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Gender: Male Pronunciation: LYE-nul Meaning of Lionel: "young lion" Origin of Lionel: Latin Lionel's Popularity in 2018: #634

The name Lionel is a boy's name of Latin origin meaning "young lion". Lionel is ranked #634 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Vintage Baby Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

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

Pop Culture References for the name Lionel

Lionel's International Variations

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

16 names similar to Lionel

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


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!