History and meaning of the name “Leon”

The name Leon means “lion” and is reminiscent of the name “Leonidas” of Spartan fame.¬†“Leon” is sometimes shortened to “Leo”, having the same meaning.

The name “Leon” hails back to ancient Greece and is used to indicate strength and fortitude. The earliest known usage of “Leon” is King Leon of Sparta in the 5th century B.C. In Greek mythology, Leon was a giant killed by Heracles.

Popularity of Leon

“Leon” is currently the 357th most popular boy name in the U.S. and 66th in the England (in 2012), according to Austrian government statistics it’s highest ranking is 14th (position for boy’s names in 2012).

Famous People Called Leon

Perhaps the most famous alumnus of the “Leon” moniker is Leon Trotsky, the twentieth century Russian Communist Revolutionary. Others include Lord Leon Brittan, a twentieth century English statesman, and Leo Tolstoy, the famous Russian author of “War and Peace”. Many historians consider Tolstoy to be the greatest writer in recent history. Leon Britton¬†is the name of a skillful English football midfield player who plays for Swansea city.

Leon’s popularity in royalty includes Leonidas I, mentioned above, a string of Byzantine Emperors named Leo (5th-10 centuries A.D.), and Leon V, King of Armenia (14th century A.D.).

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