14/08/2014 17:00 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Sophie - The Meaning, Origin And Other Facts About The Name

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The name Sophie may seem like a traditional English name, but in fact it is the French form of the name Sophia.

Sophia is derived from the Greek word sophos, which means wisdom. The name first rose to popularity among Christian Europeans in the Middle Ages, when many parents chose to name their daughters after a Second Century saint called Sophia the Martyr, who died from grief after her three daughters, Faith, Hope and Love, were martyred.

The name was common among European royalty from the Middle Ages onwards, and became popular in Britain when the German House of Hanover inherited the British throne in the 18th century.

Sophie was the ninth most popular name given to baby girls born in England and Wales in 2012.

Famous people called Sophie:
Sophie Dahl, model
Sophie Ellis-Bextor, singer
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, royalty
Sophie Okonedo, actor
Sophie Anderton, model
Sophie Grigson, chef (born Hester Sophia Frances Grigson)
Sophie Turner, actor who plays Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones
Sophie, protagonist in Roald Dahl's book The BFG
Sophie the Giraffe, baby's teething toy

Can be shortened to: Soph, Fie

Surnames to avoid pairing Sophie with:
Surnames beginning with an 'E' might cause problems, as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.

Similar names:
Sophia, Sophronia, Sophy, Sofia (Greek), Zofie (Czech), Zofia (Polish)

Masculine variants:
Sophereth, Sophocles.

Celebrities who named their baby Sophie:
Luke Perry, actor
Bette Midler, actor, singer-songwriter
David Jason, actor