'Leonard or Leo is a common English language masculine given name and a surname.
The given name and surname originate from the Old High German Leonhard containing the prefix levon ("lion") and the suffix hardu ("brave" or "hardy"). The name has come to mean "lion strength", "lion-strong", or "lion-hearted". It may also be from the Latin Leo ("lion"). Leonard was the name of a Saint in the Middle Ages period, known as the patron saint of prisoners.
Leonard is also an Irish origin surname, from the Gaelic O'Leannain, consisting of the prefix O ("descendant of") and the suffix Leannan ("lover"). The oldest public records of the surname appear in 1272 in Huntingdonshire, England, and in 1479 in Ulm, Germany.
By Dean Hanley