Cleo Name Meaning | Origin, History & Popularity

Cleo is a female given name that has roots in ancient Greek mythology. The name has grown in popularity over the years and is currently a unique and stylish option for parents looking for an unusual name for their baby girl. In this article, we will explore the meaning, popularity, history, cultural significance, and famous people associated with the name Cleo.

Cleo Name Meaning

The name Cleo is a shortened version of the name Cleopatra, which comes from the Greek words “kleos” meaning “glory” and “patros” meaning “of the father”. The name Cleopatra is known for its association with the last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. The name Cleo is also sometimes associated with the Greek word “kleio,” which means “to make famous.”

Popularity

The name Cleo has been used as a given name for girls since the 19th century. It reached peak popularity in the United States during the 1910s, but it has remained a relatively uncommon name throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. In recent years, the name has seen a slight increase in popularity, likely due to the trend of unique and vintage baby names.

In 2021, Cleo ranked #1,632 on the list of most popular baby names for girls in the United States, according to data from the Social Security Administration. However, the name is more popular in other countries, such as France and England, where it has consistently ranked in the top 500 names for baby girls.

History

The name Cleo has roots in ancient Greek mythology. It was the name of one of the nine muses, the goddesses who inspired literature, science, and the arts. The muse Cleo was the goddess of history and was often depicted holding a scroll, symbolizing her role as the guardian of history.

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The name Cleo has also been associated with the last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra VII. Cleopatra was known for her beauty, intelligence, and her ability to speak multiple languages. She was a powerful leader who was able to maintain Egypt’s independence and prosperity in the face of Roman expansion.

The name Cleo has been used as a given name for girls since the 19th century. It gained popularity during the early 20th century, but has remained a relatively uncommon name in the United States and other English-speaking countries.

Cultural Significance

The name Cleo has cultural significance in various fields. In literature, the name has been used as a character name in various novels, such as “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway and “The Alexandria Quartet” by Lawrence Durrell. It has also been used as the name of a protagonist in the graphic novel “Cleopatra in Space” by Mike Maihack.

In the field of music, the name Cleo has been used in the titles of various songs, such as “Cleo’s Mood” by Jr. Walker and the All Stars and “Cleo’s Back” by Junior Wells. The name has also been used as the stage name of various musicians, including Cleo Laine, a British jazz singer.

Famous People with the Name Cleo

  • Cleo of Macedon: the daughter of King Philip II of Macedon and half-sister of Alexander the Great
  • Cleo Moore: an American actress who appeared in various films and television shows in the 1940s and 1950s
  • Cleo Laine: a British jazz singer who has won numerous awards for her contributions to music
  • Cleo Higgins: a British singer and actress who appeared on the UK version of “The Voice”.
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