Ursus

An Abundance of Wisdom

Sofia+Polumbo%2C+Sophie+Aflalo%2C+and+Sophia+Sarrazin+from+Mr.+Deitch%E2%80%99s+C+section+social+studies+class.
Sofia Polumbo, Sophie Aflalo, and Sophia Sarrazin from Mr. Deitch’s C section social studies class.

Sofia Polumbo, Sophie Aflalo, and Sophia Sarrazin from Mr. Deitch’s C section social studies class.

Ted Swanson

Ted Swanson

Sofia Polumbo, Sophie Aflalo, and Sophia Sarrazin from Mr. Deitch’s C section social studies class.

Anastasia Thumser, Staff Writer

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Sophia, Sofia, Sophie.

These names may sound familiar to you, like you’ve been constantly seeing them everywhere. That’s because the name Sophia, as well as other variants of the name, have recently surged in name popularity, claiming the title of one of the most popular names in the United States.

Bedford is no exception to the developing popularity of the name Sophia, so it’s no surprise to hear the name ricocheting off of hallways and classrooms. There are 21 students named Sophia or another variant of the name; an average of seven per grade.

According to BabyCenter, some names like Elizabeth, Matthew, and Emily have ranked highly on name popularity throughout decades. On the other hand, Sophia has only recently made its mark; girls weren’t commonly named Sophia until the early 2000s. Despite its late triumph, however, statistics show that the name has definitely risen to the top of name popularity.

Sophia Beninati, an eighth grader, says, “My parents named me Sophia because they thought the name was beautiful. They also liked the meaning of the name, which is wisdom.”

The name Sophia, as well at its variants, have recently become prominent both nationally and internationally. In the United States, the name Sophia was recorded as the fifth most popular girl name in 2017. Additionally, the name Sofia–a differentiated version of the name that has recently caught on globally–was ranked as the 19th most popular girl name in the United States this year.

Not only has the name prevailed in the United States, the names Sophia, Sophie, Sofia, and Zofia are the most popular girl names in nine different countries this year.

Laura Wattenberg, a naming expert who analyzed the global popularity of the name Sophia, says she found it astonishing that the name has become so popular after decades of being of the radar. She has a few theories as to why this name has popularized within the last decade.

Pullquote Photo

sophia (n) a name meaning wisdom”

Wattenberg points out that while some names only correspond to one culture or nationality, the name Sophia has a similar pronunciation and meaning throughout multiple cultures. She also reports that parents find the name to sound feminine and stylish, transforming a traditional name into a modern phenomenon.

When asked whether they would prefer to have a less common name, two Sophias proclaimed that they didn’t mind the popularity of their name. “I like my name a lot, so I don’t mind that it’s common,” said Beninati, “especially since I know my parents named me it for a specific reason.”

Sophia Sarrazin, an eighth grader, thinks that the popularity of the name does have some pitfalls, but overall it is a perfect name. “It does get confusing when there are multiple Sophias, and you don’t know which one is being spoken to,” she said, “but, I also like that people can easily recognize my name.”

Although having multiple Sophias in the same classrooms can be confusing, teachers say that it is not difficult to differentiate the students once you get to know them. In the eighth grade Red Pod, there are two Sophies, two Sophias, and two Sofias. Mrs. Colleen Rondon, the science teacher in the pod, said, “At first it seemed like there were so many, but it turned out that’s because they happened to be in the same class together. Now that I know all the students better, it’s much easier to keep track of the pronunciations and spellings.”

While the name may not be as original as it was a few decades ago, Sophias confirm that they are appreciative of their name. “It’s understandable that so many girls are named Sophia nowadays,” Beninati says, “The name is beautiful.”

 

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