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100 Powerful Names That Mean Lion: for Regal Babies

Find out what makes the king of the jungle tick with names that mean lion you’ll remember.

There are few animals as majestic as a lion. Throughout the centuries, lions have been the subject of countless mythological tales of bravery and strength. Where do you begin once you decide to name your baby after one of these awe-inspiring creatures?

Our guide to names that mean lion has choices from all over the world. Whether your little lion or lioness should have a Russian, Swahili, or Japanese background, you’ll find it here. Our guide includes famous namesakes and each unique pronunciation. You’re bound to land on the perfect name for your lion cub you can cherish always.

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100 Popular Names Meaning Lion

Find the ideal names that mean lion for your king or queen of the jungle to appreciate.


Abbas has many meanings, like “stern,” “somber,” and “father.” It’s most inspired by Al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, a 6th-century uncle of the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: AEB-ahz
  • Variations: Abas, Abbaas
  • Namesakes: Abbas Karimi, an Afghan swimmer and gold medalist at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships. Abbas Kiarostami, an Iranian filmmaker who directed the Koker trilogy (1987 to 1994).
  • Popularity: Abbas ranked 592nd worldwide, is mostly used in Iran, and ranked 12th in Iraq in 2014.
Strong, Ancient


Ander means “brave” and “manly” in Swedish. It derives from the Greek “andros,” meaning “man.” Ander also refers to a “courageous warrior,” like the baby boy you love best. It often appears in Spain as a Basque name.

  • Origin: Greek, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Lion man
  • Pronunciation: AEND-er
  • Variations: Anders
  • Namesakes: Ander Murillo, a Spanish footballer for Athletic Bilbao. Ander Gil, the 62nd president of the Senate of Spain since 2021.
  • Popularity: Ander is rare worldwide and mainly used in Spain, where it ranked 376th in 2014.
Traditional, Mythical


Areille is another lesser-known spelling for the Hebrew Ariel and also means “very holy lion.” Under its more common spelling, Ariel is the sprite in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and a character in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion of God
  • Pronunciation: Ah-riy-EHL
  • Variations: Ariel, Arielle
  • Popularity: Areille is extremely rare worldwide, with just 15 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in the U.S.
Ancient, Rare


Ariel derives from the Hebrew Av’-re-el, meaning “altar,” “light,” and “lion of God.” In the Bible, it’s the name given to Jerusalem. Ariel is one of the most majestic names that mean lion and sometimes appears as a lion-headed angel in Christian mythology.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion of God
  • Pronunciation: AER-iy-Ehl
  • Variations: Areille, Arielle, Arriel, Aryel, Ariele
  • Namesakes: Ariel Winter, an American actress appearing in the series Modern Family. Ariel Pestano, a Cuban baseball player, and gold medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.
  • Popularity: Ariel ranked 1,734th worldwide and is mostly used in the Philippines, ranking 55th in 2014.
Strong, Common


Arsalan is another form of the Turkish “arslan,” meaning “great lion.” It has other more unique meanings, from “fearless” to “warrior” and “brave.” Arsalan is mainly used as a surname throughout the Middle East and South-Central Asia.

  • Origin: Turkish
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: AARS-ah-Lahn
  • Variations: Arslan
  • Popularity: Arsalan is rare worldwide and mainly used in Pakistan, where it ranked 503rd in 2014.
Masculine, Uncommon


Aryeh uses the Hebrew root “ari” to mean “lion.” In the Jewish Talmud, Aryeh refers to “the king of the beasts” since a lion was an ancient symbol for the Israelite Tribe of Judah.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: AAYR-yeh
  • Variations: Arye, Arieh
  • Namesakes: Aryeh Nehemkin, an Israeli member of the Knesset from 1981 until 1988. Aryeh Kasher, an Israeli writer, and winner of the 1990 Bialik Prize for Hebrew literature.
  • Popularity: Aryeh is rare worldwide, primarily used in Ghana, and ranked 699th in Israel in 2014.
Unique, Uncommon


Aslan means “fearless,” “warrior,” and “brave” in Turkish. It was once used as a title for Turkish emperors during the Middle Ages. Aslan is well-known because of C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia.

  • Origin: Turkish, Persian
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: AAZ-Laen
  • Variations: Arslan
  • Namesakes: Arslan Seyhanlı, a Turkish wrestler who competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Arslan Asad Butt, a Pakistani actor, and winner of the 2018 Hum Award for Best Soap Actor.
  • Popularity: Aslan is rare worldwide, mostly used in Russia, and ranked 120th in Kazakhstan in 2014.
Traditional, Royal


Athaleyah is one of the few names meaning lion made just for girls. It was influenced by Athaliah, the Jewish daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. There’s almost no one on the planet named Athaleyah, so it’s all yours to give to your baby girl.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lioness of God
  • Pronunciation: Aeh-thah-LIY-Ah
  • Variations: Athalya, Athalyah
  • Popularity: Athaleyah is extremely rare worldwide, with only one known occurrence in 2014, in the U.S.
Rare, Unusual


Azmaray’s origins come from Pashto, the Iranian language spoken in parts of Pakistan. It’s associated with Zmaray, meaning “one who is fierce like a lion” and “lion of God.”

  • Origin: Pashto
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: AHZ-mah-Ray
  • Popularity: Azmaray is extremely rare worldwide, with 20 known occurrences in 2014, mainly in Pakistan.
Unusual, Rare


Babar is one of the lion names for boys that also means “tiger” and “brave.” It’s loosely linked to Persian, Pashto, Urdu, and Arabic origins. Popular in Pakistan, Babar derives from the Persian “babr,” meaning “tiger.”

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: BAA-Baar
  • Variations: Baber, Babu, Babor
  • Namesakes: Babar Awan, the Pakistani adviser to the Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs from 2020 to 2022. Babar Khan, a Pakistani actor appearing in the series Ek Tamanna Lahasil Si.
  • Popularity: Babar is rare worldwide and primarily used in Pakistan, ranking 276th in 2014.
Cute, Unique
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Bagubhalan is incredibly rare, with no available popularity statistics. It also means “very strong” and may be related to Baghlan, a city in northern Afghanistan.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: Bah-GUB-hah-Laan
Rare, Mythical


Baillie is also a Scottish surname meaning “steward” and “bailiff,” which came from France. Though it means “lion of God,” Baillie is much more recognizable as Bailey.

  • Origin: English, Scottish
  • Meaning: Lion of God
  • Pronunciation: BEY-Liy
  • Variations: Bailey, Bailee, Baileigh, Bailie, Bailley
  • Popularity: Baillie is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Cute, Pretty


Balasingam feels both unknown and familiar, but is one of the lesser-known boy names that means lion. It’s almost entirely used in the Tamil language of India.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Young lion
  • Pronunciation: Baal-ah-SING-ham
  • Variations: Balasingham
  • Namesakes: Balasingam Singaram, a Malaysian field hockey player who competed at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Balasingam is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Sri Lanka.
Unique, Rare


Basel originated as Basilia in the 3rd century when it referred to the “estate of Basilius.” It’s also a Quranic name for boys that uses the Arabic root “b-s-l,” meaning “courageous” and “lion.”

  • Origin: Arabic, Latin
  • Meaning: Llion
  • Pronunciation: BAAZ-Ahl
  • Variations: Bazel, Basal, Basle
  • Popularity: Basel is rare worldwide and primarily used in Saudi Arabia, where it ranked 199th in 2014.
Ancient, Common


If put together, Benroy is made up of the Hebrew “ben,” meaning “son,” and “roy,” meaning “red” or “king.” It doesn’t appear outside of India, where it’s still very rare.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Son of a lion
  • Pronunciation: BEHN-roy
  • Popularity: Benroy is extremely rare worldwide, with 84 known occurrences in 2014, mostly in India.
Unusual, Rare


Cakusola is one of the more poetic girl names that mean lion with African origins. It means “the heart of a lion” and lacks popularity info. Cakusola is an ancestral name blessing a baby with the powerful words: “the one who holds the spirit of a lion.”

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: Lion-hearted
  • Pronunciation: Keh-KUW-sow-Lah
  • Variations: Cakusolah, Cakusolla, Cakusollah
Unusual, Rare


Some believe Celia to be the female form of Cecil, from “caecus,” meaning “blind.” Whatever its origins, Celia is famous as the female lion in The Lion King and the leader of the Lion Guard.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Heavenly
  • Pronunciation: SIYL-Yah
  • Variations: Ceilia, Celea, Cellia
  • Namesakes: Celia Jiménez, a Spanish chef and the first female chef in Spain to win a Michelin star. Celia Walden, a French-British journalist, and editor of The Daily Telegraph’s Spy.
  • Popularity: Celia ranked 1,175th worldwide, is mainly used in Brazil, and ranked 782nd for girls in the U.S. in 2014.
Feminine, Common


Chephirah is a place in the Bible known as Chephar-Haammonai, meaning “hamlet of the Ammonites.” Its meaning of “little lioness” brings the ancient biblical world into your baby girl’s today.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Little lioness
  • Pronunciation: CHE-feh-Raa
  • Popularity: Chepirah is extremely rare worldwide, with just ten known occurrences in 2014, primarily in the U.S.
Rare, Ancient


Clawdia is a very special spelling for the traditional Claudia, taken from the Latin Claudius. It means “crippled,” but Clawdia is a modern version reminding your baby girl of the lion’s claws she can have. Clawdia Koopa is also a fictional character in the Mario Brothers video game.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Lame
  • Pronunciation: KLAW-diy-Ah
  • Variations: Claudia, Claudea, Claudya
  • Popularity: Clawdia is extremely rare worldwide, with 21 known occurrences in 2014, mostly in Argentina and the Philippines.
Modern, Unusual


Cub is a colloquial term to denote the babies of beasts from bears and wolves to mighty lions. You can get even more cute with it and call your little one Cubby.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Lion cub
  • Pronunciation: CUHB
  • Namesakes: Michael “Cub” Koda, an American singer known for the song, Smokin’ in the Boys Room. Cub Swanson, an American mixed martial artist in the Bantamweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
  • Popularity: Cub is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Cute, Modern
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Dandelion may sound like a flower child name for the famous yellow Dandelion, but it means “lion’s tooth.” It’s associated with the French “dent-de-lion,” for the sharp shape of a dandelion’s flower petals. Your dandy lion will surely be the cutest king of the jungle yet.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Lion’s tooth
  • Pronunciation: DAEN-dah-Laey-ahn
  • Popularity: Dandelion is extremely rare worldwide, with 87 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in the U.S.
Unusual, Rare


Daniel is the most popular male name that means lion. The Hebrew prophet Daniel from the Bible is famously associated with this name when he is thrown into the lions’ den. He was protected by God, as the lions were tamed in the most divine way possible.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my judge
  • Pronunciation: DAEN-Yahl
  • Variations: Daniell, Danial
  • Namesakes: Daniel D. Tompkins, the sixth vice president of the U.S. from 1817 to 1825. Daniel Craig, an English actor best known for playing James Bond in five films.
  • Popularity: Daniel ranked 24th worldwide and is mostly used in the U.S., ranking 16th for boys in 2014.
Masculine, Traditional


Dhaigham’s “lion” meaning is described as the “king of (the) jungle,” typically used for Muslim boys. The only popularity statistics for Dhaigham is as a surname, with only three known instances in 2014.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: DAAY-huwn
Rare, Strong


Diata is one of many Hebrew female names meaning lion. Like other names with ancient origins, Diata also refers to a “lion’s bravery” for your courageous tot.

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: One who is brave as a lion
  • Pronunciation: Diy-AH-Tah
  • Variations: Diatah, Diatta, Diattah, Dyata
  • Namesakes: Akpene Diata Hoggar, a Ghanaian model who won the 2018 Miss Universe Ghana contest.
  • Popularity: Siata is rare worldwide and mainly used in Burkina Faso, where it ranked 696th in 2014.
Unique, Cool


Dilan means “joy” and refers to a very special “joy at weddings.” In Ireland, it means “like a lion” or “loyal” and was given to the bravest warriors around. Dilan also means “love” in Turkish, for your lion cub.

  • Origin: Irish, Turkish
  • Meaning: Like a lion
  • Pronunciation: DIHL-Ahn
  • Variations: Dillen, Dillyn, Dilun, Dilyan
  • Namesakes: Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security since 2022. Dilan Gwyn, a Swedish actress known for Where Atilla Passes (2015).
  • Popularity: Dilan is rare worldwide and primarily used in Sri Lanka, ranking 151st in 2014.
Unique, Pretty


Durga has its roots in Sanskrit texts and is the character of Mother Durga, a symbol of “dharma.” Dharma is considered “like a lion by itself,” while Mother Durga rides the Dharma lion to triumph over every challenge.

  • Origin: Hindi, Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Invincible one
  • Pronunciation: DUAOR-Gaa
  • Namesakes: Durga Paudel, a Nepali member of the House of Representatives since 2018. Durga Chew-Bose, an Indian-Canadian writer known for Too Much and Not the Mood (2017).
  • Popularity: Durga ranked 857th worldwide, is primarily used in India, and ranked 18th in Nepal in 2014.
Mythical, Popular


Emeleria is very mysterious, with no popularity statistics available. Some think it to be Japanese, although it’s only ever been known to occur once in Argentina.

  • Origin: Unknown
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: Eh-meh-LEH-riy-Ah
Unusual, Rare


Emery is a pet name for the Old German Emmerich. It means “brave and powerful as a lion,” but it also came to mean “industrious” or “powerful.”

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Brave as a lion
  • Pronunciation: EHM-eh-Riy
  • Variations: Emerey, Emeri, Emerie, Emory
  • Namesakes: Emery Lehman, an American speed skater and bronze medalist at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Emery Welshman, a Canadian soccer player for Sigma FC.
  • Popularity: Emery is rare worldwide, mainly used in DR Congo, and ranked 268th in Burundi in 2014.
Cute, Modern


Faraal is mostly used as an Urdu language name for Muslim girls, referring to the name of a lion, or it can mean “height.” When Farya, it means “family of lions,” yet there aren’t any popularity statistics about Faraal other than as an almost extinct surname.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Name of a lion
  • Pronunciation: Fah-RAAL
  • Variations: Faryal
Ancient, Rare


Gao is used as a Chinese surname that appears first when reading a name. It also means “high” or “tall” and is famous as the GaoLion power animal in the Power Rangers game.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: GAOW
  • Namesakes: Gao Yang, a Chinese shot put athlete and silver medalist at the 2012 World Junior Championships. Gao Hanyu, a Chinese actor appeared in the series Flight Attendant Diary (2011).
  • Popularity: Gao is rare worldwide and primarily used in Singapore, where it ranked 179th in 2014.
Cool, Unusual
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Ghazanfar comes from the Arabic “ghadanfar” and is an official title for a golden lion. It also means “brave” and is the “title of Caliph Ali.”

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Name of a lion
  • Pronunciation: Gaa-ZAHN-faar
  • Variations: Ghazanfer
  • Namesakes: Ghazanfar Abbas Chheena, a Pakistani member of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab from 2018 to 2023. Ghazanfar Ali, a Pakistani field hockey player who competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Ghazanfar is rare worldwide and primarily used in Pakistan, ranking 819th in 2014.
Traditional, Strong


Griffin derives from the Welsh Gruffydd, with “griff,” meaning “strong chief.” The Griffin is a fantastical creature from Welsh mythology with the head, beak, and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. It symbolizes courage like the “king of the jungle” does for you and yours.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Mythical creature
  • Pronunciation: GRIH-Fahn
  • Variations: Griffen, Griffon, Griffyn, Gryffin, Gryffon
  • Namesakes: Griffin Dunne, an American actor known for An American Werewolf in London (1981). Griffin Colapinto, an American surfer, and winner of the 2017 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing event.
  • Popularity: Griffon is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 252nd for boys in 2023.
Traditional, Masculine


Gurion is a Hebrew word referring to a “young lion.” The phrase Ben Gurion also means “son of Gurion,” as an ancestral name for a family of lion-like people to cherish.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Cub
  • Pronunciation: GYUH-riy-Ahn
  • Namesakes: Israel Gurion, an Israeli musician and a member of The Dudaim folk duo. Gurion Hyman, a Canadian anthropologist responsible for liturgical compositions for the Sabbath prayer service.
  • Popularity: Gurion is extremely rare worldwide, with 50 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in Israel.
Cute, Unusual


Hafsa means “young lioness” and was the fourth wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It also means “moon” in Algerian and “paradise woman” in Indigenous Australian. Hasa is used the most by little girls who practice the Sunni Muslim faith.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Cub
  • Pronunciation: HHAAF-Saa
  • Variations: Hafsah
  • Namesakes: Hafsa Şeyda Burucu, a Turkish karateka, and the 2012 European Karate Champion. Hafsa Bekri-Lamrani, a Moroccan poet known for Jellabiates (2001).
  • Popularity: Hafsa is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in Bangladesh, and ranked 64th in Somaliland in 2014.
Feminine, Strong


Shia Muslims typically use Haidar, which means “lion” and “virtuous.” It also refers to a “fortunate” and “brave man” since lions symbolize courage in Islamic tradition.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: HHAY-Daar
  • Variations: Haydar, Hajdar, Heidar
  • Namesakes: Haidar Haidar, a Syrian writer known for the novel Walimah li A’ashab al-Bahr. Salim Haidar, the Lebanese minister of defense from 1952 to 1953.
  • Popularity: Haidar ranked 1,891st worldwide, is mainly used in Yemen, and ranked 11th in Lebanon in 2014.
Traditional, Common


Hari means “lion” in both Hindi and Sanskrit when it refers to the “tawny,” yellow-orange color” of a lion. It’s also another name for the Hindu god Vishnu, symbolizing forgiveness.

  • Origin: Hindi, Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: HHAA-Riy
  • Variations: Harri
  • Namesakes: Hari Kondabolu, an American stand-up comedian and writer for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. Hari Sreenivasan, an American broadcast journalist for ABC News.
  • Popularity: Hari ranked 657th worldwide, is primarily used in India, and ranked 11th in Nepal in 2014.
Unique, Popular


Haruun is one of many Arabic lion names that is also Hebrew. It’s associated with the prophet Aaron and means “warrior lion,” along with “on high,” “exalted,” and “mountain of strength.”

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Warrior lion
  • Pronunciation: HHaa-RUWN
  • Variations: Harun, Haroun, Haroon
  • Namesakes: Harun Erdenay, a Turkish basketball player and former President of the Turkish Basketball Federation. Harun bin Idris, the 8th Menteri Besar of Selangor from 1964 to 1976.
  • Popularity: Harunn is rare worldwide and mostly used in Turkey, ranking 155th in 2014.
Strong, Ancient


Like other boy names that mean lion, Haydar also means warrior. The Islamic figure Haidar Allāh means “lion of Allāh,” the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: HHEY-Daar
  • Variations: Haidar, Hajdar, Hayder, Heidar, Haider, Heydar
  • Namesakes: Haydar Ergülen, a Turkish poet and winner of the 1997 Behçet Necatigil Poetry Award. Haydar al-Kuzbari, a Syrian colonel who took part in the 1961 Syrian coup d’état, which broke up the United Arab Republic.
  • Popularity: Haydar is rare worldwide, mainly used in Bangladesh, and ranked 1,466th in Somalia in 2014.
Masculine, Uncommon


Jala is an African-Mende name that’s also used in Arabic cultures. It’s based on the Arabic “jalan,” meaning “greatness,” “special one,” and “illustrious,” for baby girls who grow up strong.

  • Origin: African, Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: JHAH-Laa
  • Variations: Jalah, Jalla, Jallah
  • Namesakes: Jasmin Fazlić (known as Jala Brat), a Bosnian rapper who competed at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.
  • Popularity: Jala is rare worldwide, primarily used in India, and ranked 818th in Nepal in 2014.
Pretty, Unique


Jansher is a super mysterious name meaning “lion of a lion.” It’s found in Pakistan and is thought to have specifically Afghani origins. Jansher also means “lives like a majestic lion” and is mainly considered a Muslim name for boys.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Life of a lion
  • Pronunciation: JHAAN-shur
  • Namesakes: Jansher Khan, a Pakistani squash player ranked number one worldwide from 1988 to 1998.
  • Popularity: Jansher is very rare worldwide and mostly used in India.
Unusual, Rare
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In Old German, Jocelyn referred to someone in the German Gauts tribe. In Hebrew, it also means “joyful” and makes the “lion” definition divine as the “lion of God.”

  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion of God
  • Pronunciation: JHOWZ-eh-Lihn
  • Variations: Jocelin, Jocelynn, Joselyn, Joslyn, Josselin
  • Namesakes: Jocelyn Moorhouse, an Australian filmmaker who directed Proof (1991). Jocelyn Gill, an American astronomer who took part in a NASA solar eclipse flight in 1963.
  • Popularity: Jocelyn ranked 1,673rd worldwide, is mainly used in the Philippines, and ranked 488th for girls in the U.S. in 2023.
Feminine, Traditional


Kasar specifically means “one who resembles a roaring animal.” In Sanskrit, it means “resembling a lion.” Kasar is also the name of a village in the Aydın Province of Turkey.

  • Origin: Indian, Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Like a lion
  • Pronunciation: KAA-saar
  • Variations: Kasarr
  • Popularity: Kasar is rare worldwide and primarily used in India.
Unique, Uncommon


Like other Hebrew girl names that mean lion, Kefira means “young lioness.” It’s also used as a Hindi female name, but either way, Kefira is a beautiful way to name your little lion lady.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion cub
  • Pronunciation: Keh-FIY-rah
  • Variations: Kefeara, Kefeira, Kefirah, Kefyra, Kephira
  • Popularity: Kefira is extremely rare worldwide, with 35 known occurrences, mostly in the U.S.
Pretty, Rare


Kesarinandan is a patronymic name meaning “son of Kesari” or “descendant of Kesari.” It also means “saffron” or “lion” and can be shortened to Kesari as a nickname.

  • Origin: Hindi, Indian
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: Keh-SAAR-iy-NAAN-dan
  • Popularity: Kesarinandan is very rare worldwide and mainly used in India.
Rare, Unusual


Kiara is traditionally the female form of the Irish Ciarán, based on the Gaelic “ciar,” meaning “dark.” In Italian, it means “light” or “clear” when taken from Chiara. Last but not least, Kiara is the name of a lioness in The Lion King. If you need yet another definition, it means “princess” in Swahili.

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Dark-haired
  • Pronunciation: Kiy-AH-Raa
  • Variations: Keara, Kiarra, Kieara, Kiera
  • Namesakes: Kiara Nowlin, an American gymnast who competed at the 2007 World Age Games. Kiara Brinkman, an American writer known for the novel Up High in the Trees (2007).
  • Popularity: Kiara is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 252nd for girls in 2022.
Cute, Feminine


In the Bible, Kithlish means a “man’s wall,” as a town located in Judah. Kithlish means “the company of a lioness,” and as far as popularity goes, your guess is as good as ours. There isn’t any statistical information, so Kithlish continues to surprise.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Company of a lioness
  • Pronunciation: KIYTH-lesh
Ancient, Rare


Kosey means “lion” in Egyptian but shares the same meaning in other African locales. It’s barely used today, so you could have an adorable baby boy named Kosey all to yourself!

  • Origin: Egyptian
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: KOW-ziy
  • Variations: Kosi, Kosie, Kosy
  • Popularity: Kosey is extremely rare worldwide, with 39 known occurrences in 2014, mostly in the U.S.
Cute, Rare


In Brazil and Portugal, Lais means “popular woman,” but it’s also a Muslim and Hindu name meaning “lion.” Lais, Indonesia, is a district in the Indonesian South Sumatra Province.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LAAIYZ
  • Variations: Laes, Lais, Laise, Lays
  • Namesakes: Arthur Antunes de Moraes e Castro (known as Laís), a Brazilian footballer for the Brazil national football team.
  • Popularity: Lais is rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil, ranking 291st in 2014.
Unique, Uncommon


Laith means “lion” and “brave” in Arabic, but it’s also a Scottish boy’s name ranked in the top 1,000 UK baby names. In Scotland, Laith is inspired by the river Leith in Edinburgh.

  • Origin: Arabic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LAYTH
  • Variations: Laeth, Laethe, Laithe, Lathe, Layth
  • Namesakes: Laith Nakli, a British-Syrian-American actor known for The Wall (2017). Laith Wallschleger, an American actor appearing in the series Worst Cooks in America.
  • Popularity: Laith is rare worldwide and primarily used in Iraq, ranking 103rd in 2014.
Traditional, Unique


Lander dates back to its original form as the Greek Leiandros, meaning “like a lion.” Leiandros is composed of “leōn,” meaning “lion,” and “andros,” meaning “man.” Though Lander sounds more common as a surname, it’s a unique way to bring lions into your baby boy’s life.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Lion-man
  • Pronunciation: LAEN-Der
  • Variations: Landar, Landers, Landor
  • Popularity: Lander is rare worldwide and mostly used in Spain, where it ranked 1,013th in 2014.
Unusual, Ancient
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Leandra is the female version of Leander, meaning “lion man.” It goes back to the Greek Leandros, made up of “leon,” meaning “lion,” and “aner,” meaning “man.” Leandra is the perfect way to make one of the more powerful boy names that mean lion fit for a lioness.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Lion woman
  • Pronunciation: Leh-AEN-drah
  • Variations: Leeanda, Leeandra, Leiandra
  • Namesakes: Leandra Leal, a Brazilian actress appearing in the soap opera Senhora do Destino. Leandra Medine Cohen, an American author known for the Man Repeller website.
  • Popularity: Leandra is rare worldwide, mainly used in Brazil, and ranked 715th in Angola in 2014.
Pretty, Common


Lencho’s origins can be pinpointed to the Oromo culture of Ethiopia. It’s also a Spanish boy’s name meaning “crowned with laurel,” as any majestic lion king should be.

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LEHNCH-ow
  • Namesakes: Lencho Letta, the Ethiopian Deputy Secretary General of the Oromo Liberation Front from 1974 to 1995.
  • Popularity: Lencho is rare worldwide and primarily used in Ethiopia, ranking 1,973rd in 2014.
Unusual, Uncommon


Leo is the most obvious of names that mean lion since it’s the literal word for “lion.” Leo is the most popular nickname for traditional names like Leonard or Leopold. In the Middle Ages, it became a nickname for the “lionhearted” and is an astrological sign whose symbol is a lion.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LEE-ow
  • Variations: Leio, Lyo
  • Namesakes: Leo G. Carroll, an English actor appearing in six Hitchcock films, including North by Northwest. Leo “the Lion” Cantor, a Jewish-American football player for the New York Giants.
  • Popularity: Leo is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 34th for boys in 2023.
Masculine, Popular


Leon is the basis for everything from the Latin Leo to the Spanish León. In the Middle Ages, many German-Jewish people used Leon as a given name. It means “lion-hearted” in German, “fierce one from Naples” in Italian, and “lion in a new city” for African Americans.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: Lee-AAN
  • Variations: Leone
  • Namesakes: Leon Brittan, the British European Commissioner from 1989 to 1999. Leon Russell, an American musician inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
  • Popularity: Leon ranked 1,448th worldwide and is mainly used in the U.S., ranking 158th for boys in 2022.
Common, Royal


Leonard is made up of “leon,” meaning “lion,” and “hardu,” meaning “brave.” It also means “lion strength,” “lion-strong,” and “lion-hearted” for your brave little boy.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Brave lion
  • Pronunciation: LEHN-Ahrd
  • Variations: Leanard, Lenard, Lennard, Leonnard
  • Namesakes: Leonard Cohen, a Canadian singer-songwriter awarded the ninth Glenn Gould Prize in 2011. Leonard Pitts, an American journalist, and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.
  • Popularity: Leonard ranked 929th worldwide and is primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 1,182nd for boys in 2023.
Traditional, Popular


Leonidas means “son of a lion” and is inspired by the King of Sparta, Leonidas l. It also means “lion strength” in Hebrew, so it’s got lion-like protection all around.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Son of a lion
  • Pronunciation: Liy-ow-NIY-Daes
  • Variations: Leontius, Leonida
  • Namesakes: Leonidas Pyrgos, a Greek fencer and the first Greek Olympic medalist in the modern Olympic Games in 1896. Leonidas Pantelides, the Cypriot Ambassador to the U.S. since 2016.
  • Popularity: Leonidas is rare worldwide and mostly used in Burundi, ranking 168th in 2014.
Ancient, Strong


Lev tends to combine the Russian meaning of “lion” with the Hebrew meaning of “heart” in Hebrew. It’s considered the Russian form of Leo and also appears as a Czech surname. Lev is uniquely pronounced among Russians as Liy-EHV.

  • Origin: Russian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LEHV
  • Variations: Leiv, Levi
  • Namesakes: Lev Weinstein, a Soviet sports shooter and bronze medalist at the 1952 Olympics. Lev Khrshchonovich, the chief architect of Kazan.
  • Popularity: Lev is rare worldwide, mainly used in Russia, and ranked 187th in Ukraine in 2014.
Unique, Strong


Lion is the most obvious of names meaning lion, derived from the Latin ‘“leōnem” and the Greek “léōn.” Even if you decide to give it to your baby boy or girl as a middle name, it’s sure to make an impression.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Lion (animal)
  • Pronunciation: LAEY-Ahn
  • Namesakes: Lion Feuchtwanger, a Jewish-German writer known for the Josephus trilogy. Lion van Minden, a Dutch epee fencer who competed at the 1908 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Lion is rare worldwide and primarily used in Israel, where it ranked 606th in 2014.
Modern, Cool


Liona allows you to call your little girl Lion and comes from the same origins as Lion or Leo. In this case, they all stem from the Greek “léon” and Latin “leo.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Lioness
  • Pronunciation: Liy-OW-naa
  • Variations: Lyona, Leona
  • Namesakes: Liona Boyd, a Canadian guitarist called the First Lady of the Guitar.
  • Popularity: Liona is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Zimbabwe.
Uncommon, Feminine


Lionel is an offshoot of the French Léon used as a Middle English nickname. It consists of “lion” with the suffix “-el,” making this lion small enough to handle.

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Little lion
  • Pronunciation: LAEYO-nehl
  • Variations: Leonel, Lional, Lionell, Lionnel, Lyonel
  • Namesakes: Lionel Logue, an Australian speech and language therapist who helped King George VI with speech. Lionel Wigram, a British film producer and co-founder of the Oxford Film Foundation.
  • Popularity: Lionel is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in France, ranking 121st in 2014.
Traditional, Masculine
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Llanquipan is a total mystery whose African origins aren’t even specific. It also means “fallen branch” and is used in the Araucanian language of the Mapuche people in Chile.

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: Solitary lioness
  • Pronunciation: LAAN-kwih-Pahn
Unusual, Strong


Llewella specifically refers to the poetic phrase, “one whose lion-like bravery shines bright.” It also means everything from “shining one” and “lion-like” to “leader,” “likeness,” and “luminescent.”

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Lioness
  • Pronunciation: Luw-EHL-ah
  • Variations: Lewella
  • Namesakes: Llewella Gideon, an English actress appearing in Absolutely Fabulous. Llewella Chapman, an English writer known for Fashioning James Bond (2021).
  • Popularity: Llewella is extremely rare worldwide, with 70 known occurrences in 2014, primarily used in the U.S.
Pretty, Rare


Loni is a short form of the Greek Leona, meaning “lioness.” It’s also a nickname for Apollonia, meaning “belonging to Apollo,” and is a Hawaiian name meaning “heaven.” Loni is used more for girls but can also be a diminutive for boys named Leonard.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Lioness
  • Pronunciation: LAAN-iy
  • Variations: Lonny, Lonnie, Lonie, Lani
  • Namesakes: Loni Anderson, an American actress known for the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati (1978 to 1982). Loni Hancock, an American member of the California State Senate from 2008 to 2016.
  • Popularity: Loni is rare worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 1,044th in Germany in 2014.
Cute, Uncommon


Maahes is the most mystical of lion names and originated in ancient Egypt. Maahes is a lion-headed god of war whose name means “he who is true beside her.” Maahes acted as the personification of the sun’s rays, as golden as a lion’s mane.

  • Origin: Egyptian, Greek
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: MAAAH-Hhihz
  • Variations: Maihes, Mahes
Ancient, Rare


Mai might mean “lion” in Vietnamese, but it also means “dance” in Japanese. It’s loaded with other cool meanings, like the Native American “coyote,” the French “month of May,” and the Hebrew “bitter.”

  • Origin: Vietnamese
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: MAEY
  • Variations: Mae, Maie, May, Mey
  • Namesakes: Mai Ito, a Japanese long-distance runner who competed at the 2012 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Mai Zetterling, a Swedish actress known for Torment (1944).
  • Popularity: Mai ranked 600th worldwide, is mainly used in Vietnam, and ranked 36th in Egypt in 2014.
Feminine, Popular


Menhit is famous as an ancient Egyptian war goddess whose name means “she who massacres.” She is traditionally shown as a lioness goddess since she is a warrior at heart.

  • Origin: Egyptian
  • Meaning: Lioness goddess
  • Pronunciation: MEHN-hit
  • Variations: Menchit
  • Popularity: Menhit is extremely rare worldwide, with just one known occurrence in 2014 in Kosovo.
Rare, Mythical


Miles is an English form of the Old German Milo, made up of “milu,” meaning “merciful.” In Latin, “miles” described a soldier and referred to a “lion-hearted” knight during the Middle Ages.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Lion-hearted soldier
  • Pronunciation: MAEY-ahls
  • Variations: Milles, Myles, Mylz
  • Namesakes: Miles Walker, the first-ever Isle of Man Chief Minister from 1986 to 1996. Miles Boykin, an American football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Popularity: Miles is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 56th for boys in 2023.
Traditional, Common


Nala means “queen,” “lion,” and “successful” in Swahili, but it also means “first drink of water” in Arabic. Nala is best known as Simbas’s friend in The Lion King, who becomes the queen of pride by the end of the film.

  • Origin: African, Indian
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: NAA-Laa
  • Variations: Nahla, Nalla, Nallah
  • Namesakes: Nala Damajanti, a 19th-century snake charmer who toured with P.T. Barnum’s circus.
  • Popularity: Nala is rare worldwide and primarily used in India.
Pretty, Uncommon


Nalea combines two amazing meanings: “lioness” and “queen.” It also means “lei of love,” but you’ll likely prefer to call your young Nalea a lioness queen instead.

  • Origin: African, Hawaiian
  • Meaning: Lioness
  • Pronunciation: NAH-Lyah
  • Variations: Najilah, Najyla, Najylah
  • Popularity: Nalea is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Moldova, where it ranked 1,005th in 2014.
Unique, Feminine


Like the most famous Napoleon, it’s based on the Italian name Nevoleone. It’s composed of the Greek “neapolis,” meaning “Naples,” and “leone,” meaning “lion.” Napoleon also means “new city” in Greek, but is lion-ready for your strong lad.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Lion from Naples
  • Pronunciation: Nah-POW-liy-Ahn
  • Variations: Napoleone
  • Namesakes: Napoleon Bonaparte, a Corsican-French military commander and Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814. Napoleon Kaufman, an American football player for the Oakland Raiders.
  • Popularity: Napoleon is rare worldwide, primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 576th in Ecuador in 2014.
Strong, Famous
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Nemean is almost unknown, but it is the name of the mythical Greek Nemean lion. It goes by the name Leo Nemeaeus and was a monster who lived near Nemea and was killed by Hercules. Nemea is still a place name in Peloponnese, Greece.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Mythical lion
  • Pronunciation: NEH-miy-An
Unusual, Mythical


Odette means “a lion in the form of a human” or someone “who possesses the furious powers of a lion.” It also means “wealthy” in French and is the name of a swan in the ballet Swan Lake.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Lion-like person
  • Pronunciation: Ow-DEHT
  • Variations: Odet, Odete, Odett
  • Namesakes: Odette Lusien, a French swimmer who competed at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Odette Piñeiro, the Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education from 2009 to 2010.
  • Popularity: Odette is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in DR Congo, and ranked 66th in Benin in 2014.
Feminine, Unique


Othneil has somewhat uncertain origins as a biblical boy’s name, meaning “God is my strength” or “God has helped me.” It may have belonged to one of the judges of Israel sent to save the people from the king of Mesopotamia. With royalty and Bible history thrown in, it’s no wonder Othniel also means “God’s lion.”

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God’s lion
  • Pronunciation: AOTH-niy-Ahl
  • Variations: Othniele, Othniell, Othnielle, Othnyel
  • Namesakes: Othniel Looker, the fifth governor of Ohio from March to December 1814. Othniel Charles Marsh, an American paleontologist known for discovering multiple new species.
  • Popularity: Othniel is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Jamaica, ranking 735th in 2014.
Unusual, Ancient


Pantaleone is made up of the Greek “pan,” meaning “all,” and “leon,” meaning “lion.” It’s most famously the name of a 2nd-century BC Bactrian king but also belonged to a 4th-century saint Pantaleon.

  • Origin: Italian, Greek
  • Meaning: Lion of all
  • Pronunciation: PAEN-Taa-liy-Ahn
  • Variations: Pantaleon
  • Popularity: Pantaleone is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, where it ranked 1,142nd in 2014.
Masculine, Royal


Poldi is a German nickname for Leopold and means “patriotic” in Hungarian. It’s occasionally used for girls since anyone can grow up and become lion-hearted.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Lion-hearted
  • Pronunciation: POWL-Diy
  • Variations: Poldy
  • Namesakes: Poldi Kielholz, a Swiss footballer who competed for the Swiss football team at the 1934 FIFA World Cup. Poldi Dur, an Austrian actress appeared in Cirus Saran (1935).
  • Popularity: Poldi is very rare worldwide, mostly used in Germany, and ranked 418th in Lichtenstein in 2014.
Cute, Unique


Puma is the most common term for a “mountain lion” and is much more common than the Spanish “gato monte,” meaning “cat of the mountain.” Puma comes from the Incan language and is a very specific way to infuse your baby with lion power.

  • Origin: Incan, Latin
  • Meaning: Mountain lion
  • Pronunciation: Pooma, Pouma, Pumah, Pumma
  • Namesakes: Sandra “Puma” Jones, an American singer and member of the reggae group Black Uhuru. Puma King, a Mexican wrestler with Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide.
  • Popularity: Puma is rare worldwide, mainly used in India, and ranked 1,625th in Italy in 2014.
Modern, Rare


Raion is thought to derive from the French “rayon,” meaning “department.” While it means “district” in English, Raion is also a Japanese word for “lion” that appears randomly in various parts of the globe.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: RAEY-on
  • Variations: Rayon
  • Popularity: Raion is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Brazil.
Mythical, Uncommon


Rasalas has a very detailed meaning of “the northern star of the lion’s head.” It’s also the name of the Leo constellation in the night sky. When spelled Rasselas, it’s a character in a Samuel Johnson story.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: The northern star of the lion’s head
  • Pronunciation: RAA-sah-Laas
  • Popularity: Rasalas is extremely rare worldwide, with just three known occurrences in 2014, mostly in India.
Unique, Rare


Roary uses a unique spelling to transform the Gaelic Rory into a name befitting a roaring lion. It means “red king” when composed of “ruadh,” meaning “red,” and “ri,” meaning “king.” Roary is a lion-like mascot name for sports teams from the Florida Panthers and Detroit Lions to the Middlesbrough football club in the UK.

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Red king
  • Pronunciation: ROHR-iy
  • Variations: Rory
  • Popularity: Roary is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Uncommon, Royal


Ruslan sounds like it comes from Russia, which it does. It uses the Turkish “arslan” meaning “lion.” Other similar variations include Eruslan, Uruslan, and Yeruslan.

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: Lion-like
  • Pronunciation: RHOOS-laan
  • Namesakes: Ruslan Honcharov, a Ukrainian ice dancer and the 2006 Olympic bronze medalist. Ruslan Olehovych Ponomariov, a Ukrainian chess grandmaster and the 2011 Ukrainian Chess Champion.
  • Popularity: Ruslan ranked 562nd worldwide, is primarily used in Russia, and ranked 11th in Kazakhstan in 2014.
Popular, Masculine
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Sab is one of many Arabic words for “lion” and means beautiful. It’s used throughout the Muslim world, from Algeria and Bangladesh to Egypt and Indonesia. Sab more commonly appears as Saba but is still based on Arabic tradition.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: SAAB
  • Variations: Saba
  • Popularity: Sab is rare worldwide, mostly used in India, and ranked 538th in Cambodia in 2014.
Cool, Unique


Sabuah is quite distinct among girl names that mean lion (lioness). It may be related to the Arabic Sab and Saba, meaning lion, but this one is for the ladies who roar.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lioness
  • Pronunciation: SAAB-uw-Ah
  • Popularity: Sabuah is extremely rare worldwide, with 33 known occurrences in 2014, in Indonesia.
Feminine, Rare


Safari has its roots in the Arabic “safar,” meaning “travel” and “tour.” It’s also related to the Swahili “kusafiri,” meaning “journey.” Safari is best known as the trip you go on to see the most beautiful and majestic lions. It’s also given to babies in Africa born during a journey.

  • Origin: Swahili
  • Meaning: Journey
  • Pronunciation: Saa-FAAR-iy
  • Popularity: Safari is rare worldwide, mainly used in Tanzania, and ranked 275th in Rwanda in 2014.
Modern, Unique


Safia means “lion’s share” in Arabic and Swahili. It also has many other meanings, including “pure,” “best friend,” and “wisdom.” Safia is traditionally a Muslim name for girls.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion’s share
  • Pronunciation: Saa-FIY-yaa
  • Variations: Saffiyah, Safya, Safieh
  • Namesakes: Safia Minney, a British author of Naked Fashion: the New Sustainable Fashion Revolution. Safia Abukar Hussein, a Somali sprinter who competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Safia is uncommon worldwide, primarily used in Pakistan, and ranked 64th in Chad in 2014.
Pretty, Popular


Savannah comes from the Spanish “sabana,” originally the Taino “zabana.” It refers to the “treeless plain” where lions are sure to roam about. Savannah also has Southern associations as the name of a city in Georgia.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Treeless plain
  • Pronunciation: Saa-VAA-naa
  • Variations: Sahvannah, Savanah, Savanha, Savanna, Savannha
  • Namesakes: Savannah Wise, an American actress appearing in the series Smash. Savannah Guthrie, an Australian-American co-anchor of the NBC News morning show Today.
  • Popularity: Savannah is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., ranking 58th for girls in 2023.
Feminine, Common


Shalonna is a more recent development among girl names that mean lion. It’s a name in the African-American community meaning “fierce and strong as a lioness.” It still needs more occurrences before Shalonna becomes a popular choice.

  • Origin: African American
  • Meaning: Lioness
  • Pronunciation: Shah-LOWN-ah
  • Variations: Shalon
  • Popularity: Shalonna is extremely rare worldwide, with 69 known occurrences in 2014, in the U.S.
Pretty, Rare


Sher also means “the beloved one” in Arabic. It’s less commonly an adopted Chinese surname found globally but represents “lions” in its original Persian.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: SHEHR
  • Variations: Shar
  • Namesakes: Sher Bahadur Singh, an Indian member of the Legislative Assembly from 2012 to 2017. Sher Lama, a Nepali-Hong Kong cricketer for Hong Kong.
  • Popularity: Sher ranked 1,419th worldwide and is mainly used in Pakistan, where it ranked 46th in 2014.
Unique, Common


Shishi centers around tales told in Chinese Buddhism. These stories involve the Shishi, guardian lions who act as symbols of success. Shishi also means “Yahweh is merciful” and “gracious.”

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Guardian lion
  • Pronunciation: SHIY-Shiy
  • Namesakes: Shishi Bunroku, a Japanese writer and director of the Bungakuza Theater in Tokyo.
  • Popularity: Shishi is rare worldwide and primarily used in China.
Mythical, Ancient


Simba is the Swahili word for “lion” (one of many) based in East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania. It’s also a character in Disney’s The Lion King franchise, which we associate with lions the moment we hear it.

  • Origin: Swahili
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: SIYM-Baa
  • Variations: Simbah, Symba, Symbah
  • Namesakes: Simba Makoni, the Zimbabwean Minister of Finance and Economic Development from 2000 to 2002. Simba Nhivi, a Zimbabwean footballer for Dynamos.
  • Popularity: Simba is rare worldwide, mostly used in Mozambique, and ranked 396th in Ecuador in 2014.
Famous, Strong


Singh is based on the Sanskrit “siṃha,” meaning “lion.” It’s used to denote any important person or “hero” known for bravery. Singh is also an official title in South Asian countries, used specifically by the Hindu Kshatriya people.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: SIHNG
  • Variations: Sing, Syngh
  • Popularity: Singh is rare worldwide, mainly used in India, and ranked 1,052nd in Greece in 2014.
Traditional, Uncommon
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Though it sounds like Simba, Thimba means “lion hunter.” It’s also Arabic for “he who hunts lions” and is incredibly rare whenever used.

  • Origin: Swahili
  • Meaning: Lion hunter
  • Pronunciation: THIM-bah
  • Variations: Thimbah, Thymba, Thymbah
  • Popularity: Thimba is extremely rare worldwide, with 81 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in South Africa.
Unusual, Rare


Tiaret is one of the multiple names that means “lioness,” originating on the African continent. It’s based in North Africa and is also a town in Algeria.

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: Lioness
  • Pronunciation: Tiy-RAHT
  • Variations: Tiarett, Tiarette, Tiarret
  • Popularity: Tiaret is extremely rare worldwide, with just ten known occurrences in 2014, mostly in Mexico.
Feminine, Rare


Tocho is a Native American-Hopi word for a “mountain lion.” It can even refer to someone “as strong as the lion of the mountain.” The Hopi tribe is based in northeastern Arizona, where mountain lions are plentiful. Like the African lion, mountain lions are related to cats, not dogs.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Mountain lion
  • Pronunciation: TOHK-ow
  • Variations: Tochio
  • Popularity: Tocho is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Bulgaria.
Ancient, Rare


Usama is taken from the Arabic root “alif sin mim,” meaning “the one with a name.” It represents one of many Arabic boy names for “lion” you can choose from for your little lion.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: Uw-SAA-maa
  • Variations: Osama, Oussana, Usamah
  • Namesakes: Usama Ishtay, a Syrian-Venezuelan fashion designer known for working with Tyra Banks. Usama Alshaibi, an Iraqi-American filmmaker known for the documentary Nice Bombs.
  • Popularity: Usama is rare worldwide, primarily used in Egypt, and ranked 125th in Libya in 2014.
Traditional, Common


Yeruslan is associated with “uruslan,” from the Turkish “arslan,” meaning “lion.” It’s most inspired by Yeruslan Lazarevich, a hero in Russian-Tatar folktales related to the Persian folk hero Rostam. Yeruslan is also the name of a river in Russia.

  • Origin: Russian, Turkish
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: YEH-roos-Laan
  • Popularity: Yeruslan is extremely rare worldwide, with just one known occurrence in 2014 in the U.S.
Mythical, Traditional


Zaiden has many meanings, like “strength,” sower of seeds,” “beautiful,” “brave,” and, of course, “lion.” Some link it to the Hebrew Zadeni, meaning “angel” and others to an Arabic male name meaning “growth” or “increase.”

  • Origin: Indian, Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: ZEY-Dahn
  • Variations: Zayden, Zidan
  • Namesakes: Zaiden James, an American actor known for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).
  • Popularity: Zaiden is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the Philippines.
Modern, Uncommon


Zamrez is so rare that it only has popularity statistics as a surname (and not many at that). It also means “brave,” which is ideal for your little lion cub.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: ZAAM-rez
Rare, Unusual


Zariel is often mistaken for the Hebrew Sariel, meaning “prince of God.” It’s also considered a short form of Azariel, meaning “God helped me” in Hebrew. Zariel is a Muslim girl’s name meaning “lion” and “princess,” which is the best of both worlds for your lioness.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lion princess
  • Pronunciation: ZEH-riy-Ahl
  • Variations: Zariele, Zariell, Zarielle
  • Popularity: Zariel is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Pakistan.
Feminine, Unique


Zira is thought to be a variation of the Arabic Zara, meaning “princess” or “flower.” Though it also means “moonlight,” Zira is known as a character in Disney’s The Lion King films, so she’s ready for a close-up.

  • Origin: African, Arabic
  • Meaning: Moonlight
  • Pronunciation: Ziy-Raa
  • Variations: Zirah, Zirra, Zirrah, Zyra, Zyrrah
  • Popularity: Zira is rare worldwide, primarily used in Nigeria, and ranked 1,908th in Afghanistan in 2014.
Pretty, Cute


Zmarak derives from the Pashto language used in northern Pakistan. It means “like a little lion” or “lion’s son” and is commonly found in Muslim and Bengali communities.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Like a little lion
  • Pronunciation: Zah-MAA-rak
  • Namesakes: Zmarak Khan Achakzai, the Pakistani Provincial Minister of Balochistan for Agriculture and Cooperatives since 2018.
  • Popularity: Zmarak is extremely rare worldwide, with 23 known occurrences in 2014, mostly in Pakistan.
Cute, Rare
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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.