Origin is uncertain.
Possibly of Greek or Germanic origin.
From the Greek word “λέων” (leon), meaning “lion”.
An Old High German element “lewo” is associated with the word lion.
Also Germanic, the name element “hard”, means brave, hard.
Therefore, it is possible the name means “brave lion”.
Sources also mention the Egyptian, Semitic word “lābu”, meaning lion.
Until the 19th century, Leonard was a rarely used name in the English speaking countries.
It was also used as a surname, from the Gaelic O’Leannain.
Saint Leonard of Noblac is the patron saint of captives and prisoners.
Feminine forms of the name are Leonarda, Leona, Leone.
Famous bearers are Leonard Nimoy, Leonard Cohen, Leonard Bernstein.