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Pronunciation of Sophia

(13 Posts)
HahaHarrie Tue 25-Nov-14 19:40:35

Does anyone know the background to the different pronunications of Sophia?

The most widely used pronunication I've come across in the UK is So-FEE-A.

Then there is also SOF-ee-ya.

And then, (from watching the Tatler doco), Sophia Money-Coutts pronounces her name So-fire-A. A bit like Sapphire with an A at the end. Is that a classical Greek version?!

Any clues?

PatriciaHolm Tue 25-Nov-14 19:57:55

So-fy-a is the old royal/English way of pronouncing it; so that would explain the tatler way. The Greek So-fee-ah is more common today though.

florascotia Tue 25-Nov-14 19:58:06

So-FEE-yah = Italian and Turkish

Zo-FEE -yah = German

SO-fee-ya = Place name, capital of Bulgaria

So-FYE-ah = traditional British pronounciation (from 18th cent, anyway, when the name was first used over here)

Many people in Britain today say So- FEE-yah, as in Sophia Loren:

For more info:

TotleighTowers Tue 25-Nov-14 20:43:22

The only Sophias I know pronounce it So-FY-a - they are English and Irish.

Sophronia Wed 26-Nov-14 03:50:54

I think it used to be pronounced So-FY-a in Britain, just like Maria used to sound like Mariah. But now they're more usually So-FEE-a and Ma-REE-a.

sleepywombat Wed 26-Nov-14 04:00:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 26-Nov-14 07:36:06

I pronounce it so-fee-ah, as does everybody I know.

This is despite the fact we have have a prominent sporting location where I live called Sophia Gardens...which everybody pronounces so-fy-ah.

SurfsUp1 Wed 26-Nov-14 08:34:48

Just asked my DS who is a Sophia. In her 35 years and in all her travels she's never heard it pronounced any way other than so-FEE-a.

HahaHarrie Wed 26-Nov-14 10:26:31

Thanks everyone - interesting!

drwitch Wed 26-Nov-14 10:32:55

it is my middle name - s'FIRE-ah is how my family say it

RoundRobinSparkles Wed 26-Nov-14 10:33:46

My DD has the middle name Sophia and we pronounce it So-fee-ya.

However, my mother pronounces it Sof-eye-a, which gets right on my wick grin. I'm glad it's not her first name as I would have throttled her by now!

It makes sense that it's the old English pronouncation then as my mum is old grin.

I do like the Sof-eye-a pronunciation, it's just that that's not the one we chose! [awkward]

SurfsUp1 Wed 26-Nov-14 23:11:33


Where does the r sound come from?

Belazu84 Thu 27-Nov-14 13:58:30

I know several, all pronounced s'fire like the tatler one. But in an English accent there's no r sound in fire, right?

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