greek, Italian, Catalan, Romanian, Slovak, Estonian, Finnish, Portuguese, Scandinavian, and German, has also been enjoying great popularity. It entered the U.S. Top 100 in 2003, at #97, and shot up to its peak of #12 in 2014. In 2017, it was #15.
It’s also #1 in Italy, Galicia, and Chile; #2 in Spain (as Sofía) and Finland; #3 in Switzerland and Denmark; #8 in Belgium and Portugal; #12 in Catalonia; #19 in Norway; #31 in England and Wales; #32 in France; #37 in Canada; #38 in Australia; #42 in Austria; #43 in Scotland and Ireland; #44 in The Netherlands; #45 in Sweden; #50 in Northern Ireland; #61 in New Zealand; and #97 in the Czech Republic.
Regent Sofya Alekseyevna of Russia (1657–1704), Peter the Great’s older halfsister, who would’ve been an excellent empress in her own right
Sophie, which is French, Dutch, English, and German, has also been experiencing great popularity. It entered the U.S. top 100 in 2007, at #82, and attained its highest rank of #51 in 2011. In 2017, it was #106.
It’s also #1 in The Netherlands; #4 in Scotland; #5 in Ireland; #6 in Northern Ireland; #8 in Austria; #9 in New Zealand; #11 in Australia; #16 in England and Wales; #23 in Canada; and #25 in Switzerland.
Heroic Sophie Scholl (1921–43) of the anti-Nazi White Rose group
Other forms of the name include:
1. Zofia is Polish, and my favourite spelling. The Z just gives it so much character, zing, and personality. I loved this name from the first time I saw it. The nickname is Zosia (ZO-sha). Its Slovak form is Žofia (Zho-fee-yah).
2. Sofya is Russian. Its base nickname is the familiar Sonya.
3. Sofiya is Ukrainian, Russian, and Bulgarian.
4. Sofija is Serbian, Macedonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Croatian.
5. Soffia is Welsh. The variation Soffía is Icelandic.
6. Zsófia is Hungarian.
7. Sofie is Czech, Dutch, German, and Danish. The last two letters are pronounced separately in Czech and Danish, not as one.
8. Žofie is also Czech, with the same pronunciation rules.
9. Sopio is Georgian. Another Georgian form is Sopia.
10. Kopi is Hawaiian. A rarer Hawaiian variation is Kopaea.
Polish writer Zofia Nałkowska, 1884–1954
11. Sovaia is Fijian.
12. Suvfia is Greenlandic.
13. Zofija is Slovenian and Lithuanian.
14. Sufia is Arabic.
15. Soffá is Sami. Another Sami form is Sofe.
16. Sofio is Esperanto. Traditional (as it were) female names in Esperanto end in O, despite that being seen as the mark of a male name in other languages.
17. Suffía is Faroese.