March Names: From Lion to Lamb

March is here and, depending on where you live, it has probably come in like a lion.  But hopefully will go out like a lamb.

So, if you’re expecting a March baby, how about considering a leonine or ovine choice.

There are dozens of lion-related names, including these that are the most obvious:

Leo—the most lionesque of all, rising in popularity since Leonardo Di Caprio’s nickname became universally used.

Leon—the top name in Germany, and slowly making a return here; a Brangelina offspring middle name

Leonahas recently been rejuvinated via singer Leona Lewis.

 Leonard—still stuck in Grandparental mode

Leonardo—one of the hottest of the romantic Latin names, with cultural references from DaVinci to Di Caprio; chosen by megastar couple Penelope Cruz & Javier Barden

Léonie—sleek Gallic female version, recently picked by Monica Bellucci & Vincent Cassel

Leonora—mellifluous Italianate name that appears as a major character in not one but three opera.  Lenore is a streamlined version.

Leontyne—even more operatic than Leonora, via association with diva Leontyne Price.

Some other lion-related girls’ names:

Ariel—meaning “lion of God, with ties to both Shakespeare and Disney; also Arielle and Ariella

Kefira

Leandra

And some more for boys:

Arithe short form of Ariel, which is unisex in Israel

Leander—Greek mythological name that could make an interesting alternative to Alexander; Leandro is the Italian, Portuguese and Spanish form

LevShort, strong Hebrew and Russian name meaning “lion,” used by Candace Cameron for her son

LionelFrench for ‘little lion’; an Arthurian Knight of the Round Table

Llewellyn—Commonly heard in its native Wales, where short-form Llew is used independently

Simba—Swahili name meaning lion (and adapted by Disney)

Plus some others related to lion characters, real and fictional, such as Nala, Elsa, and Aslan.

There are far fewer names related to the gentler lamb:

AgnesThough it means “pure,” Agnes was influenced by the Latin word for lamb, agnus.

NessaPet form of Agnes

Oonagh, Oona, UnaIrish name meaning lamb

RachelHebrew name meaning ‘ewe’

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16 Responses to “March Names: From Lion to Lamb”

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spotlightstarlit Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 2:03 am

I really love Ariella, but not as much as I love Mirabella, I suppose I could do both, technically one is a Bella and one is an Ella, but it is a tad forced.

My camera’s name is Kefira Posy and I call her Kiki.

I love Llewellyn!

Linelei Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 3:43 am

Love lion names! But you forgot a good one: Lavi. My Israeli friend names her son this, and it is absolutely adorable.

SarahSed Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 8:27 am

I find myself sincerely wishing that Disney had left Ariel alone. It’s such a nice strong boy’s name (when the first syllable sounds like ARE and not AIR). I have horrible taste in names though. I’m still mourning the loss of Whitney to the girls side.

Hoodie Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 8:47 am

I do think Leon is ready for a comeback! But I disagree about Leona; it has a lovely sound, and I think the youthful singer Leona Lewis has helped to bring it decidedly out of grandparent mode. I think it’s more in line with the hip Leon than the nerdy Leonard.

And since watching the King’s Speech, the name Lionel is growing on me. I like it even more knowing he was a Round Table knight!

Elle Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 9:50 am

Some very lovely names here…

Leo is both sweet and strong at the same time. Great name!

Leonora is just divine. I would love to see more names similar to this replace the overly done Lillian/Lily.

Kefira intrigues me

Lev is another sweet and strong name. What a change one letter can make from Levi to Lev!

Agnes is just darling…but I don’t know if it would ever catch on here in the US.

Lola Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 10:34 am

Well, simple Leo’s long been a love, mine’s almost 25! I like Leon, He’s just lovely. I have a blue dragon puppet named Llewellyn, I got him as a present when I was 19. So that’s about how long I’ve liked Llewellyn! From the girls: Leonie, Oona & Agnes are loves. Can’t use Leonie, not with a Leo already (still trying to justify Cleo!) but Oona & Agnes are still in the game. (Penelope Oona Violet & Agnes India Frances) Love them!

Lisa Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Agnes might make in-roads due to the cute little girl in the movie Despicable Me (Edith and Margot, too). Just watched the Incredibles with my 5 year old; it was made in 2004 & the kids were Dash, Violet, and Jack, names that are now quite popular among a certain crowd.

I like the European pronunciation (Ahn-yess), but can’t get past the Ag- beginning in the US pronunciation.

lili Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I really like Leander, but I’ve had to dismiss it because my own name is in there. I feel it would be too weird to name a son something so close to my own name. Boo.

Stefanie Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 2:00 pm

My new favorite name lately has been Lenora.

I can’t get beyond the fact that to me Leon is my grandmother’s 80-something year old neighbor, so I don’t think it’ll ever work for me.

One of my best friends growing up (in the 70s and 80s – way before the Little Mermaid came around) was named Ariele. I’ve always liked it for a boy or girl.

Macy Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Love love love Ariel, on a boy obviously. Its a shame Disney damaged this name, but its still charting for boys in the US, and doesnt seem to be leaving anytime soon. Plus, its a popular boys name everywhere else in the world, which is a plus.

CountryLizB Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I like Lionel, Una, and Leonard. And lately Rachel has started to grow on me a little.

iris1973 Says:

March 5th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Love these names…wouldn’t they be more appropriate for the late July/August/Leo babies? 😉

linda Says:

March 5th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Yes, Iris–that’s true too.

Hannah @A Mother in Israel Says:

March 7th, 2011 at 4:19 am

I host an Israeli baby name forum and someone was asking about spring names. Nitzan means bud, Kalanit is anemone and Smadar is a nascent fruit–all popular girls’ names.

http://www.amotherinisrael.com/israeli-baby-names-forum/

Hannah @A Mother in Israel Says:

March 7th, 2011 at 4:21 am

I should add, Kefira is the feminine of Kfir, meaning lion, but it also means heresy so I don’t recommend it. Kfir for a boy is okay.

Hannah @A Mother in Israel Says:

March 8th, 2011 at 6:01 am

I thought of a few more Israeli lion/lamb names:

Lavi–boy or Livia–girl. Male and female lions.
Talia is a female lamb.
Gur is a cub, a boy’s name.

Livia is a bit old fashioned here now. but the others are popular.

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