If you’re a fan of the name Leo but are looking for alternatives that are less popular or already taken in your family, you’re in luck. As a trained researcher who has studied name trends and styles for over five years, I’ve put together a list of 20 great names that have a similar style and feel to Leo. This list includes obviously similar names like Leon and Lev, as well as other names that mean “lion” like Dillon and Ander. There are names on this list for every naming style, including some unique Leo alternatives to add to your list.
In this article, I’ll take you through the meaning and trends of the name Leo, as well as the 20 names similar to Leo that made it onto my list. Whether you’re looking for a name that’s less popular or simply want to explore other options, this article is for you.
- The name Leo is a popular choice for parents, but there are many alternatives available.
- Names similar to Leo include those that mean “lion” as well as those with a similar style and feel.
- Whether you’re looking for something unique or less popular, there’s a name on this list for every naming style.
Leo Meaning and Trends
Leo has been a consistent favorite name in the US for over a century. It was especially popular in the first half of the 1900s, making it a great choice for parents looking to honor a grandparent or great-grandparent. Leo’s soft, vowel-heavy, and simple sound makes it a popular choice among parents today. It has all the style elements to appeal to modern parents and has hit its peak popularity in 2021.
If you’re looking for something similar to Leo, there are many grandparent-revival names that are currently popular. These names share many of the same characteristics as Leo, such as being simple and vowel-heavy. Some popular options include Liam, Milo, and Lino.
Leo’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down, so if you’re looking to give your baby a name that’s both classic and modern, Leo might be the perfect choice for you.
Names Similar to Leo
If you are looking for baby boy names like Leo, you have come to the right place. Here are some great alternatives to Leo that you might love.
Lino is a unique and rare name that sounds like Leo. It is of Spanish and Portuguese origin and means “linen weaver.” Lino is a hidden gem of a name that is extremely unique while still fitting in seamlessly with today’s naming fashions.
Hugo is a soft and stylish name that is incredibly similar to Leo. It has an -o sound, a styling favorite among today’s boy names. Hugo also has that old-timey feel of Leo, with the bonus of being much less popular. It is an international name with roots in French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, meaning “mind.”
Ander is a unique alternative to Leo that comes from Scandinavia and means “lion man.” If you love Leo’s lion meaning, then Ander is a great option to consider. It is a straightforward and easy name that has recently made its debut on the top 1000 name list in 2020.
Arlo is a fashionable name and a great alternative to Leo. It has the same grandpa-name revival trend as Leo, and it is a no-nonsense name that ends with an -o sound. Arlo comes from English origins and means “fortified hill.”
Leopold is a full name with the option of Leo as a nickname. It is a unique name that hasn’t been a top name since 1926, so it has seriously fashionable grandpa-name vibes. Leopold gives you the best of both worlds—an extremely unique name with Leo as a nickname.
Harvey is another classic name that is old-man-chic in the best way. Leo and Harvey sound like they could be siblings. It comes from English origins and means “battle worthy.”
Lev is a unique name that is only one letter off from Leo but entirely unique. It has yet to break into the top 1000 name list. Lev comes from Hebrew and Russian origins and means “lion” and “heart.”
Elio is a flowing alternative to Leo. It has all the fashion elements to appeal to parents today: soft sounds that are heavy on vowels and that ending -o like Leo. Elio just made its debut to the top name list in 2021 and is likely to continue to rise in popularity. Elio means “sun” in Italian and Spanish.
Leonidas is another great option if you’re interested in a fuller name with Leo as a possible nickname. Leon also works as a nickname if you want to totally sidestep Leo. It is a new name to the Top 1000 name scene, and it made its appearance in step with Leo gaining popularity. Likely, parents sought out this name as a formal name for Leo.
Linus is primed for rediscovery. It is an extremely rare name that is also totally familiar. At a time when parents are digging deeper and deeper to find unique “old man” names, Linus threads that needle. It is of Greek origin and means “flax.”
Ames is a lovely name with a slow charm. It feels like sitting outside on long, warm afternoons. It also fits into two major naming trends today—place names and surnames as first names. Short and sweet, Ames is a unique alternative to super popular Leo.
Lochlan is starting to be noticed in the U.S. It comes from Scotland and means “land of lakes.” Lochlan enjoys that same approachable but formidable feeling as Leo. Plus, Lockie is a great nickname.
Dillon comes from Ireland and means “like a lion.” It is another name with a similar meaning to Leo. Dillon had a moment in the early 1990s but has seen its popularity waning in recent years. This means that a little Dillon born today would likely be the only Dillon at the playground.
Leon is the Greek version of Leo and the closest boy name like Leo on the list. Though the name is fashionable in its own right, Leon likely has enjoyed a bump in popularity as parents look for formal names that have Leo as a nickname. The two names have been trending closely together on the popularity charts.
Boaz is effortlessly cool, with that ending -az sound and the perfect nickname Bo. It is a name on fire that hasn’t even broken into the top 1000 list