Leah Origin and Meaning

The name Leah is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "weary".

Strong but sweet, Leah is a classic name that doesn’t feel dull or dusty. It’s got plenty of dignity, grace, and pluck, making it a solid choice in the 21st century.

Leah was most likely derived from the Hebrew word le’ah, meaning “weary,” though it could also be inspired by the Akkadian word littu meaning “cow.”

While these meanings might not appeal to everyone, the Biblical namesake, Leah, is considered an important matriarch in The Old Testament. A mother of 7 children and the ill-favored wife of Jacob, Leah teaches resilience, compassion, hope, and faithfulness.

Beyond the Biblical narrative, weariness can be associated with having worked hard, and cows can be seen as symbols of abundance and nourishment. Besides, names with animal meanings are in at the moment.

For the last two decades now, Leah has been gaining a considerable following, outranking former Old Testament favorites, such as Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel. Given to over 4000 girls every year, short but substantial Leah strikes the balance between the likes of Amelia and Eliana and those such as Mia and Lily.

Actress Leah Remini, footballer Leah Williamson, and playwright Leah Purcell are current bearers of the name, while in pop culture, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, the TV shows “Supernatural” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and Barbara Kingsolver’s novel The Poisonwood Bible all feature fictional Leahs.

Loved in the US and across the pond in Sweden, Norway, and Ireland alike, Leah looks set to remain as a 21st century classic for a while yet.

With that in mind, if you love Leah but were looking for something that’s not such a staple, you could consider another Biblical name, such as Dinah, Lois, Keziah, or Zillah, or perhaps just something similar in sound, like Leia, Lyra, or Celia.

# 53 in the US

Leah Rank in US Top 1000

# 244 on Nameberry

Leah Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Leah Popularity

Famous People Named Leah

  • LeahBiblical first wife of Jacob; sister of Rachel
  • Leah ApplebaumAmerican actress
  • Leah AyresAmerican actress
  • Leah Elizabeth FelderJenner, American singer; daughter of musician Don Felder
  • Leah Marie PipesAmerican actress
  • Leah PurcellAustralian actress
  • Leah Marie ReminiAmerican actress and documentary filmmaker
  • Leah Donna DizonAmerican pop singer
  • Leah Schloßberg Rabinwife of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
  • Leah Simone MartindaleBarbadian swimmer
  • Leah Songlead singer of American band Rising Appalachia
  • Leah HaywoodAustralian pop singer,songwriter
  • Leah KrinskyAmerican comedy writer
  • Leah Joy PoultonAustralian cricketer
  • Leah Ward SearsAmerican jurist
  • Leah LaimanIsraeli novelist
  • Leah ClarkAmerican voice actress
  • Leah Sibyl CecilMiss California 2012
  • Leah MooreEnglish comic book writer
  • Leah PinsentCanadian actress
  • Leah Van Dale aka CarmellaAmerican model and pro wrestler
  • Leah WoodEnglish singer; daughter of musician Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones
  • Leah Studidaughter of actor Wes Studi
  • Leah Hope Gosselin (b. 2004)daughter of American TV personalities Jon and Kate Gosselin
  • Leah Isadora Behn (b. 2005)daughter of Princess Martha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn
  • Leah Gionta (b. 2008)daughter of ice hockey player Brian Gionta
  • Leah Leann Shirley (b. 2008)daughter of reality TV personalities Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley of "Teen Mom"
  • Leah Sari Still (b. 2010)daughter of American NFL player Devon Still
  • Leah Lou Abramovich (b. 2013)daughter of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich
  • Leah Mills (b. 2014)daughter of footballer Matt Mills

Leah in Pop Culture

  • Leah Rosecharacter in Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
  • Leah Brahmscharacter on TV's "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
  • Leah PattersonBaker, character on Australian soap "Home and Away"
  • Leah Clearwatercharacter in the 'Twilight' series
  • Leah the Theatre Fairycharacter in the Rainbow Magic book series
  • Dr. Leah Murphycharacter on TV's 'Grey's Anatomy'
  • Leah Gideoncharacter on TV's "Supernatural"
  • Leah Pricecharacter in Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible"

Leah in Nameberry Blog Posts