The name Leif is a boy's name of Scandinavian origin meaning "heir, descendant". Leif is ranked #952 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Cool Boy Names From Around the World and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".
From the experts:
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.