Gender: Male Pronunciation: LAYF or LEEF Meaning of Leif: "heir, descendant" Origin of Leif: Scandinavian

Leif Origin and Meaning

The name Leif is a boy's name of Scandinavian origin meaning "heir, descendant".

Leif is one of the most recognizable Scandinavian names, thanks to Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson, and is still one of the best, with a pleasant aural association with the word leaf.

Leif Erikson, son of explorer Eric the Red, was the first European to land in North America--some five hundred years before Columbus. Centuries later, the name became associated in the U.S. with 1970s teen idol Leif Garrett, the name peaking on the charts at Number 654 in 1970, dropping off completely in 1987. It climbed back onto the Top 1000 in 2014.

Pronounced LAYF in its Scandinavian milieu, Leif and Lief are sometimes pronounced as Leaf in English-speaking countries. Joaquin Phoenix was for a time known as Leaf, in keeping with the nature names of his siblings.

16 names similar to Leif

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Famous People Named Leif

Pop Culture References for the name Leif

Laif, Lief, Leife


NameCrazyNerd1 Says:


I would love to actually, because Leif Ericson is One of my favorite people to study in might make a better middle name though.

GimmeSomeNames Says:


Surprised no one's mention Animal Crossing.

Kittylove Says:


Happy Leif Erickson day. Hinga dinga durgen!

nails4breakfast Says:


Can't think of anything but that one Spongebob episode.

Zelliew Says:


Well stated

headintheclouds Says:


Simple but packs a punch. Leif sounds very streamlined and handsome, with wonderful meaning behind its rich history and roots. I'd imagine it's uncommon outside of families with Scandinavian heritage. This is one of the names I hope would become more well-known outside of their ethnic sphere, like Rhys, Doveva, Signe, etc...

Yara Says:


Hinga dinga durgen!

pumpkinslouis Says:


I DARE someone to name their kid LEIF. i s2g

mamaof4 Says:


We are Norwegian. I love this name, not sure what to put w it for a middle name tho.