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Gender: Male Meaning of Leo: "lion" Origin of Leo: Latin Leo's Popularity in 2017: #61

The name Leo is a boy's name of German, Latin origin meaning "lion". Leo is ranked #61 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like British Boy Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Baby a Day".

From the experts:

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.

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

Famous People Named Leo

Saint Leo of Catania, Italian bishop
Leo I-XIII, popes
Leo I-VI, Byzantine Emperors
Leo I-V, Kings of Armenia
(Georg) Leo Graf von Caprivi, Chancellor of Germany
Leonardo Wilhelm "Leo" DiCaprio, American actor and producer
Leo Howard, American actor
Leo Gordon Laporte, American broadcaster and author
Leo Joseph Ryan, U.S. Congressman from California
Lev "Leo" Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Russian novelist
Leo Arnaud, French composer
Leo Bernard Gorcey, American actor
Leo Gratten Carroll, English actor
(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes, French composer
Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender, American guitar maker
Leo de Berardinis, Italian actor
Leo Freiherr von König, German painter
Gerard Hugh "Leo" Sayer, British-Australian singer-songwriter
Leo Ku (Kui-Kei), Hong Kong pop singer
Leo Melamed, American attorney; chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Leo Szilard, Hungarian-American physicist and inventor
Joseph Viateur "Léo" Dandurand, Canadian businessman and NHL team owner
Leo, stage name of Jung Taekwoon of Korean boy band VIXX
Lionel "Leo" Messi, Argentine footballer
Leo Burke, ring name of Leonce Cormier, Canadian pro wrestler
Leo Kipling Boyer (b. 2007), son of actors Kim Raver and Manuel Boyer
Leo Benjamin Gordon (b. 2010), son of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon
Leonardo "Leo" Encinas Cruz (b. 2011), son of actor Javier Bardem and actress Penelope Cruz
Leo Grey McElhenney (b. 2012), son of actors Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney
Leo Ezra Egan (b. 2015), late son of TV chef Kelsey Nixon and Robby Egan
Leo Streitenfeld (b. 2009), son of actress Julie Delpy and composer Marc Streitenfeld
Leo Powell (b. 2011), son of actor Drew Powell
Leo James Routh (b. 2012), son of actors Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford
Leo Federer (b. 2014), son of tennis player Roger Federer
Leo Thames Newman (b. 2015), son of actress and model Jaime King
Leo Hijazi (b.2017), son Jaime Pressly and Hamzi Hijazi. Twin brother to Lenon Hijazi
Leo James Maguire (b. 2017), son of English actor Sean Maguire
Leo Hardy, son of Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley.

Pop Culture References for the name Leo

Leo Valdez, from Rick Riordan's "Heroes of Olympus" book series
Uncle Leo, Jerry's Uncle on 'Seinfeld'
Leo Wyatt - Charmed
Leo, a Zodiac sign
Leo McGarry, fictional character on the television serial drama The West Wing
Leo Foxe-Donnell, character in the novel 'A Nest of Simple Folk'
Leo Plumb, character in novel "The Nest"
Leo Biederman, from movie "Deep Impact" played by Elijah Wood
Leopold "Leo" Fitz, a character on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Leo Koenig, from the movie "Funny People"
Leo Francis Dooley, a character on the Disney XD show Lab Rats
Leo Fitzgerald, character in The Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass
Leo Borlock, character in Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl
Leo, character portrayed by Tommy Chong on That '70s Show
Leo the Lion, 'Loke,' a celestial spirit in the manga/anime, 'Fairy Tail'
Leo Hendrie, character from the TV series "Chasing Life", played by Scott Michael Foster
Leo Roth, character on the Red Band Society played by Charlie Rowe
Leo Spitz, character from the movie "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"
Leo Castellano, The Mindy Project (Mindy and Danny's son)
Leo Callisto, Father in the Disney Jr cartoon series "Miles from Tomorrowland"
Leo, from the video game Fire Emblem: Fates.
Sergeant Leo Barnes from The Purge: Anarchy & The Purge: Election Year.
Leo de la Iglesia, American skater from the anime 'Yuri!!! on Ice'.
Leo Byler, character from the movie "Mute"
Leo Cruz, character from Netflix's "Greenhouse Academy"

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

Leo's International Variations

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


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. :)