Welsh Baby Names: Unusual and Traditional

Updated on December 25, 2017

Welsh Names

Wales has a rich heritage and culture, quite distinct from its larger English neighbour. The Welsh language still flourishes, despite centuries of English rule, and the lilting cadences of the spoken word are in themselves lyrical. Welsh names also have a tendency to sound musical and romantic, which makes them the ideal choice for a new baby. Whether you are looking for a beautiful name for a girl or a bold name for a boy, Wales can offer you a fine choice.

Here is a selection of Welsh baby names together with their meanings.

Cerys Matthews

Cerys Matthews is a bilingual singer/songwriter.
Cerys Matthews is a bilingual singer/songwriter.

Welsh Baby Names for Girls

Aelwen

This is a good choice for a fair haired baby, since it means "fair brow". It is pronounced "EL-wen".

Alis

Alis means "noble".

Bethan

Bethan is a Welsh form of Elizabeth, meaning "God is my oath".

Carys/Cerys

Still a popular name, Carys means "loved one" whilst Cerys means "love". Both names are derived from the Welsh word "caru" which is love.

Cerys Matthews is a Welsh singer/songwriter who first made her name as lead singer with the band Catatonia, and has now started to record in both English and Welsh.

Crystin

This is the Welsh version of Christine, and has the meaning "follower of Christ".

Eilir/Ilir

Eilir, or Ilir, is pronounced "AY-lir" and means "butterfly".

Eirlys

A beautiful name for a winter baby girl. Eirlys means "snowflake" or "snowdrop". Eirylys Bellin is a Welsh actress/comedian who has won critical acclaim.

Elin

The Welsh version of Helen.

Erin

The old Welsh word for Ireland.

Ffion

Ffion is a pretty name that means "vine" and is the Welsh version of Fiona.

Lowri

Lowri means "laurel" and is the Welsh form of Laura.

Mai

Lovely for May born baby girls - it's Welsh for May.

Nia

The Welsh name Nia means beauty and brightness. The name is also found in Swahili where it has the meaning "purpose".

Seren

A name for bright, shiny babies! Seren means "star". Seren has become a popular name once again; in 2009 it was the third most popular girls' name in Wales.

Sian/Siana/Siani

Sian has remained popular over the years, although you don't see the pet forms of Siana and Siani so often. These names are the Welsh equivalents of Jane and mean "God is gracious". The "s" is pronounced as "sh".


Gethin Jones

Gethin Jones - dark and swarthy?
Gethin Jones - dark and swarthy?

Find out More About Wales

Wales is a beautiful country, find out more facts about its history, culture and people.

Welsh Baby Names for Boys

Arwel

Arwel means "prominent". A very apt name for leading Welsh rugby international Arwel Thomas.

Bran

According to legend Bran was a giant King of Britain who was killed when he attacked Ireland. The name means "raven".

Caerwyn/Carwyn

This name is derived from the Welsh for love "car" and fair or pure "wyn", so it means fair or pure love. Carwyn Williams is a former professional surfer from Wales who won the European Professional Surfing Tour twice.

Cai/Kai

Cai means "lord", possibly derived from the latin word "caius". Sir Cai, or Kay, features in the Arthurian Legend, being the son of Sir Ector and Arthur's foster-brother.

Celyn

A good name for a Christmas baby boy, Celyn means "holly".

Dewi

A variant of David, hence the name of the patron saint of Wales.

Dylan

In Welsh mythology Dylan was the sea god. The name is composed of two parts: "dy" means great, "llanw" means sea, so it is literally "great sea".

Elis

Thought to be the Welsh form of Elias, so would mean "God is my Lord".

Emlyn

Emlyn means "work". Emlyn Hughes was a very popular English footballer who captained both the England and Liverpool teams in the 1970s.

Geraint

This is another name with links to the Arthurian legends. Sir Geraint was the son of the King of Dumnonia and was the lover of Enid of Cardiff. He fell fighting the Saxons with King Arthur in Somerset. The name means "old".

Gethen/Gethin

The name means "dark, swarthy" and certainly suits the dark, good looks of Welsh TV presenter Gethin Jones.

Glyn

A short version of the name Glyndwr or Glendower. The meaning of Glyn is a "glen" or "valley of water".

Hadyn

The Welsh form of Aidan, meaning "little fire".

Harri

It means "home-ruler" and derives from Henry.

Huw

The Welsh form of Hugh, meaning "heart" or "spirit". The presenter of BBC News at Ten, the BBC's flagship news programme, is Welsh journalist Huw Edwards.

Iago

Not just the Spanish form of Jacob, but Welsh too! It means "supplanter".

Ieuan

This name means "God is gracious". Ieuan Evans is a former international Rugby player, the third highest try scorer of all time for Wales.

Jac

The Welsh variant of Jack.

Lloyd or Lwyd

Used as a forename and a surname, Lloyd means "grey-haired".

Owain/Owein/Owen/Owin/Owyn/Uwain

These different forms of the same name mean "born of yew". Sir Owain was another Arthurian knight.

Rhys

Rhys is a popular name, meaning "heat of passion".

Sion

The Welsh version of John.

Steffan

The Welsh version of Stephen - "crowned with laurels". A great name for boys born on the Feast of St Stephen, which is 26 December.

Wyn/Wynn/Wynne

These names mean "fair" or "blessed"


More Celtic Names

If these Welsh names aren't quite what you are looking for, why not try some Cornish or Irish baby names?

Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel, Welsh opera singer.
Bryn Terfel, Welsh opera singer.

Welsh Names for Girls or Boys

Brin/Bryn/Brynn

This name means "hill" and can be used for girls or boys.

Ceri

For a loving baby this is perfect; it means "to love".

Eilian/Elian/Elyan

The name means "moment in time". St Eilian performed miraculous cures.

Gwyn/Gwynn/Gwynne

Although this is traditionally a masculine name, it is now used for girls too. It means "white, holy, fair".

Morgan

Used as a surname as well as a unisex forename, this name probably means "sea circle".


Questions & Answers

    Comments

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    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      5 years ago from UK

      Hi babynology - thanks very much - glad you enjoyed it!

    • babynology profile image

      babynology 

      5 years ago from New York

      I have really enjoyed following hub. I am reading and commenting on this article.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      5 years ago from UK

      Thanks Ffion - I'll make a note of it next time I edit - thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • profile image

      ffion 

      5 years ago

      Ffion means foxglove not vine, just saying. hahaha

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      5 years ago from UK

      Hi Kai - great to meet you! Hope you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for reading and commenting - much appreciated.

    • invitationinuk profile image

      invitationinuk 

      5 years ago from newyork

      My name is kai, LOL!!!

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      LOL!

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      5 years ago from UK

      Hello again Meg - yes, Illtyd - thought that's what I put, but see the typo now. I've worked as a teacher and a TA and the children's perception of my age differs wildly - anything from 20s to 60ish (has to be said I usually feel more 60ish than 20ish at the end of the day!)

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      You're welcome. Do you mean Illtyd? I used to know someone by that name but as he was a teacher in school, it is likely he is now dead, or at least EXTREMELY old. (Teachers always seem VERY old when you are in school and then a few years later, you find they may not always have been just as old as you thought. LOL)

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      5 years ago from UK

      Hi DreamerMeg - thanks for the info - will add and amend! Thanks for the reminder of 1-10 - up to "pedwar" seems vaguely familiar, but it's sooo long ago. Since writing this hub I've unearthed more of my family tree and have a few more names I could add - particularly fond of Iltyd.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, much appreciated.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      You may also wish to add the girl's name Ilir, which means "butterfly". I think the spelling of Haydn should be as I have written it. Un dau tri pedwar pump chwech saith wyth naw deg. 1 - 10 in Welsh. I was brought up in Wales, a long time ago and many of those names are very familiar to me.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi StellaSee - yes, Iago is also used in Spain, both being variants of James - in Cornish, which is a language related to Welsh, it is Jago. I guess popular Biblical names have regional variations across many languages.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated :-)

    • StellaSee profile image

      StellaSee 

      6 years ago from California

      Iago has Welsh origins? As well as Spanish? Wow I did not know that! That's surprising.. I was thinking it was more Mediterranean or Middle Eastern origins..or maybe I'm watching too much Aladdin ;D

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi ytsenoh - I agree, it must be great to have a distinctive name.

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comments :-)

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Nice ideas for names. I personal like names that are distinct. Thanks for this hub; it will give newly expecting parents some ideas.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi suzettenaples - Megan has become a popular name in the last twenty years here in the UK - I don't remember meeting many Megans before that.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated :-)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Interesting names. My niece's name is Megan which is the Welsh form for Meghan, from the Irish. This is a good hub for prospective parents to check out.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi iswaryaa22 - I hope that you manage to visit Wales, it has some beautiful scenery and fantastic castles.

      Good to know the meaning of your name. Mine means "Jewess", so clearly my parents didn't choose it for its meaning, because we are not Jewish! Never really understood why they chose it, but so be it.

      Great to hear from you again, thanks for stopping by :-)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      6 years ago from Chennai, India

      Very cute hub on Welsh names for babies! Though names are unusual, they look and sound beautiful and that what make them unique! Though I visited London last year and enjoyed it a lot, still I would like to visit Wales in the near future. The two of my favorite celebrities are connected to Wales- Diana, the late Princess of Wales and Catherine Zeta Jones, the native Welsh, now a popular Hollywood star. What is the meaning of your name Judi? Mine means wealth/prosperity in Sanskrit(ancient Indian language).

      Thanks For Sharing. Interesting and Vote up.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi Sarah - glad I gave you something to get excited about - I am proud of my Welsh heritage too!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it :-)

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi editorsupremo aka DeAnna - Diana is also the huntress in mythology, so perhaps you are the divine leader of the hunt!

      Thanks for your comments, much appreciated :-)

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi fpherj48 - I'm not going to argue this one, I have no idea about Spanish names!

      Thanks for dropping in and taking the time to commment :-)

    • SMD2012 profile image

      Sally Hayes 

      6 years ago

      I love this Hub! I'm a Welsh-Canadian, married to a Welsh man, so I get excited every time someone showcases something special and unique about Wales! Voted up, awesome, beautiful and shared! - Sarah

    • editorsupremo profile image

      editorsupremo 

      6 years ago from London, England

      Lovely hub and lovely Welsh names. My name DeAnna is an old English name that means 'leader' and is a variant of Diana meaning 'divine'. 'So I suppose I'm a divine leader!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      "Linda".......the "stalker", here, butting in (as usual) to say that "linda" means "PRETTY" in Spanish....which is just as nice as beautiful, of course....but, "beautiful," in Spanish is "Hermosa." Aren't you glad your name isn't HERMOSA??? LOL!! My name means "little" in Latin...and obviously it's not in reference to my MOUTH!!!......I love you, "Pretty"

      This is an awesome hub, BTW!!

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Linda, diolch yn fawr - which, I hope, is "thank you" in Welsh!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      You are welcome! I must also add a Happy Birthday to you!!!:)

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hello Linda - I didn't know the meaning of your name before, it suits you!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated :-)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Interesting names and hub!

      My name Linda means beautiful in Spanish, I've heard that story enough times throughout my life.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi Martie - my father has a cousin named Royston, and although one of our grandparents was Welsh, I think that Royston is originally English. Eiddwen is definitely a Welsh name - don't know that it is a common name, but it is most certainly Welsh.

      One of my great-grandmothers was a Martha, I wonder if she was ever "Martie" for short!

      Thanks for your comments, I appreciate you taking the time :-)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Judi, a man from Wales is one of my special friends, so I found this hub of yours very interesting. One of his names is Royston, and I now wonder if it could also be typical Welsh? And then we have Eiddwen, one of my lady friends in here, and I wonder how typical Welsh is her name?

      My name, Martie, is typical Afrikaans and South African, but derived from Martha, which has its roots in the Aramaic language.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi alocsin - definitely unusual and beautiful names, I hope they become more popular with a wider audience.

      Thanks for your comment, much appreciated :-)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      An unusual though excellent selection for those of us in the U.S. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi Angie - I have realised that my interest in names stems from dissatisfaction with my own. I love the lilting sounds of Welsh and Cornish names. Angie was the name of my favourite doll though (still got her!), so I love your name too.

      Great to hear from you, Happy New Year!

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Thank you for this hub, Judi ... I love Wales and these names are just so poetic ... I feel like changing my name!

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi pmccray - thank you so much for your kind comments - very much appreciated!

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 

      6 years ago from Utah

      I interact with the Welsh in my current position what a lovely people. These names show the beauty of the culture and the land. Voted up, marked useful, beautiful and interesting

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi Sannel - I am constantly wishing for another name and thinking "why didn't they choose that one!" I like Eirlys and Aelwen too. The boys ones are great, very different and bold.

      As always, I appreciate your comments :-)

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 

      6 years ago from Sweden

      Oh, too bad I don't have any Welsh ancestors! My name could have been Bethan, so beautiful. Or Eirlys, since I am a winter girl or perhaps Aelwen, another lovely name.

      Oh, well. . .at least I enjoyed reading about the exotic and beautiful names you put together.

      Thank you for a great hub!

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi Caseworker - yes, sometimes there can be just too much choice! Glad that you enjoyed the hub, thanks for the comments :-)

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 

      6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Well its a good job HP wasn't around when I was naming our three- I had enough difficulty sorting their names out with my limited knowledge!

      Nice hub , drawing all the names together so well.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks Violet - I will amend that, thanks for commenting :-)

    • Violet profile image

      Violet 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom, I'm British

      Carys means loved one or beloved and Cerys means love, both are derived from the word Caru which is Welsh for love. Both are equally beautiful names from a beautiful part of the world. Thanks for your hub x

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hello kschimmel - yes, you are right, some of them are reminiscent of Tolkien, I think he was influenced by Celtic mythology (amongst other things) which might explain it.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated :-)

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 

      6 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      These names sound like Tolkien characters--just beautiful.

    • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hancock 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi jblais - I have lots of Welsh ancestry too. My mother was born in Cardiff and only a few weeks ago I made contact with some second cousins, which has led me into a whole world of Welsh names! When I was a child I could count in Welsh, but sadly I can't remember it now.

      Thanks for your comment, much appreciated :-)

    • jblais1122@aol profile image

      jblais1122@aol 

      6 years ago from Kansas City, Missouri, USA

      Very nice, I have a lot of Welsh ancestors, I've always thought the language and names were interesting and exotic.

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