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Spanish (): habitational name from León, a city in northwestern Spain, named with Latin legio, genitive legionis ‘legion’, a division of the Roman army. In Roman times the city was the garrison of the 7th Legion, known as the Legio Gemina. The city’s name became reduced from Legion(em) to Leon(em), and in this form developed an unetymological association with the word for ‘lion’, Spanish león.