Girls name - is this too weird?

(59 Posts)
Teapig Thu 21-Feb-13 21:27:04

We like the name Safia but is it too out there?

I know it sounds very similar to Saskia or Sofia but funnily I'm not keen on either of those.

Is it too out there?

SirBoobAlot Thu 21-Feb-13 21:29:13

Looks like Sapphire but you wanted to be 'alternative' with it. That would be my immediate reactions, anyway.

I wouldn't, sorry.

Scootee Thu 21-Feb-13 21:31:30

I think it is too weird, sorry.

sw11mumofone Thu 21-Feb-13 21:31:57

How would you pronounce it? Is the emphasis on the first syllable (SA-fia) or Sa- FIA (like Sophia)?

It sounds like Phil Mitchel trying to say Sophia.

'That Saaaafia is part of my faaaaaaamily.'

Was my 1st thought, sorry sad

Phineyj Thu 21-Feb-13 21:33:52

Puts me in mind of Ab Fab...

fuzzywuzzy Thu 21-Feb-13 21:34:14

It's an Arabic name prolly equivalent of Sofia

badtime Thu 21-Feb-13 22:02:52

I know someone called Safia. I like the name, but some people just call her 'Sofia', even when they see it written down.

Maybe if you use the 'Safiya' or 'Safiyyah' spelling, people would be less likely to think it was a typo for 'Sofia'.

SoftSheen Thu 21-Feb-13 22:08:01

Safia is quite nice, but how about Sapphira (a variant of Sapphire)? Very uncommon, but pretty and not likely to be confused with Sofia.

Teapig Thu 21-Feb-13 22:18:50

Yup, it's Arabic, it means 'pure'. I'm sure in many parts it's quite a familiar name but we are based in England and have no Arabic connection, just really like the name.

badtime one of my concerns was that people would spell/say it as Sofia regardless. The alternative spellings might help, thanks for that tip.

sw I think it's pronounced sa-FEE-ya.

missy, love the Eastenders point. I don't think I mind but need to think about that some more.

SavoirFaire Thu 21-Feb-13 22:27:53

Lovely name. Think hard about the spelling. I have a DD with a very unusual ('forrin') name. Everybody - really, everybody - pronounces it wrong first time and I do worry that she will get a major complex about it. Had we added one letter to her spelling then I think 90% of people would get it right first time. When we're at places where I have to write her name down and then someone will call it out in a waiting room, I add the extra letter, so there's more chance of people getting it right. I'd have felt silly adding the letter on her birth cert, as it would have made it a made up name rather than an unsual (but classical) name. However, it would probably make her life a little easier. Having said that, I have an unusual-ish name too and people got my name wrong a fair amount and I dealt with it, but it can be annoying especially when someone who has known you for years still gets it wrong!

Gwennan Fri 22-Feb-13 09:10:47

I think it's pronounced sa-FEE-ya.

Probably best to check before you use it but I've always thought it was pronounced SAH-fee-ah (I suppose with the beginning rhyming with Taffy).

seeker Fri 22-Feb-13 09:12:17

Ow can you possibly love a name if you only think you know how it's pronounced?

Gwennan Fri 22-Feb-13 09:19:31

I've found an Algerian man saying Safiyyah here:

Apparently Safiyya is the name of one of Muhammad's wives.

I think I'd either spell it the traditional transliterated way, pronounce it properly, and call it a beautiful Arabic name or spell it my own way, pronounce it how I wanted, and call it a made up name inspired by Sophia/Safiyya.

I think you might just get a lot of people calling her Sophia or Safiyya though (as per pronunciation above).

JenaiMorris Fri 22-Feb-13 09:31:20

I was going to mention before you did that it sounds Arabic. It's lovely. It's a real name and it isn't weird at all.

I love Saskia (sorry, I know you don't!) and Saffron.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 22-Feb-13 11:21:26

It's ok as a name, but a bit odd to use it if you don't have an Arabic connection.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 22-Feb-13 11:28:43

I like it - Yes Saffy for short like in AbFab but that's ok!

Lizzy1975 Fri 22-Feb-13 11:36:06

I know a Saphia. Lovely name.

TenthMuse Fri 22-Feb-13 11:52:52

It's pretty, but I'd assume you'd have some Arabic connection, as I've taught a few Safia/Safiyas, all of whom had Middle Eastern heritage. I suspect that with a non-Arabic background, people might assume you were aiming for a creative spelling of Sophia. Would personally go for something similar sounding like Sapphire/Saffron.

badtime Fri 22-Feb-13 12:30:22

I don't think that Safia or Safiya are too weird, even without an Arabic/Islamic connection. Zara is a version of Zahra which has become mainstream. Maryam isn't unusual either. Safia sounds like an ordinary name.

I don't understand why it is acceptable to use names from some countries you have no connection with and not others. Does anyone tell people they shouldn't call their child Amelie if they're not French, or Finn if they're not Irish or Scottish?

SashaSashays Fri 22-Feb-13 12:50:45

I've know a couple of Safiyahs, pronounced to rhyme with Raffia (as in furniture), the emphasis is on the SAF, so its SAF-iyah,

I don't think its too odd at all. Maybe it depends where you live. I would probably assume you had an arabic or islamic connection.

I like it, its different without being out there.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 22-Feb-13 12:51:58

Well, personally I do think it's a bit odd to use French and Irish names if you have no connection to those countries.

I wouldn't say you shouldnt do it though. Just that it's a bit odd. Obviously people can call their children what they like, whether that's Finn or Chocolate Teapot. It doesn't stop some choices appearing strange to others.

neolara Fri 22-Feb-13 12:54:02

I don't think it's an odd name at all. I'm slightly surprised that people might think this. I think it's lovely.

mmmuffins Fri 22-Feb-13 12:54:43

I think it is pretty. However, I think it is weird to give your child a name that insinuates your child is from a different country/culture, when you have no connection to said country/culture.

lljkk Fri 22-Feb-13 13:00:29

Sometimes it sounds pretentious to use a name so obviously from another culture, especially when it's a "hard work" name like Saphia.

I wouldn't use it because she will spend her life explaining it's not Sophia (lovely name, too). Saffron with nn Saffy is nice.

Speckledy Fri 22-Feb-13 13:02:34

It's a lovely name, much nicer than Sapphire or Saffron in my opinion. I knew a Safia when I was at school over 20 years ago and as far as I recall it was SAF-iyah and I don't remember it being seen as difficult to remember or pronounce. I think some of her family were Malaysian so possibly a Muslim background but I really don't think it's the sort of name that's so odd that you would necessarily expect that sort of connection.

badtime Fri 22-Feb-13 13:05:54

Why would you call your child Sophia if you had no connection with Greece?

lljkk Fri 22-Feb-13 13:40:24

I thought Sophia was Italian, you know Sophia Loren, and she made that name internationally known.

I never heard of Saphia as a name until this thread.

JenaiMorris Fri 22-Feb-13 13:55:52

And of course biblical names have a Middle Easter origin, don't they.

All those fancy foreign names like Mary, Joseph and Daniel wink

My first thought was that it sounds like a type of sellotape.

I also agree with mmmuffins; its off to give your child a name that insinuates your child is from a different country with no actual connection.

badtime Fri 22-Feb-13 13:59:46

Sophia is Greek - it means wisdom.

In Italian, I believe 'Sofia' is the more conventional spelling.

*odd not off, sorry!

mmmuffins Fri 22-Feb-13 14:02:51

JenaiMorris I just an image of the parents of a Mary being asked if their family was from the Bethlehem area, lol.

Teapig Fri 22-Feb-13 16:13:25

I'm definitely in the camp of not worrying about not having a connection with the country the name originates from. I think you if only stuck to names from countries you have a connection with you'd be very, very limited. As badtime and jenai have mentioned that would rule out a lot of popular names like Isobel, Joseph etc. So the lack of connection with the origin of the name doesn't worry me.

I guess my main worry is how it's pronounced. It sounds like there are a few variations so it's likely people would get it wrong and she may end up going along with people calling her Sophia just for an easier life. But I do really like it though so may just have to burden her with it.

shoppingtrolley Fri 22-Feb-13 18:07:54

I know someone called this -- never gets mixed up -- it's a gorgeous name!

shoppingtrolley Fri 22-Feb-13 18:08:36

Also she always gets called Saff -- which is v pretty

Teapig Fri 22-Feb-13 19:03:25

shopping, out of interest how does she spell and pronounce it?

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 19:04:51

Yes -it is.

shoppingtrolley Fri 22-Feb-13 19:09:51

Like Safiya. She might be half Indian. But mainly she is a Londoner!

MrsDeVere Fri 22-Feb-13 19:15:57

It sounds nice to me.
Not at all weird or out there.

I wouldn't bat an eyelid.

But do live in the inner city (ish) so it would hardly be that unusual.

If YOU like it, name YOUR child it.

wigglesrock Fri 22-Feb-13 20:00:18

I think its lovely, really nice. Go with what you love, really really do.

I have a Sofia grin and I'm Irish shock

wigglesrock Fri 22-Feb-13 20:04:56

When I called my daughter Sofia it caused a few "whats her name?" because of the way it was spelt but it took about 2 mins to correct people and it only happens very occasionally. It took my Mum about 100 goes to get it grin

Mum - whats the capital of Bulgaria? Sofia
who's the queen of Spain? Sofia
what do you call your first grandchild? Sofeyea, Sofya, oh feck I can't get it grin

mrstowers Fri 22-Feb-13 21:22:33

I know a little girl called Safia, pronounced Sa-fee-ya. Her family has no connection to the country the name orriginates from but no-one has ever commented on this. In fact everyone comments on what a lovely albeit unusual name it is. She gets called Saffy as a nn which I think is very sweet.

PixelAteMyFace Sat 23-Feb-13 00:11:47

Pretty name, not too complicated - go for it if you like it.

Those who think you shouldn`t use a name from another country if you have no connection to it must find naming their children a bit problematic, as most names have crossed international boundaries these days.

Maybe my parents gave me a French name because of William the Conqueror confused

TheBuskersDog Sat 23-Feb-13 00:31:54

I wouldn't bat an eyelid if I saw it on a class list, but admittedly would probably be mildly surprised when I realised the child was white European, as that isn't what I'd be expecting. It is pronounced to rhyme with raffia.

PixelAteMyFace Sat 23-Feb-13 00:43:23

My DH has a cousin called Safia, pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable.

I like the idea of Sapphira, with Safia as a nick name.

Teapig Sun 24-Feb-13 15:47:45

Thanks for all the really helpful comments. I still really like it. Not sure though on the spelling. There seem to be a few variations: Safia, Saffia, Safiyah and Safiya. I like the spelling Safia as it's nice and simple but I wonder if people could mistake it for a mispeslling of Sofia.

nectarini1983 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:05:48

I like it. Out there's good. Who wants to blend in anyway. ....

Flossy78 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:12:31

I have a friend called Safia. I met her at Uni and no one ever had a problem pronouncing her name. We call her Saf mainly. I think it is a lovely name smile

I have an old friend called Safia. Shes lovely smile

Teapig Mon 25-Feb-13 07:58:48

maidmarian, how did she pronounce it? Was it Safia to rhyme with mafia? That's the way I'm saying it but have heard alternatives.

monica77798 Mon 25-Feb-13 11:07:30

I think Safia is quite nice - but I agree that it might produce difficulties in pronunciation.

WeAreSix Mon 25-Feb-13 11:13:04

My DD has a Safia in her class, pronounced Saf-ee-ya. She also has a girl called Saf-e-ya (much shorter e sound) but I'm not sure how that one is spelt. There's a Sophie and a Sophia in her year group, must've been popular that year!

OooShiney Mon 25-Feb-13 16:21:06

There is a Saffia at toddler group, it's really pretty name, never would have thought it odd at all.

teapig it was pronounced Sa fee ya x

Viviennemary Tue 26-Feb-13 20:23:37

I think it sounds quite a nice name, though I haven't heard it before. But I think that there will be a need for endless explanations about spelling and pronunciation. But there is nothing strange about it at all.

sleeplessinderbyshire Tue 26-Feb-13 21:35:18

my first thought is that it's the name of the beautiful woman whom Elias Cole marries after he helps the authorities to do away with her first husband Julius in Aminatta Forna's amazing novel "The Memory of Love" but I doubt many people will have read that novel grin

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 26-Feb-13 21:59:36

lots of asian boys in my school called saffyan. I would call expect her name to be saffron and you shorten it to safia. i quite like it. oh but iy is a bit like zafira (car)

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