Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Sonia

Sonya is the Russian diminutive of Sophia. Sonia is the English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish form of Sonya while Germans, Scandinavians and many Slavs use Sonja. In essence, Sonya, Sonia and Sonja all come from the same source name, i.e., Sophia. The name Sophia comes from the Greek word "sophos" (Σοφία) which means “wisdom”. The usage of the name Sophia for girls dates way back to the Greek and Roman cultures of Antiquity and was often bestowed for its moral qualities. In medieval times, the name spread among Christians in veneration of a 2nd century saint, Sophia the Martyr. Born in Italy, Sophia named her three young daughters Faith, Love and Hope. It is believed that Sophia’s daughters, all 12 years of age and under, were all tortured and beaten to death for their Christian beliefs under the pagan reign of Emperor Hadrian. After this cruel and senseless bloodbath, Sophia buried her daughters and remained at their graves for three days until she herself succumbed to death (presumably from heartbreak). The legend of St. Sophia spread in the Middle Ages and the name was readily adopted by Christians all over Europe. However, Sophia the Martyr was especially venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church which is how the Russian Sonya became so popular in medieval times and beyond. This is due in part to a basilica in Constantinople named “Hagia Sophia” (Holy Wisdom) which Eastern-based Christians in the Middle Ages erroneously associated with the 2nd century saint. The pretty diminutive Sonya was eventually adopted by western Europeans in the forms of Sonia and Sonja.

All About the Baby Name – Sonia

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME SONIA

The Master Number Twenty-Two combines the traits of Twos and Fours into a powerful force. The references to The Master Builder and "large undertakings" serve to underscore the massive potential of this personality. They are extremely capable and therefore almost always successful. Twenty-Twos are courageous leaders, innovative thinkers, extremely wise and highly organized. As such, they are able to manifest something of major importance that will have a lasting impact on this world. Master Numbers carry with them a great sense of responsibility, so it can be a burden. However, Twenty-Twos are executors and action-takers. Further, this personality exhibits traits of the Twos, which brings sensitivity, spirituality and harmony, so their endeavors are likely to benefit mankind in some capacity.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME SONIA

Sonia dates back to 1909 on the American female naming charts. The name’s appearance on the U.S. list of girl’s names in the early 20th century was probably initially owed to the first wave of Russian immigration to the United States in the late 19th century (mostly due to political and economic reasons, as well as Jewish intolerance). A second wave followed in the wake of the October Revolution and Russian Civil War (1917-1922). These new Russian-Americans brought many pretty female names to the United States: Anastasia, Natasha, Sonya and Tatiana to name a few. Sonia was one such name that gained a lot of widespread acceptance in America and saw rapid increases in popularity during the 1920s. In the late 20s through the 1930s, a three-time Olympic Champion Norwegian figure skater (turned Hollywood actress) Sonja Henie also helped spur interest in the name Sonia. Sonia would achieve her peak success in the 1970s when she reached position #165 on the charts (1976). After that, however, Sonia has been on a consistent downward trend. The 21st century has been particularly unkind to sweet Sonia as her drops on the female charts have become more pronounced. What’s ironic is that Sophia is “the IT girl” right now, while Sonia is heading toward obscurity. We love her “wise” etymology and think Sonia is a great, underused and currently neglected way to bestow “wisdom” on your child without following the ϋber-trend that is Sophia right now.

Quick Facts

ON SONIA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

863

PRONUNCIATION:

SON-yə or SAWN-yə

SIMPLE MEANING:

Wisdom

Characteristics

OF SONIA

The Master Builder

Leader

Large Undertakings

Confidence

Discipline

Organization

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Sonia

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME SONIA

Popular Songs

ON SONIA

Sonia Come Back
a song by Cocoa Tea

Sonia
a song by Black Parents

Famous People

NAMED SONIA

Sonia Sotomayor (Supremem Court Justice)
Sonja Henie (Norweigen Olympic figure skater)
Sonya Walger (actress)
Sônia Braga (Brazilian actress)
Sonia Evans (British pop-singer)
Sonja Morgan (reality TV personality)

Children of Famous People

NAMED SONIA

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Sonia

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME SONIA

Sonia Sotomayor is noteworthy as the first Hispanic-American to serve on the nation’s highest court as Supreme Court Justice of the United States (not to mention she’s only the third female). Born in New York City (the Bronx) into a Puerto Rican family, Sotomayor would graduate first from Princeton University and then from Yale Law School. The first President George H.W. Bush nominated Sonia to the U.S. District Court, and then President Bill Clinton nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 2009, President Barack Obama made history when he nominated Sonia Sotomayor as America’s first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Not too shabby for a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx.