Today's name: Sapphira
Alternate spellings: Sapphire, Safira, Saffira, Saphira, Safeera
*Sapphire is the birthstone of September*
Pronunciation: sa-FEER-uh (Sapphire is pronounced SAFF-ire)
Potential nicknames: Sapphire, Sapphy, Sappho, Saph, Phira, Fire
Origin: Sapphira, Saphira, and Safira come directly from Sapphire, which is an English word name for the precious gemstone. Sapir, a Hebrew name meaning "sapphire," was typically used as a boy's name. Variants of Sapir include Safir, Saphir, and Saphiros. Sapphira and Safira are used in various languages, but the spelling Safira is an Esperanto baby name for girls, also meaning "sapphire."
Popularity: In 2010, 8 babies were born in the U.S. named Safira, 102 were named Saphira, 23 Saphire, 24 Sapphira, 91 Sapphire, and 7 named Sapphyre. In 2011 there were 12 girls named Safira, 23 Sapphira and 98 Sapphire.
Fun facts: (1) A similar name, Sefira or Sephira, a feminine variant of Zephyr, means "west wind." (2) Sapphira is a Biblical name with an unpleasant story, due to the fact that God actually killed this woman and her husband for lying about money. (The first followers of Christ shared all of their stuff, and it was apparently horrendous that Sapphira and her husband would even dare keep a small amount for themselves.) Unlike other Bible names with bad associations, such as Jezebel, this name can make a comeback solely based on its precious gemstone meaning. (3) Sapphires are commonly known to be a deep blue, however, they come in other colors as well, such as green, pink, purple and orange, and there is the star sapphire to be considered as well. Also, the blue sapphire is widely considered to be Saturn's gemstone. Evidence of this is in the native Persian and Sanskrit words for sapphire, which both mean "precious to Saturn."