Leo - Meaning of Leo
[ 2 syll. leo, le-o ] The baby boy name Leo is sometimes used as a girl name. Its pronunciation is LIYow in English or LEHow in German †. Leo is a Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Czech, Greek, Hawaiian, and Polish name of Old Greek, Latin, and Germanic origin. Latin origin, Czech, English, French, German, Greek, Hawaiian, Italian, and Polish use: It is derived literally from the word 'leo' meaning lion. The first name developed from the Late Latin nickname, and also from the short forms of other names starting with 'Leo-'. The name was borne by many early saints, including Pope Leo the Great (390-461), the first Pope to receive the title 'the Great'. There are at least thirteen popes with the name. The name is often associated with a 'lion-hearted' character, which is often the reason for its use.
In addition, Leo is a Dutch, English, French, German, and Italian pet form of the name Leander (English and German).
Leo is also a Dutch, English, French, German, and Italian short form of the name Leonard (English, German, and Polish).
Leo is also a short form of the name Leopold (English and German).
The name Leona (English and German) is the female equivalent of Leo.
Leo is a widely used name; it has 34 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Lavi, Leeo, Leio, Leon (used in Czech, French, German, Greek, and Polish too), Leonel, Léocadie, Lion, Lionel (used in French too), Lyo, and Nardek.
Foreign variants of Leo include Leao (Portuguese), Leão (Portuguese), Leonardo (Portuguese), Leonas (Lithuanian), Leone (Italian), Leonek (Polish), Leonello (Italian), Leonidas (Greek), Leontius (Greek), Leos (Czech and Polish), Leosko (Czech), Lev (Czech and Russian), Leva (Russian), Levka (Russian), Levko (Russian), Levnek (Polish), Levya (Russian), Lew (Russian), Léo (French), Léon (French and Spanish), Léonce (French), Lio (Hawaiian), Liutas (Lithuanian), and Lleó (Catalan and Czech).
Leo is popular as a baby name for boys, and it is also considered trendy. At the modest height of its usage in 1903, 0.492% of baby boys were given the name Leo. Its ranking then was #37. The baby name has since experienced a marked loss in popularity. In 2011, its usage was 0.111% and its ranking #167, enjoying a minor resurgence in the recent decade. Within all boy names in its group, Leo was the 2nd most popular after Leonardo. In 2011, it was 18% more regularly used than Leo. Leo has in the past century been predominantly given to baby boys. In 1920, Leo as a baby boy name outnumbered its use as a girl name by 74 times.
† Pronunciation for Leo: L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)"
A famous person named Leo is Author, Leo Tolstoy, born 9 September 1828 - 20 November 1910, Yasnaya Polyana, Tula Province, Russia.