Sophia, your name is really cool! It is an Ancient Greek name made from the word “Sophos – Skilled, Clever, Wise” and the feminine suffix -ia. It’s a truly ancient name that has changed very little from antiquity. We’ll translate it as “Skilled/Clever/Wise One.”
Quenya separates the concepts of “Skilled – Maite,” “Clever – Finya,” and “Wise – Saila,”
so we’ll have separate names for each.
Let’s add a feminine name suffix to these, making: Maitie, Finye, and Saile.
We can also add feminine words “wende – maiden” and “nís – woman” to these adjectives to make: Maitewen, Maitenis, Finyawen, Finyanis, Sailawen, and Sailanis.
The -de in wende comes back when you’re adding the case-suffixes to make the name fit into Quenya sentences, like “Nán Sailawendeva veri. – I’m Sophia’s wife.”
Another trick to Wende is that in Exilic Quenya, the W became a V. So, if you’re going for a Middle-earth Quenya it’d be Maiteven, Finyaven, and Sailaven.
If you’d rather your name be gender neutral, we can add the nouns “quen – person” and “hína – child” instead, making: Maitequen, Maitehin, Finyaquen, Finyahin, Sailaquen, and Sailahin.
All of these work perfectly for RP and fanfic set in Arda. They’re constructed just the same way that a typical Elven name is: an adjective with either a name suffix or a noun added.
Sindarin also separates out the concepts of “Skilled/Clever – Maen” and “Wise – Sael.”
Let’s add a few different name suffixes to these: Maeneth, Maenel, Maenil, Saeleth, Saelel, and Saelil.
We can add the feminine nouns “gwend – maiden” and “dîs – woman” as well, making: Maenwen, Maendis, Saelwen, and Saeldis.
If you prefer gender neutral nouns “pen – person” and “hên – child” instead, they’d make: Maephen, Maechen, Saelben, and Saelchen.
We do have a few dialectical variants for these names.
The Woodelven dialect turned AE into E (thus Legolas and not Laegolas) so you’d be starting with Mên and Sêl instead, making: Meneth, Menel, Menil, Menwen, Mendis, Mephen, Mechen, Seleth, Selel, Selil, Selwen, Seldis, Selben, and Selchen.
Another dialectical difference is the Gondorian dialect, which turns the CH in Maechen and Saelchen into an H, making Maehen and Saelhen.
As with Quenya, all these names work great in a Middle-earth context. RP and fanfic these to your heart’s content!
Sophia, I hope you found something fun and useful in this article.
If you’d like your name translated in this series, comment below and I’ll consider it for a future article!
Hanks, Patrick & Hodges, Flavia. A Dictionary of First Names Oxford University Press. 1990. pg 307.
Wiktionary, “σοφία” Last edited: December 4th, 2020.