Skip to main content

Lionella & Lionel

Una and the Lion - Briton Riviere

For most Lio/Leo names the "i" or "e" sound is interchangeable in the U.S., making Leo sound LAY-oh or LEE-oh depending on who you ask.

Pronunciation of Lionel: LY-on-ell                Pronunciation of Lionella: lee-oh-NELL-uh

Potential nicknames: Lio, Lion; Lio, Lia, Lila, Liona, Nella

Origin: English variant form of Latin name Leo, meaning "lion," but the -el ending of Lionel makes it mean "young lion." Lionella is the female Italian variant, along with the equally obscure Leonella.

Popularity: For boys in 2011, Leo ranked #167 (2,226 births), Leon #405 (690 births), Leonel #459 (578 births), Lionel #786 (282 births), Leonard #705 (322 births), Leonardo #149 (2,631 births), Leandro #835 (257 births), and Leonidas #888 (232 births).

Non-ranking variants of Leo in 2011 included 5 Liandro, 5 Leondro, 6 Lyonel, 6 Leonte, 7 Lionardo, 7 Lion, 8 Leovardo, 8 Leonitus, 8 Leonidus, 9 Lionell, 9 Leonides, 9 Leonell, 9 Leone, 9 Leodan, 10 Leeon, 15 Lenard, 18 Leonid, 24 Lyon, 27 Leondre, 34 Leandre, 38 Leopoldo, 48 Leander, 51 Leopold, and  61 Leobardos.

For girls, Leona was #929 with 276 births, but no other female variants ranked. There were 5 girls named Liona, 6 Leonella, 8 Leonela, 32 Leonie, and 81 Leandra. By 2016 Leona rose to #598 on the charts, given to 501 girls. Liona was only given to 7 girls in 2016, Leonella to 5 girls, and Lionella to none. Leonie was given to 63 girls in 2016, Leandra to 58.

In 2010 there were 9 baby boys named Lio, 10 Lion, 225 Lionel, 6 Lionell. Lionel ranked at #904, a slight decrease in popularity in the past decade. Leo, on the other hand, ranked in at #193 in 2010. There were also 7 baby girls named Liona, 11 Leonela, 9 Leonella, but 0 spelled Lionella.

Fun fact: (1) Saint Lionello, and different Popes named Leo. (2) Actor Lionel Barrymore. (3) Singer Lionel Richie. (4) Sir Lionel, a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend, cousin to Lancelot and son of the King of Gaul. (5) One of the sons of King Edward III of the 1300s. (6) Lionel Boyle, Earl of Orrery, member of Parliament from Ireland. (7) Country musician Lionel Cartwright. (8) Lionel model trains, founded by Joshua Lionel Cowen.



  1. I'm not terribly into Lionel, though I appreciate it -- but Lionella is great! Never thought of that variant.

  2. I, too, have never considered Lionella. She's a fascinating pick.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Witchy Baby Girl Names!

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …

Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
7. Emilie
8. Ella
9. Lea/Leah
10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
2. Mathias/Matias
3. Oliver
4. Jakob/Jacob
5. Lukas/Lucas
6. Filip/Fillip, Philip/Phillip
7. Liam
8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
7. Oliver
8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


Italian actress Lavinia Longhi
Lavinia (lah-VIN-ee-ah) is a Latin name possibly meaning "purity," but the name is so old that no specific meaning can be given. It could simply mean "woman from Lavinium," which was an ancient town in Rome/more ancient than Rome/Etruscan. Lavinia was known as the "Mother of Rome." In Virgil's Aeneid, Lavinia was betrothed to a man named Turnus, King of the Rutuli, but when the hero Aeneas came to town her father, King of the Latins, changed his mind and wanted Lavinia to marry Aeneas. The two men then fought for her hand, but Aeneas won. Aeneas then built the town of Lavinium for her. Shakespeare had Lavinia as a character in Titus Andronicus, but her story is an unfortunate one not worthy of repeating and not true to Virgil's Lavinia. Ursula le Guin later wrote more in depth about their relationship in her 2008 novel Lavinia. And she's been a character in many more stories, including The Hunger Games. In all l…