So as I was driving to the dojo this morning, “The End of the World (As We Know It)” by REM came on the radio, and it struck me that the song names three people with similar names: Lenny Bruce, Leonard Bernstein, and Leonid Brezhnev.
And I thought, are those all forms of the same name?
Lenny is short for Leonard, of course, but apparently Leonid is not the direct Slavic equivalent–it comes from a shortened form of Leonidas. However, all three do derive from the Greek for lion (Leon). So is there any meaning in this within the song?
I have no idea; however, in reviewing the actual lyrics, apparently a fourth man is named, Lester Bangs, a rock critic who died in 1982. Lester, apparently, comes from Leicester, the English city, and referred to a person from the town. So I got nothing as far as a grand revelation. And I’m not enough of an REM fan to write a treatise on it.
(Name meanings from Behind the Name, the first result in a search for the meaning of Leonid. Hey, since its search engine optimization is on-point, you can take it to the bank.)