Gender: Feminine
Origin: Russian
Eng (SONE-yah); Germ (ZONE-yah)

The name is from a Russian diminutive form of Sophia. Among Russian-Jews, the name was often used as a Russian cognate for the Yiddish, Shayndel, though the two names are not etymologically related.

Sonia could also be from the Hindi word sona सोना  meaning “gold.”

In South Eastern Europe and Northern Europe, the name has been used as an independent given name since at least the turn of the 20th-century.

In the English-speaking world, the name was popularized by a 1917 eponymous novel by Stephen McKenna.

Currently, Sonja is the 297th most popular female name in Germany, (2011)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Soňa (Czech/Slovak)
  • Sonia (English/Italian/Portuguese/Romanian/Spanish)
  • Sonya (English/Russian)
  • Sonja Соња (Croatian/Dutch/Estonian/Finnish/German/Icelandic/Macedonia/Polish/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Sonje (German)
  • Szonja (Hungarian)

The name is borne by Norwegian figure skater and actress, Sonja Henie (1916-1969).


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