From an Old French personal name of Germanic origin, derived from leon ‘lion’ + hard ‘hardy, brave, strong’. This was the name of a 5th-century Frankish saint, the patron of peasants and horses. Although it was introduced into Britain by the Normans, Leonard was an uncommon name during the Middle Ages. It was revived in some areas towards the end of the 1400s, and in the 19th‐century became very popular. It is now also common as a Jewish name (compare Leon).