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leonard

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English and French (Léonard): from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements leo ‘lion’ (a late addition to the vocabulary of Germanic name elements, taken from Latin) + hard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’, which was taken to England by the Normans. A saint of this name, who is supposed to have lived in the 6th century, but about whom nothing is known except for a largely fictional life dating from half a millennium later, was popular throughout Europe in the early Middle Ages and was regarded as the patron of peasants and horses.
  2. Irish (Fermanagh): adopted as an English equivalent of Gaelic Mac Giolla Fhionáin or of Langan.
  3. Americanized form of Italian Leonardo or cognate forms in other European languages.
  4. The French Léonard family were at Château Richer, Quebec, by 1698, having come from Maine, France.
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