Sonia (name)

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Pronunciation/ˈsɒniə/[1] SON-ee-ə
Region of originRussia
Other names
Related namesSophia

Sonia is a feminine given name in many areas of the world including the West, Russia, Italy, Iran, and South Asia. Sonia and its variant spellings Sonja and Sonya are derived from the Russian hypocoristic Sonya, an abbreviation of Sofiya (Greek Sophia "Wisdom")[2]

The name was popularised in the English-speaking world by characters in the novels Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866, English translation 1885) and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869, English translation 1886), and later by a 1917 bestselling novel, Sonia: Between Two Worlds, by Stephen McKenna.[2]

Sonya and its variations are occasionally found as surnames in England and the American eastern seaboard.

Scandinavian countries spell the name with the letter j: Sonja, while many English speaking countries spell it with i or y: Sonia or Sonya. Many other variant spellings exist.

Although the most common English pronunciation is /ˈsɒniə/, /ˈsniə/ is also possible.[1]

As a last name[edit]

Sonya is an uncommon surname of English origin. Spelling variations include Sonning, Sonnin, Sonin, Soning, Sunning, Sunin, Souning, Sounin, Sonninges, Somin and Somings. The surname Sonya was first located in Berkshire where they were anciently seated as Lords of the Manor. Some of the first American settlers named Sonya or some of its variants migrated in the mid-17th century to the eastern seaboard. Migrants eventually settled in Newfoundland, Maine, Virginia, The Carolinas and the islands.[3]

Notable people[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jones, Daniel; Gimson, Alfred C. (1977) [1917]. Everyman's English Pronunciation Dictionary. Everyman's Reference Library (14 ed.). London: J. M. Dent & Sons. ISBN 0-460-03029-9.
  2. ^ a b Martin-Doyle, Katie (1999). The Treasury of Baby Names. Cambridge: Worth Press. p. 240. ISBN 978-1-903025-11-6.
  3. ^ "Sonya Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History". Swyrich Corporation. Retrieved 31 December 2015.