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Lia Name Meaning (Origin, Popularity & Nicknames)

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

Lia Overview

  • Meaning: Lia comes from the Hebrew Le’ah, or Leah, meaning “relaxed,” “delicate,” and “weary.” It’s also a nickname for the Greek Evangelia, meaning “bearer of good news.” Lia is also associated with the English Lee, meaning “meadow,” and a Spanish verb, meaning “to tie or wrap together.” It means “child of heaven” in Hawaiian and “grey” in Gaelic.
  • Gender: Lia is a female name and nickname not commonly used for boys.
  • Origin: Lia is the Italian variation of the Hebrew Leah, meaning “weary.” It first appeared as the Hebrew “lā’āh,” yet became a nickname for girl names ending in “-lia.”
  • Pronunciation: Lia is pronounced “LEE-ah” in English.
  • Popularity: Lia debuted at 252nd for U.S. girls in 1900, dipped to 431st in 1946, and peaked in 2010 at 24th. It currently ranks in the top 250-300 U.S. girl’s names.
  • Nicknames: La La, Lee, Li, Lila, Li-li, Lilo.
  • Variations: Lea, Léa, Leah, Leia, Lėja, Liia, Lija, Liya.
  • Namesakes: Lia Larsson, Swedish singer who competed in Melodifestivalen 2024. Lia Franca, Italian actress known for “What Scoundrels Men Are!” (1932).

What Does Lia Mean?

Lia is an Italian variation of the Hebrew Leah, meaning “relaxed,” “delicate,” and “weary.” In the Bible, Lia (as Leah) also means “weary” or “delicate.” It’s been used as a nickname for the Latin Leona, meaning “lioness,” and the Greek Evangelia, meaning “bearer of good news.”

Lia is sometimes linked to a form of the Old English Lee or Leah, referring to a “pasture” or “meadow.” It also relates to a Spanish verb meaning “to tie or wrap together.” Lia can mean “child of heaven” in Hawaiian.

Lastly, Lia is also based on the Gaelic “liath,” meaning “grey.” When a short form of the German and Latin Amelia, Lia means “work” or “youthful.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Lia?

Lia is primarily an Italian form of the Hebrew Leah, which means “relaxed” and “weary” in the Bible. It originally appeared as the Hebrew “lā’āh,” which means “to tire.” Lia has also been used as a nickname for any female name ending in “lia,” like Amelia, meaning “work,” or Julia, meaning “youthful.”

In addition to Italy, Lia often appears in Dutch, English, Greek, and Russian as a nickname for Evangelina, meaning “bearer of good news.”

Lia is also a Norwegian surname based on farmsteads in Norway, while it means “beautiful rose” as a diminutive for Rosalita.

How Popular Is the Name Lia?

Lia recently ranked 307th for U.S. girls after first appearing at number 252nd in 1900. It has remained on the list since then and dipped to 431st in 1946. Lia has steadily increased in popularity since then and peaked in the U.S. at 24th in 2010.

Lia has generally taken a backseat to the Leah spelling in the U.S., but is relatively common in places like Italy and Portugal. Lia also ranked 386th in England in 2021, 9th in Germany in 2023, and 47th in Spain in 2022.

How Do I Pronounce Lia?

Lia is pronounced “LEE-Ah” in English.

Is Lia a Boy or Girl Name?

Lia has always been a girl’s name, either on its own or as a nickname, and it is not typically used for boys.

Variations of Lia

Lia has many spelling variations, depending on the culture in which it appears.

  • Lea (English)
  • Léa (French)
  • Leah (Hebrew)
  • Leia (Greek)
  • Lėja (Lithuanian)
  • Liia (Estonian)
  • Lija (Latvian)
  • Liya (Russian)

Nicknames for Lia

Go short with these concise nicknames for Lia.

  • La La
  • Lee
  • Li
  • Lila
  • Li-li
  • Lilo

Similar Names to Lia

These are ultra-feminine if you like names based on Lia or that sound like Lia.

Middle Names for Lia

Other very classical girls’ names work well when they come after Lia.

Sibling Names for Lia

Stay unique with fun sibling names that are equally as interesting for Lia.

Famous People Named Lia

Some awe-inspiring women named Lia have made their mark in the world.

  • Lia Ashmore: Miss Universe Paraguay 2022.
  • Lia Boysen: Swedish actress.
  • Lia Chang: American journalist.
  • Lia Corinaldi: Italian politician.
  • Lia Cruz: Philippine television host.
  • Lia Dorana: Dutch actress.
  • Lia Finocchiaro: Australian politician.
  • Lia Halloran: American painter.
  • Lia Knight: American radio host of The Lia Show.
  • Lia Maivia: Samoan wrestling promoter.
  • Lia Manoliu: Romanian discus thrower.
  • Lia Menna Barreto: Brazilian artist.
  • Lia Mills: Irish writer.
  • Lia Neal: American swimmer.
  • Lia Nici-Townsend: English politician.
  • Lia Schilhuber: East German canoer.
  • Lia Shemtov: Israeli politician.
  • Lia Wälti: Swiss football player.
  • Lia Zuza: Moldavian model.
  • Lia: Japanese singer.

Lia in Popular Culture

Lia is somewhat popular when associated with various characters in anime or video games.

  • Lia: Character in the anime series “Arc the Lad.”
  • Lia: Playable character in the anime “Fantastic Days.”
  • Lia Amalia: Warrior princess character appearing in the “Fumizuki Chiyomaru-sensei” anime series.
  • Lia Dragonell: 300-year-old dragon appearing in the “Sands of Destruction” anime series.
  • Lia Parapara Leazas: The Queen of Leazas in the “Rance” anime series.

Lia FAQs

There is more to Lia than initially meets the eye.

What Is the Name Lia Short For?

Lia is best known as a diminutive for several female names. These include Julia, meaning “youthful,” Cecilia, meaning “blind,” and Amelia, meaning “work.” Other names based on Lia include Talia, Cornelia, Ophelia, Rosalia, Natalia, Aurelia, and Alia. Outside of a nickname, Lia is considered an Italian form of the Hebrew Leah, meaning “relaxed,” “delicate,” or “weary.”

Is Lia a Biblical Name?

Lia dates back to the ancient Hebrew name Le’ah, or Leah, a biblical figure in the Old Testament. Leah is Rachel’s older sister and is known for being Jacob’s first wife. Leah can mean “languid” and “relaxed” in Hebrew. In the Bible, Jacob falls in love with Rachel, Leah’s younger sister.

What Does Lia Mean in Gaelic?

In Ireland and Scotland, Lia comes from the Gaelic “lia” or “liath,” which means “grey.” It’s also been known to indicate a “healer” or “physician” when part of the Gaelic phrase “liachleachtoir.” The Gaelic Lia also means “stone,” as it applies to a meeting place or boundary. The Liath Fail is one such “Lia” stone, which is found in Tara, Co. Meath, Ireland.

What Does Lia Mean in Islam?

Lia can appear as Liya in Arabic and is used by multiple Muslim communities throughout the Middle East. It means “beautiful,” “intelligent,” or “ambitious.” It likewise means “tender” and “soft.” When Lia is similarly associated with Hebrew, it can mean “I am with God” and “I am the Lord’s.”

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.