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Leah Name Meaning

Updated
Learn about the name Leah including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Leah Overview

  • Meaning: Leah is a name from Hebrew vocabulary and means “delicate” or “weary.”
  • Gender: Leah is primarily given to girls. The Old English variant is Lea and was given to boys.
  • Origin: The name can be traced back to the Hebrew Bible. In it, Leah was a matriarch and one of Jacobs’s wives. Leah was derived from the Hebrew word “la’ah,” which means “weary.”
  • Pronunciation: Leah is most commonly pronounced as “LEE-uh” with the short “u” sound at the end.
  • Popularity: “Leah” is a very popular name and has stayed within the top 500 names for infant girls born in the United States since the 1980s. The highest name ever ranked was in 2010, when it was the 24th most common name given to baby girls. Outside of the United States, the name was popular from the 1980s into the 2000s.
  • Nicknames: El, La, Lay Lay, Lee Lee, Lee, Lilo.
  • Variations: Léa, Leia, Lėja, Lía, Liadh, Liah, Lya, Liia, Lija, Liya.
  • Namesakes: Leah Remini (American actress), Léa Seydoux (French actress).

What Does the Name Leah Mean?

Leah is a name from Hebrew vocabulary and means “delicate” or “weary.” Its Hebrew translations gave it a feminine meaning, as the “weary” referred to Leah from the Bible.

Another theory about the name is that it came from an Akkadian word meaning “pretty girl(1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Leah?

The name’s first recorded appearance was in the Hebrew Bible. In it, Leah was a matriarch and one of Jacobs’s wives (2). Her sister Rachel was the other, who Jacob favored.

Leah was the daughter of Laban, whose husband was attracted to Rachel.

Leah is derived from the Hebrew word “la’ah” which means weary. From that point, Leah spread in popularity across the globe.

How Popular Is the Name Leah?

In the second half of the 20th Century, Leah consistently stayed in the top 500 names for girls born in the United States.

The highest it ever ranked was in 2010 when it was the 24th most common name given to baby girls. It was number 45 in 2020 (3).

Outside of the United States, the name enjoyed popularity from the 1980s to the 2000s. That may be due to Princess Leia, a main character from the franchise “Star Wars.”

How Do I Pronounce Leah?

Leah is most commonly pronounced as “LEE-uh” with the short “u” sound at the end.

Is Leah a Boy or Girl Name?

Leah is primarily a name given to girls in this day and age. However, there are male iterations of the name, such as Lee.

“Lea” was originally a name for boys in Old English, and can still be used for either gender.

Variations of Leah

As the name has a long history and cultural roots, there are a few regional variations. Some of them include:

  • Léa (French)
  • Leia (Hebrew)
  • Lėja (Lithuanian)
  • Lía (Italian, Portuguese, Spain)
  • Liadh (Irish)
  • Liah (Italian)
  • Lya (Italian)
  • Liia (Estonian)
  • Lija (Arabic)
  • Liya (Hebrew, Russian)

Nicknames for Leah

For how many variations the name Leah has, there aren’t as many known nicknames. Some include:

  • El
  • La
  • Lay Lay
  • Lee Lee
  • Lee
  • Lilo

Similar Names to Leah

There are also a handful of names similar to Leah. The following are some of those similar names:

Middle Names for Leah

Leah is a classic and can pair with some great secondary names, such as:

Sibling Names for Leah

Many names go great alongside Leah for a sibling, whether boy or girl. Some of them include:

For a Brother:

For a Sister:

Famous People Named Leah

There are also many famous people named Leah. Some of the most prominent include:

  • Leah Berman: American mathematician.
  • Leah Chase: American chef.
  • Leah Findlater: Canadian and American computer scientist.
  • Leah Horowitz: Polish scholar and writer.
  • Leah Remini: American actress.
  • Léa Seydoux: French actress.
  • Leah Van Dale: American pro wrestler who goes by the stage name Carmella.

Leah in Popular Culture

Many characters in pop culture have taken the name Leah over the years. From books to movies and video games, here are some of the most notable characters you might recognize:

  • Leah: Character in the 2018 Television series “The Crossing.”
  • Leah: Character in the American television program “The Walking Dead.”
  • Leah Murphy: Character from the American television drama “Gray’s Anatomy.”
  • Leye (Ashkenazic pronunciation): Character in the play “The Dybbuk.”
  • Leia Organa: One of the main characters from the “Star Wars” franchise.
  • Leah Brahms: Character in television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
  • Leah Clearwater: Character from the “Twilight” novels by Stephenie Meyer.
  • Leah Patterson-Baker: Character from the television series “Home and Away.”
  • Leah Rose: Character from the “Left Behind” novels.
  • Queen Leah: Character from Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.”

Leah FAQs

There might be some other questions on your mind about the name Leah. Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions and interesting tidbits concerning the name Leah.

Can Leah Be Short for Another Name?

There are many names that Leah can be a shortened version of others, including Aurelia, Azalea, Natalia, and Talia.

Is Leah a Good Name?

Leah is a classic choice. It has a pleasing and graceful sound, perfect to give to a sweet child. The name is often associated with people who are gentle and sensitive.

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