Leo Name Meaning

A name of great associations, there is a lot to love about the small but mighty Leo. Whether you’re loving his brave meaning of “lion” or a fan of his horoscope associations, Leo has a number of sides to him that you can explore.

Leo is on-trend with the short and sweet picks that have been inching up the charts like Eli and Ian. He packs a lot of punch despite his size, his heart of a lion shining through. He also has the super cool -o ending seen in Milo and Mateo.

For nature lovers, there’s more to Leo than just his big cat roots. He’s also a constellation name, a cool pick for an astronomy lover. He isn’t quite as obvious as Orion, but he’s a cheeky nod to your hobby.

Leo is the ultimate cool-kid name, packed with relaxed vibes and an effortless style. Leo is confident, unafraid to strike up conversation with just about anyone. He knows who he is and what he wants, and he isn’t afraid to work hard at his goals to achieve them.

A name that manages to sound soft but have a strong side, Leo is a versatile choice with enviable dimension. He is also another international pick that works well across languages regardless of where life may take him.

Infographic of Leo name meaning, which is A Latin name of strength, Leo means lion.
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Leo Name Popularity

How popular is the name Leo? Here’s everything we know.

  • In 2018 Leo was the 50th most popular boys name, representing 0.4891% of boy births in the U.S.

  • Since 1910 Leo has been the 176th most popular boys name, representing 0.1269% of boy births in the U.S.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 51 678 0.1926%
1911 50 814 0.2186%
1912 49 1,644 0.326%
1913 48 2,018 0.3559%
1914 47 2,645 0.3795%
1915 47 3,519 0.3873%
1916 47 3,613 0.374%
1917 47 3,771 0.3769%
1918 48 4,034 0.3759%
1919 49 3,796 0.3625%
1920 48 4,050 0.3642%
1921 50 4,058 0.3544%
1922 51 3,892 0.3493%
1923 49 3,969 0.3544%
1924 51 3,983 0.343%
1925 54 3,765 0.3331%
1926 54 3,546 0.3224%
1927 54 3,535 0.3194%
1928 61 3,086 0.2884%
1929 60 3,012 0.2908%
1930 63 3,027 0.2898%
1931 68 2,695 0.2731%
1932 73 2,492 0.2522%
1933 75 2,345 0.2517%
1934 86 2,300 0.2379%
1935 92 2,131 0.2193%
1936 94 2,009 0.2086%
1937 97 2,009 0.2039%
1938 104 1,940 0.1895%
1939 107 1,835 0.1804%
1940 112 1,742 0.1639%
1941 115 1,720 0.1528%
1942 120 1,787 0.1415%
1943 132 1,681 0.1288%
1944 132 1,581 0.1276%
1945 135 1,568 0.1286%
1946 147 1,642 0.1113%
1947 147 1,795 0.1075%
1948 151 1,702 0.1066%
1949 153 1,631 0.1014%
1950 158 1,546 0.096%
1951 155 1,649 0.0973%
1952 171 1,546 0.0886%
1953 162 1,642 0.0928%
1954 172 1,595 0.0873%
1955 175 1,565 0.0851%
1956 184 1,542 0.0816%
1957 189 1,510 0.0785%
1958 195 1,410 0.0746%
1959 202 1,422 0.0748%
1960 229 1,182 0.0624%
1961 230 1,153 0.0611%
1962 231 1,083 0.059%
1963 236 988 0.055%
1964 236 1,002 0.0569%
1965 247 875 0.0535%
1966 241 827 0.053%
1967 259 740 0.0488%
1968 279 655 0.0436%
1969 273 707 0.0459%
1970 295 665 0.0418%
1971 303 611 0.0407%
1972 323 516 0.0379%
1973 338 463 0.0357%
1974 344 458 0.0352%
1975 338 473 0.0368%
1976 352 434 0.0337%
1977 363 429 0.0318%
1978 358 432 0.0321%
1979 365 438 0.0311%
1980 374 420 0.0287%
1981 346 473 0.0322%
1982 369 434 0.029%
1983 409 356 0.0241%
1984 408 365 0.0245%
1985 411 384 0.0253%
1986 429 361 0.0239%
1987 423 389 0.0255%
1988 436 386 0.0248%
1989 465 366 0.0227%
1990 478 374 0.0226%
1991 441 462 0.0283%
1992 468 419 0.0263%
1993 468 409 0.0262%
1994 470 421 0.0274%
1995 488 400 0.0265%
1996 489 397 0.0265%
1997 483 397 0.0268%
1998 443 474 0.0317%
1999 449 471 0.0315%
2000 394 611 0.04%
2001 368 685 0.0455%
2002 340 777 0.0518%
2003 288 1,058 0.0695%
2004 265 1,206 0.0791%
2005 259 1,241 0.0812%
2006 236 1,477 0.0943%
2007 238 1,510 0.0957%
2008 228 1,596 0.1033%
2009 210 1,786 0.1195%
2010 189 1,937 0.1344%
2011 167 2,235 0.1569%
2012 134 2,867 0.2012%
2013 112 3,502 0.246%
2014 97 3,963 0.272%
2015 91 4,587 0.3153%
2016 74 5,272 0.3657%
2017 60 5,923 0.4244%
2018 50 6,719 0.4891%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Leo

If you like Leo, you’ll love these other names like Leo.


What names are diminutives of Leo?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Leo sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Leo, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Lee

Pasture or meadow

English

#667 (0.0221%)  

What names are variants of Leo?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Leo.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Leomaris

Lion of the sea

Latin

Leon

Lion

Greek

#235 (0.1151%)  
Leonard

Lion strength

German

#622 (0.0262%)  
Leonardo

Brave lion

Italian

#92 (0.3046%)  
Leoncio

Lion

Latin

Leonel

Lion

Spanish

#353 (0.0648%)  
Leonello

Lion

Latin

Leonidas

Lion strength

German

#491 (0.0386%)  
Leontios

Lion

Latin

Leopold

Brave people

German

#1,388 (0.0041%)  

What names sound like Leo?

If you like how Leo sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Leo.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Cameo

Shadow Portrait

Greek

Gio
#1,470 (0.0036%)  
Leander

Lion man

Greek

#2,333 (0.0007%)  
Leif

Heir; loved

Scandinavian

#1,003 (0.0098%)  
Leland

Plowed land

English

#409 (0.0526%)  
Levi

Joined together

Hebrew

#33 (0.6143%)  
Liam

Helmet of will

Irish

#1 (1.4439%)  
Neo

New

American

#1,167 (0.0067%)  
Rio

River

Spanish

#1,025 (0.0092%)  
Romeo

Man from Rome

Italian

#338 (0.0682%)  
Teo

God

Spanish

#1,313 (0.0049%)  
Theo

God's gift

Greek

#240 (0.1113%)  

What names are similar to Leo?

Find a name that’s like Leo, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Adrian

From Hadria

Latin

#62 (0.4206%)  
Carlo

Free man

Spanish

#1,053 (0.0085%)  
Cole

Charcoal

English

#117 (0.2422%)  
Dominic

Of the Lord

Latin

#75 (0.346%)  
Eli

Ascension

Hebrew

#58 (0.4387%)  
Emmett

Universal

English

#114 (0.2481%)  
Jack

God is gracious

English

#28 (0.643%)  
Julian

Young at heart

Latin

#36 (0.6039%)  
Luca

From Lucania

Italian

#106 (0.2607%)  
Raphael

Healing God

Hebrew

#527 (0.0349%)  

Lists With Leo

Find inspiration in these baby boy name lists featuring the name Leo.


Siblings of Leo

Mamas with kids named Leo also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Abigail

Father’s rejoice

Hebrew

#11 (0.713%)  
Kai

Sea

Polynesian

#113 (0.2484%)  

15 Comments

  1. Short, sweet, and strong.

  2. I was fulfilled when I gave birth to Leo, I am very thankful to Our Creator for giving my advance birthday gift

  3. He’s a saint of our church and we loved the name

  4. My husband & I had the hardest picking out my sons name. We literally had to decide when they handed us the birth certificate paperwork in the hospital. I was exhausted & undecided. My husband was stuck on Leo so I let him pick. I chose his middle name Patrick. My husband at birth his mom was going to name him Anthony or Patrick so we chose the name he didn’t get. Honestly after we decided on Leo I still wasn’t at peace with it but as we’ve gotten to know him more he truly is the perfect little Leo ?

  5. I like the name Leo because it’s a kind name and that it’s short. (Leos thoughts on his own name )
    We chose the name Leo because we like the meaning and when we picked it, it was not very common.

  6. Love it

  7. Liked that he is a Leo born in Aug and that it means Lion. Middle name we chose is Eitan which means strength so he is a strong lion.

    Don’t like that it’s a bit too common. But the middle name is less common so it’s a compromise.

  8. We love it! Just didn’t realize how popular it had become ?

  9. We wanted something that was cute and casual but not silly, somewhat original but well-known enough that we (or he) wouldn’t constantly have to repeat or spell it when people ask, and short and sweet. Leo fit the bill perfectly!

    Also – we had other boy names on the list and couldn’t decide until we met him. Sometimes you need to wait and see what suits them best!

  10. We chose this name because it sounds nice in both French and English. We were in search of something that can be said and used nicely in both languages since we are a multi-cultural household. We also loved that it meant Lion. The only dislikes I have about the name is that it has become very common and a lot of children are being named Leo now.

  11. We chose Leo for our son because it is his great great grandfather’s name. We liked it right off the bat and he even looks like a Leo 😉 What’s also nice about it is St. Pope Leo the Great is someone he can come to know.
    The negative side is that we only went with Leo. Not Leonardo or Leonard. I do think it would be nice if he had a longer name to use in “professional” settings. I like the name Leonard but my husband great grandpa was only Leo, so we stuck with that.

  12. I’m bad with names

  13. We wanted a name that wasn’t the same as any friends or family. We like that it is exactly what we want him to be called (rather than short for another name).

  14. We liked Leo because it’s short so it went well with our long last name. We also liked that it’s not super common but also not “out there” like some modern names!

  15. After the Renaissance Man himself, DaVinci. My husband thought Leonardo was too long so we settled on Leo.


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