APOLLO m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Απολλων (Apollon)
, which is of unknown meaning, though perhaps related to Indo-European *apelo
"strength". Another theory states that Apollo can be equated with Appaliunas, an Anatolian god whose name possibly means "father lion" or "father light". The Greeks later associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb απολλυμι (apollymi)
meaning "to destroy". In Greek mythology Apollo was the son of Zeus
and the twin of Artemis
. He was the god of prophecy, medicine, music, art, law, beauty, and wisdom. Later he also became the god of the sun and light.
ARELI m Biblical
Means "lion of God, hero" in Hebrew. This was the name of a son of Gad in the Old Testament.
ARIEL m & f Hebrew, English, French, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "lion of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Walt Disney film 'The Little Mermaid' (1989).
ASLAN m Turkish, Kazakh, Azerbaijani, Chechen, Ossetian, Circassian
From Turkic arslan
meaning "lion". This was a byname or title borne by several medieval Turkic rulers, including the Seljuk sultan Alp Arslan (a byname meaning "brave lion") who drove the Byzantines from Anatolia in the 11th century. The name Aslan
was later used by the author C. S. Lewis for the main protagonist (a lion) in his 'Chronicles of Narnia' series of books, first appearing in 1950.
BABUR m Urdu
From a Persian word meaning "tiger". This was the nickname of Zahir ud-Din Muhammad, the 16th-century founder of the Mughal Empire in India.
CAT f & m English
Diminutive of CATHERINE
. It can also be a nickname from the English word for the animal.
FELINUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "cat-like". This was the name of a possibly legendary saint who was martyred with Gratian in the 3rd century.
HARI m Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali
Means "brown, yellow, tawny" in Sanskrit, and by extension "monkey, horse, lion". This is another name of the Hindu god Vishnu
, and sometimes of Krishna
. It is also borne by the son of the Garuda, the bird-like mount of Vishnu.
LEANDER m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λεανδρος (Leandros)
, derived from λεων (leon)
meaning "lion" and ανηρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek legend Leander was the lover of Hero. Every night he swam across the Hellespont to meet her, but on one occasion he was drowned when a storm arose. When Hero saw his dead body she threw herself into the waters and perished.
LEO m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
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.
LEON m English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
meaning "lion". During the Christian era this Greek name was merged with the Latin cognate Leo
, with the result that the two forms are used somewhat interchangeably across European languages. In England during the Middle Ages this was a common name among Jews. A famous bearer was Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a Russian Communist revolutionary.
LEONARD m English, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "brave lion", derived from the Germanic elements levon
"lion" and hard
"brave, hardy". This was the name of a 5th-century Frankish saint from Noblac who is the patron of prisoners and horses. The Normans brought this name to England, though it did not become common there until the 19th century.
LEONIDAS m Greek, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
meaning "lion" combined with the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. Leonidas was a Spartan king of the 5th century BC who sacrificed his life and his army defending the pass of Thermopylae from the Persians. This was also the name of a 3rd-century saint and martyr, the father of Origen, from Alexandria.
LEONTIOS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
meaning "lion". This was the name of various early saints and martyrs. It was also borne by a 7th-century Byzantine emperor.
LEOPOLD m German, Dutch, English, Slovene, Polish
Derived from the Germanic elements leud
"people" and bald
"bold". The spelling was altered due to association with Latin leo
"lion". This name was common among German royalty, first with the Babenbergs and then the Habsburgs. Saint Leopold was a 12th-century Babenberg margrave of Austria, who is now considered the patron of that country. It was also borne by two Habsburg Holy Roman Emperors, as well as three kings of Belgium. Since the 19th century this name has been occasionally used in England, originally in honour of Queen Victoria's uncle, a king of Belgium, after whom she named one of her sons. It was later used by James Joyce for the main character, Leopold Bloom, in his novel 'Ulysses' (1920).
LEV (1) m Russian
Means "lion" in Russian, functioning as a vernacular form of Leo
. This was the real Russian name of both author Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) and revolutionary Leon Trotsky (1879-1940).
OTHNIEL m Biblical
Means "lion of God" or "strength of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is a nephew of Caleb
who becomes the first of the ruling judges of the Israelites.
PANTALEON m Ancient Greek
Derived from the Greek elements παν (pan)
meaning "all" (genitive παντος
) and λεων (leon)
meaning "lion". This was the name of a 2nd-century BC king of Bactria. It was also borne by Saint Pantaleon (also called Panteleimon
), a doctor from Asia Minor who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century. He is a patron saint of doctors and midwives.
SHER m Urdu, Pashto
Means "lion" in Persian. A famous bearer of this name was Sher Shah, a 16th-century Mughal ruler.
SIMBA (2) m Eastern African, Swahili
Means "lion" in Swahili. This is the name of the main character in the Disney movie 'The Lion King' (1994), about a lion cub who exiles himself after his father is murdered.
SINGH m Indian (Sikh)
From Sanskrit सिंह (sinha)
meaning "lion". In 1699 Guru Gobind Singh gave all his male Sikh followers the surname Singh
, and it is now a very common surname or a middle name. The female equivalent is Kaur
TAU m Southern African, Tswana, Sotho
Means "lion" in Tswana and Sotho. Tau was the name of the last ruler of the Rolong in South Africa (18th century).
TECUMSEH m Native American, Shawnee
Means "panther passing across" in Shawnee. This was the name of a Shawnee leader who, with his brother Tenskwatawa
, resisted European expansion in the early 19th century.
TIGER m English (Rare)
From the name of the large striped cat, derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek τιγρις (tigris)
, ultimately of Iranian origin. A famous bearer is American golfer Tiger Woods (1975-).
YERUSLAN m Folklore
From Tatar Uruslan
, which was possibly from Turkic arslan
meaning "lion". Yeruslan Lazarevich is the name of a hero in Russian and Tatar folktales. These tales were based on (or at least influenced by) Persian tales of their hero Rostam