1688, "student in the second year of university study," lit. "arguer," altered from sophumer
(1653, from sophume
, archaic variant form of sophism
), probably by influence of folk etymology derivation from Gk. sophos
"wise" + moros
"foolish, dull." Short form soph
is attested from 1778. Sophomoric
"characteristic of a sophomore" (regarded as self-assured and opinionated but crude and immature) is attested from 1837.