Cleo - Clio

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Cleo and Clio are two very similar names, differing only in one letter - and, to some extent, their pronunciation. They are both classical in origin; both refer to females; and both have been used in English as female forenames.

  • Cleo is an informal shortening for Cleopatra, a name most famously used for the Queen of Egypt in classical times. Famous Cleos include Cleo Laine (b. 1927), the jazz singer and widow of the jazz clarinettist and composer Johnny (later Sir John) Dankworth (1927-2010). The pronunciation in English is always 'cl-EE-oh', IPA: /'kliː əʊ/.
  • Clio is the muse of history in Greek mythology - and the name of a Renault car. In the former meaning, the traditional British pronunciation is 'cl-EYE-oh', IPA: /'klaɪ əʊ/; in most other languages (and the name of the car) it is 'cl-EE-oh', IPA: /'kliː əʊ/.