Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Sonia

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, Russian, Spanish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 863
SON-yə or SAWN-yə
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Sonia

  • The Master Builder
  • Leader
  • Large Undertakings
  • Confidence
  • Discipline
  • Organization

Etymology & Historical Origin - 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.

Popularity of the 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.
Popularity of the Girl Name Sonia
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Sonia

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Sonia

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Sonia

    Sonya Rostova (War and Peace) Sonya Rostova is a character in Leo Tolstoy’s epic 1869 novel, War and Peace. Sonya is a fifteen year old orphan who is financially dependent on her aunt and uncle. She is also in love with their son, Nikolai, but the Countess opposes the proposed marriage, insisting that he marry a rich woman and save the Rostovs from an economic grave. In spite of having declared his love for Sonya and becoming engaged to her, Nikolai eventually acquiesces to the family’s general plan and cops out of the deal. Our Sonya is so self-sacrificing that she humbly accepts this development and – get this – goes to work in Nikolai and his new wife’s household as a nanny to their children! This type of martyrdom makes us most uncomfortable in the twentieth-first century, but doubt that Tolstoy would care. At least it is a lovely name!

  • Popular Songs on Sonia

    Popular Songs on Sonia

    Sonia - a song by Robert Wyatt

    Sonia - a song by Black Parents

    Sonia Come Back - a song by Cocoa Tea

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Sonia

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Sonia

    Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx (Jonah Winter) - Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation's highest court, she was just a little girl in the South Bronx. Justice Sotomayor didn't have a lot growing up, but she had what she needed -- her mother's love, a will to learn, and her own determination. With bravery she became the person she wanted to be. With hard work she succeeded. With little sunlight and only a modest plot from which to grow, Justice Sotomayor bloomed for the whole world to see. Spanish edition: La juez que crecio en el Bronx. Antes de que la magistrada de la Corte Suprema Sonia Sotomayor llegara al máximo tribunal de nuestra nación, no era más que una niñita en el South Bronx. La magistrada Sotomayor no tuvo mucho durante sus primeros años, pero sí tuvo lo que contaba -- el amor de su madre, la voluntad de aprender y su propia determinación. Con valentía se hizo la persona que quería ser. Con trabajo arduo triunfó. Con un poquito de sol en un solarcito donde crecer, la magistrada Sotomayor floreció para que todo el mundo la vea. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Sonja Henie Paper Dolls (Norman Mingo & Clara Ernst) - The Swedish Olympian, Sonja Henie, became a major movie star in films that featured her twinkly charm and world class skating. Her charm, beauty and athletic prowess captured the hearts of movie goers in the 1930s and 40s. Beautifully illustrated, this 1941 reproduction has two dolls and clothes for all occasions--day dresses, glamour gowns, storybook costumes, active wear and lovely skating costumes. Added star biography by David Wolfe. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez (Alan Lawrence Sitomer) - Sonia Rodriguez was born in the United States, but her parents are Mexican immigrants who came to California before she was born. Her father has three Social Security numbers, her mother is pregnant (again), and neither of them speaks English. Sonia’s mother spends most of her time in bed, watching soap operas, and letting Sonia clean up after her brothers. Sonia’s father works dutifully to support his family, but he knows that his daughter’s dreams are bigger than making tamales for family get-togethers. When Sonia attempts to put school work before her familia, her mother decides that it’s time for Sonia to visit her grandmother in Mexico to learn “the ways of the old world.” While in Mexico, Sonia gets to know her wise grandmother and her cousin Maria, who teach her that while familia is important, the most important thing is to follow your heart. Sonia returns to the States determined to succeed in school, but the birth of her new twin siblings, inappropriate advances from her drunk uncle (Drunkle), and a forbidden relationship with an El Salvadorian boy push school to the back burner. If only Sonia can find the time to cook dinner, secretly meet with her boyfriend, avoid her Drunkle, AND finish her homework, she just might be able to graduate from high school… Recommended for ages young adult.

  • Famous People Named Sonia

    Famous People Named Sonia

    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

    Children of Famous People Named Sonia

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Sonia - Vladimir Ashkenazy (Russian-Icelandic composer); Nastassja Kinski (German born actress/model, has a daughter named Sonja)

  • Historic Figures

    Sonia - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Sonia Sotomayor (25 Jun 1954 – Present) - 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.

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.

Variations of the Baby Name - Sonia

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