Sofia Is 2015’s Most Popular Baby Name

January 7, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. stellar / ˈstɛl ər / (adj.) – outstanding; extraordinary
Example: Her parents are proud of her stellar grades.

2. enunciate / ɪˈnʌn siˌeɪt / (v.) – to clearly pronounce a word
Example: Their young son quickly learned to enunciate words in school.

3. obscure / əbˈskyʊər / (adj.) – not well-known
Example: The professor asked us to watch an obscure movie from the 1970s.

4. convention / kənˈvɛn ʃən / (n.) – a rule established by common practice
Example: It is a convention for students to greet the teacher at the start of class.

5. prevalent /ˈprɛv ə lənt/ (adj.)common; done by many
Example: In my country, giving a child a second name is a prevalent practice.


Read the text below.
An expert has revealed the most popular baby name in the world.

In a report by naming expert Laura Wattenberg, Sofia is currently the world's most popular baby name. The name and all its variations are number one in nine countries, including Chile, Estonia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and Slovakia. It is also the number two or three baby name in an additional twenty countries, including the United States. Among two-thirds of all countries where baby name statistics are reported, it is ranked in the top 25.

Despite its stellar rankings, the name’s popularity is something of a mystery.  There is no clear explanation as to why it is popular only now. There is also no recent globally-recognized celebrity or character who shares the same name.

Some people think it is because the name is easy to enunciate in various languages. On the other hand, Wattenberg believes it is possible that Sofia became popular only because it was initially an obscure name. However, because of its recent popularity, she believes that trend-conscious parents may start avoiding it.

The trend of using uncommon names is just one of the many naming conventions in the world today. Other conventions include naming babies after religious figures such as Mary, John, and Mohammed. Naming children after parents or ancestors is also prevalent.

As for Sofia, it is still the most popular name in the world, but its popularity may actually make it lose that spot soon.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you had a child, what name would you give him/her? Why?
·         What naming conventions are common in your country? Enumerate as many as you can.

Discussion B

·         Is there a special meaning to your name? What is it?
·         What other names in your country have interesting meanings? Please discuss.

January 7, 2016