Alex O’Loughlin Welcomes Baby Boy Lion

a lion cub lying down

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! In Alex O’Loughlin’s household, it’s more like Lion, Saxon, and Spike, as he and partner Malia Jones welcomed their new son Lion to the family late last month. Baby Lion joins half-brothers Spike (three years old) and Saxon (fifteen years old). No lyin’, the name has got us thinking–what inspired Alex and Malia to make this unusual naming choice?

Alex, who stars in CBS’s Hawaii Five-0, and Malia, who is a competitive surfer, have picked bold names for their children that reflect their fierce interests. Oldest brother Saxon, Alex’s son, carries a name that means “swordsman.” It’s derived from the Germanic Saxon tribes that invaded and settled England. Middle brother Spike, Malia’s son, has a more contemporary aggressive name. Lion fits in well in this family of unforgettable boy names.

Lion shares characteristics with many more common names. Only a letter away, popular French surname Lyon is often given as a first name; John Tyler, the tenth president of the United States, named his son Lyon. Another similarly-written name is Lionel, an old-fashioned name that peaked in the beginning on the twentieth century and has jumped back onto the charts in the past couple years. Lionel was No. 786 in 2011. Other two-syllable “ay-in” names, like Ryan, Bryan/Brian, and even Zion, have topped the charts for decades. And we wouldn’t be surprised to find out that either Alex or Malia has known a significant Leo or Lev: both those names share the meaning “lion”.

What do you think of the name Lion? Any guesses for the baby’s middle name?