Gender: Male Meaning of Leo: "lion" Origin of Leo: Latin Leo's Popularity in 2019: #40

Leo Origin and Meaning

The name Leo is a boy's name of German, Latin origin meaning "lion".

Leo was derived from the Latin leo, meaning “lion.” Thirteen popes have carried the name, including St. Leo the Great. In Germanic languages, Leo has historically been used as a nickname for names including Leon and Leopold. In Latinate languages, Leonardo is considered a full form for Leo.

Leo is a strong-yet-friendly name that was common among the Romans, used for thirteen popes, and is now on the upswing partly thanks to Leonardo "Leo" DiCaprio. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem called their son Leo, as did actress Kim Raver, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Kristin Olson. It's on the rise and more popular than it's been at any point since FDR's first term in office.

Leo has a lot of elements going for it: its leonine associations suggest strength of character and physique, its zodiac reference appeals to New Agers, and its 'o' ending gives it added energy.

Famous Leos of the past include Pope Leo the Great and twelve other popes, a number of early saints, and Leo Tolstoy, as well as Dead End Kid Gorcey, colorful baseball manager Durocher, influential gallerist Castelli and the leonine MGM icon. There have been Leos seen on everything from The West Wing to Charmed to Grey's Anatomy to Seinfeld"

Leo is on an international roll—it is currently very popular in France (where it's pronounced LAY-o), in Finland, and in England and Wales, Scotland and Sweden.

16 names similar to Leo

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Leo. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Leo, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Leo using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #40

- this week

Famous People Named Leo

Pop Culture References for the name Leo

Leon, Lee, Leoncio, Leibel, Léo, Leib, Leond, Leontios, Lion, Liutas, Lyon

Leo's International Variations

Leão, Leão (Portuguese) Léo (French) Leone, Leonello, Leonzio (Italian) Lev (Russian) Leos (Slavic) Lio (Hawaiian)


BookSneakersMovie Says:


This name is kind of cute. Very handsome and classic, though popular. Unfortunately, this name is ruined for me by someone I know.

ceruleanstardust Says:


Leo Richard is lovely (and I adore the use of honour names). Leo Joseph is lovely as well and I like the idea of a shared middle name to honour someone, but the flow is a tad chop in my opinion with the shared and strong "oh" sounds.

Morri Arty Says:


I love both, but especially Leo Joseph.

bubblegumgirl Says:


I never really liked my first name, and I used to go buy my middle name (Leona) instead. It eventually got shortened to Leo, and I really liked that on me. I think Leo is a good boy name, but it could also be used as a nn for a girl.

sintrocaso Says:


Leo is my favorite boy name by far! Do you guys think that Leo Richard sounds okay as his middle name? My dad's name is Richard and I wanted to honor him in some way. My dad's middle name is Joseph. So toying around with Leo Richard or Leo Joseph. Thoughts?

HalloweenGirl04 Says:


I love the name Leo. Just Leo. It's short and sweet and also a family name for me. Someone who means alot to my whole family. My family adopted a boy and his biological grandfather kept in contact. We all loved him very much. Now I have a nephew named Leo Albert.

ericakatherine Says:


A really adorable name. Wish it wasn't so common now

sfinkler Says:


Such a cool name! Short but has two syllables...can't think of any negatives when it comes to Leo!

beachbear Says:


I'm in love with this name! I like it for a boy or a girl.

Hardly_Known Says:


We named our youngest son Leo, and people usually have a very positive reaction to the name, apart from the fact that he is a lovely boy

fromtheocean12 Says:


Friendly, energetic, and strong - this name is perfect!

-EagleEyes- Says:


Me too!

-EagleEyes- Says:


Absolutely LOVE this name! It is one of my favorites, but unfortunately I couldn't use it since it is so similar sounding to my own name.

FeatherWrites Says:


I love this name! It's short and sweet and very pretty, and I'd imagine it working for a girl as well. (But that may be because I find gender neutral or boyish names on girls to be adorable.)

Momof2Davisgirls Says:


Leo is soooo cute!

zenithstarr Says:


My best friend's brother's name is Leo and he's definitely a heart throb. This name is perfect for him.

claracooks Says:


I love this name! This is a top contender if I have a son!

Agatha Franklin Says:


Leo Valdez is also a character from the Heroes of Olympus books

Leah3456 Says:


I fell in love this name because of the Canadian cop show Rookie Blue.

suzy!!! Says:


Oh my god do I love the name Leo. It's such a poetic name with such symbolism, and it rolls off the tongue.

I've really liked it recently, because of Leo from the band VIXX. That boy is so graceful, the name Leo fits him perfectly <3

JH Says:


Leo was my grandpa's name and we named our first son Leo after him. I love Leo because it's classic without being overused. It's also very strong. People often ask if it's short for anything, but I think it can stand on its own.

jasminegarden Says:


Wow haha! You have good taste :)

Catastroffy Says:


This name is an incredible combination of sauve, sweet, and fun. I love it!

jeanniebear Says:


Those are the exact two people that made me fall in love with this name!!!!!!

Shishi Says:



Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I love the name Leo! It's gorgeous, simple and makes me think of lions or a golden color. Definitely a favourite of mine!

raevynstar Says:


Amazing name.

jasminegarden Says:


I love this name, partly thanks to Leo Wyatt on Charmed & the wonderful Leonardo DiCaprio!

Guest Says:


My mom doesn't like this name because she hates all names that end with o. But I LOVE Leo because my zodiac sign is Leo and it's a short-and-sweet cool name that I would definitely use it in a heartbeat! Also I'd totally use it as a nickname for Angelo. I adore this name so much!

AnonymousPerson Says:


Sweet and energetic, I love this name - especially for a child born in the Leo astrological sign.

Susan Budig Says:


My neighbor's son is five-years-old and his name is Leo. I saw him just this afternoon. :-) fwiw

imustremember Says:


I never see this anymore. What happened to it?

theb4ndit Says:


Leo is by far my favorite boy name. :)