What does Lionel mean?
Lionel /li-onel/ [3 sylls.] as a boys' name is pronounced LYE-a-nel. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Lionel is "lion".
Originally a medieval French pet form of Leon. Used in the Middle Ages. Actor Lionel Barrymore; pop celebrity Lionel Richie.
How popular is Lionel?
Lionel is a very popular first name for males (#420 out of 1220, Top 34%) and a slightly less popular last name for both adults and children (#124872 out of 150436, Top 83%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the birth name popularity of Lionel for boys. Lionel reached its top rank of #331 in the U.S. in the 1930s, and is currently at #660. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Shown below is a comparison of the usage of the boy name Lionel and associated names. Leon (#321 last year) and Leonel (#430) are the popular variation forms of Lionel (#660 last year) listed in the Top 1000. Variants like Lioni are seldom used. Adoption of these boy names was at its most widespread during the years 1980-1989 (usage of 0.5347%) and is almost as widespread today (usage 0.5297%, ▼0.9%), but with the form Leon becoming less fashionable. Leonel (#430) and Lionel (#660) are two of the more contemporarily stylish names for newborns here, and there is also a resurgence in baby name popularity for Lionel. (2014 Birth Statistics)