Quick Facts on Lea
- Dutch, French, German, Nordic, Slavic
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Languid, relaxed, weary
Etymology & Historical Origin - Lea
Lea is the German, Dutch, Scandinavian and Slavic spelling of Leah. It is also the French form, rendered with an accent mark: Léa. Biblical in origin, Leah means “languid, weary” from the Hebrew “le'ah” (לֵאָה). Borne from the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament, we are introduced to Leah in the book of Genesis as Jacob’s first wife. She is also remembered as Rachel’s older sister. The Biblical story reads as follows: Jacob falls in love with Rachel, Leah’s younger (and more beautiful) sister. In exchange for Rachel’s hand in marriage, Jacob must first avail himself to seven years of servitude to Laban (Leah and Rachel’s father). At the end of the obligatory seven years, however, Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah by switching the sisters at the altar. As Laban explained: “It is not our custom to give the younger before the firstborn” (Genesis 29:26). All’s well that ends well, however, when Jacob finally weds Rachel after another seven years of labor (in Biblical times, having more than one wife was socially acceptable). The only physical description of Leah we get from the Bible is in Genesis 29:17: “Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.” While the Bible contrasts the beautiful Rachel with the “weak-eyed” Leah, the Lord blesses Leah with more children (which really bothered her barren sister, Rachel). Like Rachel, Leah has always been a popular choice in the Jewish naming tradition; she is seen as a symbol of a fruitful marriage building up the tribes of Israel. The Puritans adopted the name Leah during the Reformation and it has since become just as widespread among Christians everywhere. In the Bible, Leah played second-fiddle to her more beautiful sister Rachel so the Puritans liked the name for its humility and modesty. Most English speaking parents opt for the Hebrew/Biblical spelling of Leah. The Dutch, French, Germans, Scandinavians and Slavs use Lea without the “h” on the end. Leia is the Biblical Greek form and Lia is the Biblical Latin form (as well as Italian, Portuguese and Spanish). Léa is the #2 name in France right now (second only to Emma) and #3 in Belgium. It is currently the 5th most popular name in Germany and a Top 10 in Austria. Lea is quite common in Scandinavia, as well, where it’s ranked relatively high in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. You will also find Lea on the charts of Croatia and Slovenia. Interestingly, throughout the entire Western World, Lea(h) out-performs Rachel by a long shot. So maybe Jacob liked the pretty Rachel best, but Western parents prefer Lea(h)!
Popularity of the Name Lea
Lea has always maintained a position on the American female naming charts – the name dates back to 1880 which is as far back as we have available data. Obviously not as popular as the Leah spelling, Lea has carved her own modest place on the U.S. charts. Most likely first used among Dutch, German, and Scandinavian immigrants to America, the minimalistic spelling of Lea remains a relatively moderate pick. Not surprisingly, the typical English spelling of Leah is most common (in fact, the name is currently ranked #29 in popularity nationwide right now). The Spanish spelling of Lia is the second most popular. Lea is in third place.
Popularity of the Girl Name Lea
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Lea
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Lea
Lea We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Lea.
Popular Songs on Lea
Lea - a song by Toto
The Ballad of Lea & Paul - a song by K's Choice
Children's Books on the Baby Name Lea
Léo et Léa jouent au Jeu des Contraires (Sujatha Lalgudi) - French edition. Léo et Léa jouent au jeu des contraires. Léo et Léa sont jumeaux. Un jour, ils décident de jouer à un jeu: Léo fait exactement le contraire de Léa. En suivant le jeu des jumeaux, les enfants (âge 2-6 ans) apprennent le concept des contraires. Ce livre est idéal pour la lecture aux enfants. Les lecteurs débutants apprécieront de lire les mots simples écrits sur chaque page. Ce livre amusant est rempli d’images des jumeaux et de leur “journée différente”. Recommended for ages 2-6.
Famous People Named Lea
Famous People Named Lea - Lea Michele (actress/singer); Lea Thompson (actress); Lea DeLaria (comedienne); Lea Massari (Italian actress)
Children of Famous People Named Lea
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Lea - Angie Dickinson (actress); Burt Bacharach (musician/composer)
Lea - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Leah (The Bible) - Leah appears prominently in the Bible in Genesis 29:15 as the daughter of Laban. “Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel.” In exchange for Rachel’s hand in marriage, Jacob served Laban for seven years. In the end, Laban tricked Jacob into taking Leah as his first wife, promising Rachel after another seven years of service. When Jacob asked Laban what he had done to him, Laban explains: “It is not so done in our country to give the younger before the firstborn.” Although Leah was not Jacob’s first choice, their marriage was a fruitful one. Leah mothered seven of Jacob’s children.
Personality of the Girl Name Lea
The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.
Variations of the Baby Name - Lea