Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Leo

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 112
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Leo

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Leo

The name Leo is a Late Latinate personal name derived from the word for ‘lion.’ The name was most famously borne by a popular 5th century Italian pope, St. Leo the Great (the first pope to be designated with greatness). St. Leo lived during a time of prolific barbarian invasions and his efforts were apparently critical in thwarting major damage or violence to the city. He famously encountered Attila the Hun at the gates of Rome and successfully persuaded him to turn back, preventing an attack altogether. Then, during the sack of Rome (455) by the Vandals (an East Germanic tribe) and their subsequent occupation of the city, St. Leo once again used his eloquence to subdue Genseric (king of the Vandals) from pillaging Rome and harming its inhabitants. A much-beloved Pope, he was revered in the Middle Ages and the name Leo spread throughout Europe. The name Leo has been in constant use since then.

Popularity of the Name Leo

The name Leo may have already reached its height of popularity in America about 100 years ago. At the turn of the 20th century, Leo was basically a Top 50 favorite boy’s name. It dropped off the Top 100 list in 1938 and continued its reversal on the charts (albeit slowly) for the next almost 60 years. The name’s low-point finally reached a plateau in the mid-1990s and in 1996, the name started to improve in usage. In the past 15 years, Leo has regained nearly 300 positions on the U.S. popularity charts and has now edged into a position on the Top 200 list. Leo is a great name – simple, unassuming, modest – and yet this little three-letter, two-syllable word roars like a lion. We often think of Leo as a shortened version of Leonard, Leopold, Leonardo, or Leon – when in fact, this is a name in its own right and always has been. It sort of reminds us of Max – these names don’t beg to be nicknames of longer, more fanciful versions of themselves. They stand alone, confident in themselves. Leo also has a cool, mysterious and self-assured quality like his feline namesake.
Popularity of the Boy Name Leo
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Leo

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Leo

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Leo

    Leo Kovalensky (We the Living) Leo is the young and bitter son of a state-slain aristocrat in Ayn Rand’s first published (1936) novel of the Communist Revolution, We the Living. Kira Argounova is a bourgeois citizen who falls in love with Leo and risks everything to obtain medical care for him when he contracts tuberculosis. In a post revolutionary society ruled by the state, where individual destinies are worthless, the young lovers are doomed. Determined to rise above the repression and deprivations of the ruling powers, they attempt escape only to stumble into depths of cynicism, betrayal and subterfuge. Leo’s fate, while not death, seems harshest of all, as he goes on to live a life devoid of human love and sympathy.

  • Popular Songs on Leo

    Popular Songs on Leo

    Leo - We cannot find any well-known or significantly popular songs featuring the name Leo.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Leo

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Leo

    Leo the Late Bloomer (Robert Kraus) - Leo isn't reading, or writing, or drawing, or even speaking, and his father is concerned. But Leo's mother isn't. She knows her son will do all those things, and more, when he's ready. “Reassuring for other late bloomers, this book is illustrated with beguiling pictures.” Says the Saturday Review. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Leo the Lightning Bug (Eric Drachman) - Leo wins our hearts and gains self-confidence in his struggle to make his very own light. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Leo the Lop (Stephen Cosgrove) - Leo the rabbit whose ears are different from all the other rabbits learns that "normal is whatever you are." Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Leo's Tree (Debora Pearson) - A simple rhyming text describes baby Leo and "his" linden tree, planted soon after his birth. The boy and the sapling spin cycles of seasons, both growing and changing, until the arrival of a baby sister requires a new tree to be planted next to Leo's. Soft watercolors gently record the child's and the linden's progress in careful step with the text. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci (Gene Barretta) - In 1781, Thomas Paine came up with a model for a single-span bridge; in 1887, Adolf Eugen Fick made the first pair of contact lenses; and in 1907, Paul Cornu built the first helicopter. But Leonardo da Vinci thought of all these ideas more than five hundred years ago! At once an artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist, da Vinci wrote and drew detailed descriptions of what would later become hang gliders, automobiles, robots, and much more. Gene Barretta cleverly shows how Leonardo’s ideas—many inspired by his love of nature—foreshadowed modern inventions, offering a window into the future. Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Leo

    Famous People Named Leo

    Famous People Named Leo - Leo Arnaud (composer); Leo Fender (maker of electric guitars); Leo Tolstoy (Russian novelist); Leo Strauss (political philosopher); Leo Sayer (singer/songwriter)

  • Children of Famous People Named Leo

    Children of Famous People Named Leo

    Famous People who Named their Son Leo - Annie Duke (poker player); Bjorn Borg (tennis player); Jeff Gordon (racecar driver)

  • Historic Figures

    Leo - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Leo Tolstoy (9 Sep 1828 – 20 Nov 1910) - We are big Russian literature fans so we just had to mention Leo Tolstoy for the prominent, historic figure that he is. He was born Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy into a well-known family of Russian nobility in the western region of the country and primarily raised by relatives in privileged comfort following the death of his parents. At the age of 32 he embarked on a trip to Europe where he would meet Victor Hugo and read Les Miserables which would have a profound impact on him and later influence his masterpiece, War and Peace (an epic covering the Napoleonic era and the French invasion of Russia as seen through the eyes of five aristocratic families). Along with War and Peace, his work Anna Karenina is also acknowledged as a masterpiece, one of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realism. His Russian contemporary Fyodor Dostoevsky thought him the greatest of all living novelists. Upon reading War and Peace, Gustave Flaubert proclaimed, "What an artist and what a psychologist!" His friend, Anton Chekhov wrote, "When literature possesses a Tolstoy, it is easy and pleasant to be a writer; even when you know you have achieved nothing yourself and are still achieving nothing, this is not as terrible as it might otherwise be, because Tolstoy achieves for everyone. What he does serves to justify all the hopes and aspirations invested in literature." Tolstoy influenced the great novelists James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, Marcel Proust, Vladimir Nabokov and William Faulkner. Aside from Tolstoy’s genius for literature, he was also a fervent Christian anarchist once writing to a friend: "The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens. Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere." He firmly believed in the “turn the other cheek” edict of Jesus’ teachings which influenced his justification for nonviolence and pacifism. His later works dealing with passive resistance would heavily influence the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Personality of the Boy Name Leo

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Leo

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