Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Leonardo

Leonardo is the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese version of the English name Leonard. Leonardo is one of those rare examples of ethnic crossover names which is now widely adopted by English-speaking nations. It has a very strong Italian/Spanish flair and it acquired an enormous amount of currency from one of its most famous bearers: Leonardo da Vinci. Léonard started out as an Old French name of Germanic etymological origins from the words “leon” meaning ‘lion’ and “hard” meaning ‘brave, strong, hardy.’ The name was popularized in medieval Europe thanks to a 5th century Frankish saint, Léonard of Noblac whose cult rapidly spread in the 12th century. In an area of ancient France (before France was even France but a province of Gaul), Léonard of Noblac was a nobleman who converted to Christianity. He is known for freeing prisoners he found worthy and bringing them to his forest dwelling to work an honest life. Legend has it that upon invoking Léonard, prisoners would see their chains break before their eyes. It is said they often brought these broken chains to Léonard in homage to their hero. He is thus the patron saint to prisoners, and was one of the most venerated saints of the Middle Ages.

All About the Baby Name – Leonardo

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME LEONARDO

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME LEONARDO

As mentioned above, Leonardo is an old name that has been in use for centuries. However, at the turn of the 20th century in America, Leonardo shows up on the charts at very low levels of usage. The name finally sticks in the early 1940s and shows consistent growth from that point on. The name’s advancement up the charts has not been dramatic or fast, but rather slow and quiet. The only hiccup is between 1997 and 1998 when Leonardo jumped 150 positions in those years alone. 1997 was when the massive blockbuster “Titanic” was released staring the ever-dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio. Obviously, the actor gave a boost to the usage of his own name. Today, Leonardo is more popular than Leonard in America, one of the few examples of a Spanish name beating out its English counterpart. The name is no longer exclusive to Hispanic-Americans or those of Italian or Portuguese descent. It’s a universally loved name. However, it does appear certain that the American Latino population is at least partially behind the name’s growth. It’s a Top 100 name in two states with a high concentration of Hispanics: California and Texas. We hope to see this “Brave Lion” continue on up the charts!

Quick Facts

ON LEONARDO

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Italian

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

4

RANKING POPULARITY:

131

PRONUNCIATION:

lee-oh-NAHR-doh

SIMPLE MEANING:

Brave lion

Characteristics

OF LEONARDO

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Leonardo

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME LEONARDO

Popular Songs

ON LEONARDO

Hey Leonardo
a song by Blessid Union of Souls

Famous People

NAMED LEONARDO

Leonardo da Vinci (artist, inventor, genious)
Leonardo DiCaprio (actor)
Leonardo Araújo (soccer player)
Leonardo Bonucci (soccer player)
Leonardo Torres y Quevedo (Spanish engineer/mathmetician)
Leonardo Mayer (tennis player)
Leonardo Pisano Bigollo (Italian Mathematician)

Children of Famous People

NAMED LEONARDO

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Leonardo

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME LEONARDO

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was a true Renaissance Man in every sense of the word. He came from humble beginnings as the illegitimate child of an Italian notary and a peasant girl in Vinci, Italy (near Florence). He would eventually be raised by his father who gave him access to a vast supply of scholarly texts, which was a good thing since this boy had an insatiable curiosity. His father apprenticed the 15 year old Leonardo to Verrocchio, a renowned Florentine painter, where his genius became quickly apparent. Leonardo is mainly known as a painter and two of his works in particular are known in every corner of the world: The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper (two of the most reproduced works of arts in history). He is also known for his notebooks (which he never published) displaying his brilliance as an architect, scientist, engineer, inventor, botanist, geologist and so much more. This was a man way, way, WAY ahead of his time. His genius was practically superhuman.