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Updated February 19, 2024

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Boy name origins & meanings

  • Greek : Lion
  • German : Lion-hearted
  • Italian : Fierce one from Naples
  • African American : Lion in a new city
  • Spanish : Holy oil used in church

What does Leo mean and stand for?

The name Leo is of Greek origin and means "lion." It is also of German, Italian, African American, and Spanish origin, meaning close to the same. Leo is derived from the Latin word leo,a cognate of leon, which means "lion". It is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.

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How Popular Is The Name Leo

Family name origins & meanings

  • Southern Italian : nickname for a fierce or brave warrior, from Latin leo ‘lion’.
  • Italian : from a short form of the personal name Pantaleo.
  • Jewish : from the personal name Leo (from Latin leo ‘lion’), borrowed from Christians as an equivalent of Hebrew Yehuda (see Leib 3).
  • English : from the Old French personal name Leon ‘lion’ (see Lyon 2).
  • Spanish : variant or derivative of the personal name Leon.
  • Dutch : from Latin leo ‘lion’, applied either a nickname for a strong or fearless man or a habitational name for someone living at a house distinguished by the sign of a lion; or alternatively from a personal name of the same derivation.
  • German and Hungarian (Leó) : Latinized form of Löwe (see Loewe).

Famous people who gave their babies this name


According to Social Security Administration data, Leo has recently gained traction, breaking the top 50 in 2018 and steadily rising. Leo has made quite the jump from 389 in 2000. Once a nickname for Leonardo, Leo has now surpassed it in popularity.

However, it is the 62nd most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Leo was at its peak popularity in February 2016.

Leo was a consistently popular name among the Romans; a total of 13 popes have carried the name. The sudden rise in Leo has been partially attributed to actor Leonardo "Leo" DiCaprio, and partially to author Leo Tolstoy, whose works include War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Various celebrities have also chosen Leo to be the name of their sons, including: Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, actress Kim Raver, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, and Kristin Olson. Leo has also been a popular choice for character names, appearing in The West Wing, Charmed, Grey's Anatomy, and Seinfeld.

Where is it Popular?

Leo was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Leo

  • Lee


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