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Gender: Male Pronunciation: LYE-nul Meaning of Lionel: "young lion" Origin of Lionel: Latin Lionel's Popularity in 2017: #592

The name Lionel is a boy's name of Latin origin meaning "young lion". Lionel is ranked #592 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Hipster Baby Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Names on NB that make you go WOW!".

From the experts:

Lionel is one leonine name that hasn't taken off as cousins Leo and Leonardo have, though it did reenter the Top 1000 in 2010 after several years away; it was at its highest point in the 1920s and 1930s.

This French diminutive of Leon has had many worthy namesakes over time, including Sir Lionel, a Knight of the Round Table, actor Barrymore, critic Trilling, musicians Hampton and Richie, Argentine Olympic footballer Messi, and characters in numerous movies and TV shows such as gruff but loveable Lionel Hardcastle in the Judi Dench comedy As Time Goes By. Real life Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue was portrayed in The King's Speech.

Lionel Barrymore, of the famed theatrical family, was a mainstay of Golden Age Hollywood films, and kids might like the association to Lionel trains.

This is a timeless choice worth considering.

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

Famous People Named Lionel

Lionel Brockman Richie, American R&B singer-songwriter
Lionel Leo Hampton, American jazz musician
Lionel Dotson, American football player
Lionel Andrés Messi (Cuccittini), Argentine footballer
Lionel Herbert Barrymore, American actor
Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister of France
Lionel Charles Hamilton Palairet, English cricketer
Lionel Eugene Hollins, American basketball player
Lionel Bart, British composer
Lionel George Logue, Australian speech therapist who treated King George VI; portrayed in movie "The King's Speech"
Lionel Edmund Rose, Australian boxer
Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, son of King Edward III of England
Lionel Charles Jeffries, English actor
Lionel Blair (born Henry Lionel Ogus), British actor and dancer
Lionel Frost Bowen, 6th Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
Lionel Jay Stander, American actor
Lionel James "L-Train" Simmons, American basketball player
Lionel Thomas Taylor, American NFl football player
Lionel Allen Sheldon, U.S. Congressman and governor of New Mexico Territory

Pop Culture References for the name Lionel

Sir Lionel, knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend
Lionel Hutz, character on TV's "The Simpsons"
Lionel Lockridge, character on American soap "Santa Barbara"
Lionel Skeggins, character on New Zealand soap "Shortland Street"
"The Story of Lionel and Arabella," English fictional work of 1756
Lionel Luthor, character on TV's "Smallville"
Lionel Jefferson, character on TV's "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons"
Professor Lionel Stokesay, fictional archaeologist in "Anglo-Saxon Attitudes" (1956) by Angus Wilson
Lionel Fusco, character on TV's "Person of Interest"
Lionel Dresden, character in film "Because I Said So"
Lionel Vickars, main character in G. A. Henty's "By England's Aid"
Lionel Bishop, character in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom
Lionel, lion character in Disney's "Dumbo's Circus"
Lionel, brand of toy trains

Lionel's International Variations

Lyonell, Leonello, Leonila, Linnellio, Lionello, Lionellu, Lionnel, Lyonell (French) Leonel (Spanish)


Kai Says:


Strong, but charming. Loving the vintage feel of it too. Whether it's​ pronounced Lie-nell, Lee-oh-nell, or Lie-uh-nell, it still sounds lovely, but I prefer Lee-oh-nell.

indiefendi2 Says:


Once I heard it pronounced leo-nell instead of LION-l I've switched sides. I love "leo-nell" much more. I would call a Lionel "Leo" regardless.

Jamierz Says:


What a strong and gorgeous name! Definitely at the top of my list.

headintheclouds Says:


Love Lionel. It's always sounded to me like a very charming whimsical sort of name, if not for its association for being vintage and proper and solid. (I think a sibset of similarly vintagey/classic names with o's in the spelling would be adorable- e.g. George, Lionel, Eloise.) I like the "lye-null" pronunciation, but I LOVE how my French instructor pronounced his name- "lee-oh-nell"- and wish that pn was more well-known!

ThistleThorn Says:


I love this name and Messi, so it's a win win.

JamieO Says:


Very classical aura, without sounding like an old man name. It is out of the norm, yet comfortable.. I really like it!