August 25th, 2012
Ah, Sophia, Sophia. You ancient venerable beauty, once a rarity, now found en masse in Kindergartens across the land. I’ve always stated that the rise of the names Sophia, Isabella, Olivia and the like is evidence that the tide in name taste has turned a corner for the better. But what do you do when you’ve loved this name forever, but your sister just chose it for her daughter born three months prior to yours? Well, friends, you choose a different name.
Here’s a short list of Sophia stand-ins. What would you choose?
Louisa – A steadfast beauty that deserves its rightful place among the top 10, yet isn’t found among the top 1000 most popular girls’ names in the United States (!)
Cecilia – Mellifluous and lovely like Sophia herself, with Classical roots.
Phaedra – A step outside the norm, but with similar cadence and sounds.
Athena – The Greek goddess of wisdom conveys the same meaning.
Minerva – Go with her Roman counterpart Minerva, and get the bonus darling nickname of Minnie.
Flavia – An Ancient Latin name, particular well-suited to the flaxen-haired.
Paloma – Brilliant meaning of “peace” or “dove”, this could appeal particularly to Sophia’s Latino devotees.
Sylvie – You could do Sylvie or the more obvious Sylvia. I favor the lively -ie ending here.
Sonia – An International variation ready for her audience, this one has many spellings (Sonya, Sonja).
Zosia – A Polish transliteration with zest to spare.
Already have a little Sophia at home, love the name, but would prefer something less popular for her brother or sister? Consider these complementary names:
Sisters: Beatrice, Imogen, Iris, Juliet, Verity
Brothers: Cosmo, George, Lawrence, Lucian, Theodore
Do you have any brilliant alternatives to Sophia? I know you do! What sibling names would you suggest?
(Pictured: Film Star and character actress Sylvia Sidney, whose given name was Sophia Kosow. How times have changed!)