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Leon Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Leon Overview

  • Meaning: Lion
  • Gender: Male
  • Origin: Greek
  • Pronunciation: Lee-awn, Lay-awn
  • Popularity: 177th in the United States
  • Nicknames: Lee, Lon, On
  • Variations: León, Lyon, Leo
  • Namesakes: Leon Trotsky, Leon Russell

What Does Leon Mean?

Leon means lion in Greek. Over time, Leon also took on the same meaning in other languages (1).

What is the Origin of the Name Leon?

The name Leon has a Greek origin. Over time, the Greek Leon combined with the Latin name Leo. Leon is used as a name, with some slight variation, in English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Dutch.

How Popular is the Name Leon?

As of 2021, Leon ranked as the 177th most popular name in the United States. As far as recordable data shows, that rank is the most popular the name has been in the United States. (2)

The last time this name was popular was in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At that point, the name ranked around 200th in popularity. Leon started to dip in popularity in the early 1940s. It continued to decline in popularity until it was at its least popular in 2005 when it ranked 1109th. After that dip, the name steadily rose in popularity until it reached its current status.

How Do I Pronounce Leon?

Pronounce Leon as Lee-awn. In some cases, it may be pronounced like Lay-awn.

Is Leon a Boy or Girl Name?

Leon is usually a given name for boys and sometimes a surname.

Variations of Leon

There are several variations of the name Leon. Some of these variations are simply different spellings of the same name, while others are similar names that use Leon as a component. Many versions of Leon are used around the world in different cultures and languages.

  • León
  • Leone
  • Leo
  • Lyon
  • Leonne
  • Leonidas
  • Leonato
  • Lennard
  • Lennart
  • Leonhard
  • Leonardo
  • Lenny
  • Napoleon
  • Lionel
  • Leonard
  • Lenard
  • Leonardo
  • Len
  • Leeland
  • Ian

Nicknames for Leon

Leon is a fairly short name. So, you may not think that it has many short versions. Luckily, the name lends itself to several fun nicknames. Most of these nicknames derive from parts of the name. However, other nicknames are more of a spin on Leon and its components.

  • Leo
  • Le
  • Lee
  • Eo
  • Lon
  • Lion
  • On
  • Eon
  • Ony
  • Lonny
  • Loni
  • El
  • Leoni
  • Lolo
  • Lele
  • Lelo
  • Nono
  • Neo
  • No
  • Lone Ranger

Similar Names to Leon

If you like the name Leon, but do not want to choose it as the name for your child, consider a name with a similar origin or energy. Names similar to Leon may sound similar, have the same Greek origin, or have an old-fashioned feel. Some of these names are more common than Leon, while others are unique.

Middle Names for Leon

When searching for the perfect middle name for Leon, consider a few factors. Since Leon is greek in origin, you may want to use a middle name that is also Greek. Since Leon is a fairly simple name, the middle name is an opportunity to be a little more out there. However, you can also pair a simple first name with a simple middle name.


Sibling Names for Leon

Leon’s younger sibling can have a name that compliments their older sibling while standing on their own. For a matching name, consider a sibling name of Greek origin. You can also just go with a simple name that has classic energy. Since Leon means lion, you can also choose a name for Leon’s sibling that relates to animals or bravery.

Famous People Named Leon

Throughout history, there have been quite a few Leons. Since this Greek name was popular around 400 BC to 200 BC, there are a lot of ancient scholars, historians, kings, politicians, and athletes who originated the name. Leon is a name shared by several writers, economists, musicians, artists, civil rights leaders, and more.

  • Leon of Sparta: King of Sarta
  • Leon: Giant in Greek mythology
  • Leon Trotsky: Russian revolutionary
  • Leonwood Bean: L.L. Bean founder
  • Leon Eric “Kix” Brooks: American singer
  • Leon Curtis Frierson: American comedian
  • Leon Russell: American musician
  • Leon: Greek mathematician
  • Leon of Modena: Venetian scholar
  • Leon Ashley: American singer-songwriter
  • León Baskt: Russian painter and costume designer
  • Leon Bates: American union leader
  • Leon Belasco: Russian-American musician and actor
  • Leon Berkowitz: American painter
  • León Blum: French Prime Minister
  • León Boëllmann: French composer
  • Leon Cooper: American physicist and Noble Prize laureate
  • Leon Durham: American baseball player
  • Leon Fleisher: American pianist and conductor
  • Leon Jackson: Scottish singer

Leon in Popular Culture

From pint-sized cowboys to professional hitmen, Leon is a popular name across pop culture. This name is found across all forms of media, including movies, TV, video games, comic strips, music, and literature.

  • Leon “León” Montana: León: The Professional (3)
  • Leon: Song by Madness
  • León: Annie Groovie character
  • Leon Kowalski: Blade Runner
  • Leon Elliott: Black Cat
  • Leon: Dead or Alive
  • Leon: Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Leon Garcia de Asturias: Trinity Blood
  • Leon D. Geeste: Star Ocean 2
  • Leon: Squirrel Boy
  • Leon: Andy Griffith Show
  • Leon: Pokemon Sword and Shield
  • Leon: Brawl Stars
  • Leon: Rune Factory 4
  • Leon Belmont: Castlevania
  • Leon Jefferson III: Baby Driver
  • Leon Karp: Roseanne
  • Leon S. Kennedy: Resident Evil
  • Leon Powalski: Star Fox
  • Leongar: Kirby

Leon FAQs

Is there a female version of Leon?

There are a few female versions of the name Leon. These names include Leonie, Leona, and Leonarda. All of these names also name lion, lioness, or brave lion.

Are there any other names that mean lion?

Besides Leon, Leo, Leonie, Leona, and Leonarda, that means lion or something similar. These names include Ariel, Aryeh, Aslan, Ari, Aset, Baabar, Dylon, Lavi, and Sher. Some names are associated with lions, such as Daniel and Gryphon.

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