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First name origins & meanings:

  1. French: Fierce
  2. Latin: Little lion
  3. Latin: Shining one
  4. Place name: second-largest metropolitan area in France

First name variations: Li, Lion, Lionell, Lye, Lyonel, Lyonell, Leonel, Lonell, Lonnell, Lionel

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Scottish, English and French: from Old French, Middle English lion (Latin leo, genitive leonis), hence a nickname for a fierce or brave warrior, or a habitational name for someone living at a house distinguished by the sign of a lion.
  2. Scottish, English, French, and Dutch: habitational name from the city of Lyon in south central France (English name: Lyons), or from the smaller Lyons-la-Forêt in Eure, Normandy. The name of the former is recorded in the 1st century bc as Lugdunum and is from the name of a Celtic god Lug (or this as a personal name, from a word meaning ‘brightness’) + dunon ‘hill fort’.
  3. Scottish and English: from the name Leo(n) (from Latin leo ‘lion’, or the cognate Greek leōn), borne by numerous early martyrs and thirteen popes.
  4. Irish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Laighin (see Lane 2).
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