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PronouncedPron.LE-o GermanDanishFinnish
LAY-o Dutch
LEE-o English

Meaning & History

Derived from Latin leo meaning "lion", a cognate of LEON. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina'. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.
Feminine FormsLeona German Leola, Leona, Leone English Leontina Late Roman
Other Languages & CulturesLeon, Leontios, Leontius Ancient Greek Levon Armenian Leoš Czech Léo, Léon, Léonce, Lionel French Levan Georgian Leone, Leonzio Italian Leonas Lithuanian Leon, Lew Polish Leonti, Leontiy, Leonty, Lev, Lyov Russian Leon Slovene León, Leoncio Spanish
Same SpellingLéo
User SubmissionLeó


Depiction of Saint Leo the Great by Bernardino CampiDepiction of Saint Leo the Great by Bernardino Campi


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Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute