"Sophie" Baby Name Meaning and Info

Meryl Streep

Source

When I was young I though Sophie was an "old timer's" name because the only person I knew with that name was my grandmother, that is besides the actress Sophie Tucker...now there was a 'lady' to wonder about. Then, along came Sophia Loren, close but not Sophie. The next 'popular' siting of the name was "Sophie's Choice", a 1982 dramatic film starring Meryl Streep.

Sophie is actually most popular in the Netherlands, New Zealand and Scotland. Right now, Sophie is near the top of the Baby Girls Names list. From 1996 to 2012 Sophie has gained popularity. The New York Daily News, however, names Sophia one of the top. "But different spellings of the same name also placed high on the list. Sofia, as in the “Lost in Translation” director Sofia Coppola, was No. 19. Sophie was No. 51." (http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-05-14/news/31704068_1_popular-baby-names-girl-names-boy-names, Sophia is most popular name for girls, CORKY SIEMASZKO, Monday, May 14, 2012)

St. Sophia medal; 14K Oval St Sophia Patron Saint Medal Necklace Catholic
St. Sophia medal; 14K Oval St Sophia Patron Saint Medal Necklace Catholic | Source

Origins of the name Sophie

What's all the fuss about? Sophie/Sophia means 'wisdom' in Greek. The name itself is believed to have come from a saint, who had three daughters who were beheaded for their love of Christ and following His ways. Legend attributes Sophie (St. Sophie Romana) as the mother of the three virtues (her daughters) Faith, Hope and Love. Actually, their names were Pistis, Elpis and Agape; Pistis stands for Faith, Elpis stands for Hope and Agape stands for Love. Sophie was widowed shortly after the birth of her last daughter. She raised her girls to believe in Jesus Christ and to be holy and virtuous.

Her daughters were 12, 10, and 9 when they were taken before the Emperor Hadrian. A Roman woman named Palladia took care of them and tried to convert them to Roman ways and the Roman lifestyle, but even at their young age, they refused.

Hadrain was infuriated and had them tortured, one at a time. Each of the first two, Pistis and Elpis, were beheaded. By the time he got to nine year old Agape, he was furious! First he had her hung on the gallows and chained so tightly that her arms and legs were broken by the chains. Then she was thrown into a furnace ( it is said she was delivered by an angel from that furnace) Hadrian then had her beheaded while Sophie watched. It is said she stayed by their tomb until her own death three days later.

Sophia Loren

Five Miles to Midnight 1962.JPG
Five Miles to Midnight 1962.JPG | Source

Sophie in Other Languages

Sofiya (Bulgarian), Sofia (Catalan), Sofija, Sonja (Croatian), Sofie, Žofie, Soňa (Czech), Sofie, Vivi (Danish), Sophie,Sofie (Dutch), Sofia (Estonian), Sofia, Sohvi, Sonja (Finnish), Sophie (French), Zsófia, Zsófika (Hungarian), Sofia, Sonia (Italian), Sofija (Latvian),Sofija (Lithuanian), Sofija, Sonja (Macedonian), Sofia, Vivi (Norwegian), Zofia, Zosia (Polish), Sofia, Sonia (Portuguese), Sofia,Sonia (Romanian), Sofiya, Sofya, Sonya (Russian), Sonja (Scandinavian), Sofija, Sonja (Serbian), Sofia, Žofia, Soňa (Slovak), Sonja (Slovene),Sofía, Sonia (Spanish), Sofia, Vivi (Swedish), Sofiya (Ukrainian)

Traits attributed to girls named Sophie

  • Smart
  • Talented
  • Heart of gold
  • Has a love for the beach
  • Friendly towards most people she meets
  • Unique style

Conclusion

Sophie is believed to be a traditional French name, being the French form of Sophia. Dan Brown's novel, "The Da Vinci Code" helped to popularize the name in 2003 (character Sophie Neveu) and then again in the movie in 2006.

Though it has gained in popularity it is still not a "common" name. In 2011 Sophia was ranked the No. 1 female name in the US at babycenter.com, and No. 3 BabyCenter Popluation. In any variation it is certainly a name to consider if you are having a baby girl.

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Comments 32 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Number one in the U.S.? Really? That's amazing; I'll bet I don't know more than two Sophia's.....very interesting, Mary! Thanks for the education. Now I'm ready if anyone asks me a question about it. :)


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

Mary, I would have so named Lily this or Ella, but I chose Emma so this was Kevin's pick and that is how Lily got named Lily. That said thanks for sharing a bit more about the name and very much enjoyed reading this one!!


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I know a girl named Sophie...one of my students and she is a wonderful girl. Thanks for sharing the fascinating background of the name! Sharing.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

That's okay Billy, my grandmother is still the only person I've ever known personally, whose name is Sophie!

Oh but Emma and Lily are lovely names Janine, you did good!

You're welcome Michelle.


VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 3 years ago from United States

My third daughter is named Sophie. I liked the sound of the name as well as the meaning of "wisdom." I didn't know the story of St. Sophie. I'll have to share it with her. Her sisters have the middle names of Joy, Faith and Grace--so that is interesting that those are close to St. Sophie's daughter's names. We chose Sophie because of the meaning and the fact that it is a traditional French name since my mother-in-law was from France. The name sounded beautiful when she said it.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

It seems like you knew the history of the name Sophie, without being told Virginia. Isn't it amazing that your other daughters are named Joy, Faith, and Grace! Bless you all.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Hi Mary,

Very interesting hub here on the name Sophie. I love to know the meanings of name, i.e., my daughter is named Amy, which means "Beloved One," and my son is named Jeffrey, which means "Heavenly Peace." Who would have thought. It is fascinating to me the history behind a name.

Voted up+++ and sharing

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

I have a sister-in-law named Sophia. She is lovely so I associate good things with the name. My daughter is pregnant and she is considering Sophia, probably in part due to her close relationship with her aunt! Thank you for an interesting hub! I enjoyed reading it and had fun making the connections! Up+


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

I think Sophie is a beautiful name for a girl. I also like Bella and Carolina. There are a few others.


FullOfLoveSites profile image

FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

That's why there's the word "sophisticated"? I think they're related. Thanks for the wonderful information. I hope you'll come up with more hubs on name origins. Voted up and interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I'm thinking Jeffrey isn't always 'heavenly' but more of a little boy ;) So happy you enjoyed my hub Faith. God bless.

I really like the name Sophie, btrbell, I don't think it is used enough!

lovedoctor, I'm sure Bella has seen a surge since "Twilight"!

FullofLoveSites, they may be related in Modern English but originally sophisticated is from the Latin sophisticāt ( us ) ...thanks so much for reading and voting!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi, Sophie is such a lovely name, it tends to sound quite 'posh' and is really a name that can fit in with loads of surnames, I think it was sophia loren that made me like it in the first place, now you have written this one only another few thousand girl names to study and write about! lol!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

That should keep me busy for a while Nell :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hey Til....You are so clever....writing about a "name!"....and making it so interesting, to boot! You are something to treasure, Miss Mary... Actually, "Sophia," is a beautiful name and is fairly popular in this area, along with "Olivia," and "Bella.".....( we're heavily "Italian"....LOL) I only get to keep up with baby name popularity due to my Grandchildren's yearbooks. I have a ball, going through their year books with a fine-toothed comb....catching up on what's going on with the schools we pay taxes to keep going strong....all the new families in the area. I'm always searching for the grandchildren of friends of mine, who went to school with me! Three generations of classmates.....can we all say, "Small-town" living?

This is a very fascinating read, Til. I liked the name "Sophia" many years ago and wanted to name a child "Rose Sophia." I'm pretty sure my sons are glad I didn't......UP+++


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I'm sure your sons do appreciate your not naming one of them Rose Sophia! You crack me up GF. I miss the small town feel with my classmates since I went to school in Queens but live in Ulster County...I do it through my children and their classmates instead.

As for titles, I'm now working with what I'm given and trying to make the best of it!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

OH....that's right, you're in the apprentice program. I'd bet my last dime you are knocking their socks off!! Bless your sweet nature. If I was told to write a hub about something, I'd find a way to get kicked out! I'm a shameful rebel.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Why my dear Miss Paula! I'd never imagine ;)


epus profile image

epus 3 years ago from Philippines

Sopiya is given to fine girl here in our country. Thanks for sharing my friend. This is a very informative and useful hub for my students.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

As I have listed it it used around the world. I am thrilled that you can use this with your students!


Justsilvie 3 years ago

Really Interesting Hub I love learning about name origins. My Mothers middle name is Sophie she never liked it much thinking it was so very old fashioned. Plus her whole name probably was a challenge for any child learning to spell their name. Kresczentia Sophie Marie is a lot for a five year old to deal with.

Look forward to reading more about names and you have made me curious enough to look up the name Kresczentia. It is the name of my great grandmother, grandmother (called Zenta), Mother (called Zitta). My mother could not stick me with it but made it my middle name, and now my niece has it but no one can spell it so they call her Kristi.

Many of the names we thought of as old fashioned are making a comeback. I like the idea. It beats out naming them Moon Unit or some other weird name parents can come up with and forcing them to change it later.

Voted up and shared.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Oh you're so right about the Moon Unit thing Silvie! I wrote a hub about the "names" they give kids today.

Your Mom's name seems to be an ethnic name....I'd love to know what the meaning is too...I bet its something exotic!

Thanks for the vote and share.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I've only known one Sophia, and she was from the Ukraine. I think it's a beautiful name, however, and the stories behind it are interesting. Voted up and interesting.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Mary, this is a fascinating story of the name Sophie. I was just yeterday looking at my copy of the book Sophie's choice, by William Styron, from which the movie was made. Both are great. It is an interesting name in all languages for sure.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Mperrottet, so nice of you to read and glad you enjoyed!

You so get me xstatic....I think it is an interesting name too.


HoneyBB profile image

HoneyBB 3 years ago from Illinois

I wrote a poem a few weeks ago, "The Magic of a Downtown Christmas" and in the poem a six year old boy named Jack and his 3 year old sister Sophie visit the holiday Christmas season with all the trimmings downtown. Since I wrote the poem, the shooting in Connecticut occurred and Jack Pinto, a six year old boy, was one of the victims. Now every time I reread my poem, I think about him. The horror that you have spoke of related to the name Sophie makes me wonder if there was some unknown reason I put these two names together for my poem...uncanny! Thanks for sharing. Voted +++


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Yes, there was horror Honey, but also God's blessing. May those blessings touch all in Connecticut and you and yours as well. Thanks for stopping by, its always good to see you.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

I believe, name has significant impact on our life. This is quite and interesting read. I have met some Sophies but never asked them about their names.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

It is always good to have you stop and read one of my hubs Vinaya. Thank you.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Interesting name and I now know its meaning thanks to you. I'd no idea about the Saint Sofie and the story of her daughters being tortured and beheaded since they were not ready to convert.

Voted up and interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I have to admit Rajan, I learned about her daughters when doing my research! Thank you for reading, commenting, and voting!


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Awesome hub about the name "Sophie" you explained so well in the different countries very interesting and useful indeed.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

So happy that you found this interesting and useful DDE.

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