The surname Lyons is English and French in origin. It was a nickname for a fierce or brave warrior, from the Old French, Middle English ‘lion’. It may also be derived from the personal name Leo(n) ( from the Latin ‘leo’, lion ). A name borne by numerous early Christian saints, most notably Pope Leo the Great ( 390-461 ); and twelve other popes and many early martyrs. On the Continent the given name was relatively popular because of the numerous saints that bore it, and also because the lion was the symbol of the evangelist St. Mark. In England, however, it was rare throughout the Middle Ages. It may also be a habitational name from the town of Lyon in central France ( sometimes known in modern English as Lyons ), or from the smaller Lyons ( -la-Foret ) in Eure, Normandy. The name of the former place is recorded in the first century B.C. as ‘Lugdunum’, apparently from the Gaulic elements meaning ‘raven’, ‘crow’ and ‘hill’, ‘fort’. The name has been used by the Irish as an anglicization of the Gaelic name O’Laighin. Many Jews in modern times have also… Coat of arms: Purpure…
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