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Welsh Baby Names: Unusual and Traditional

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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".


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Judi Brown (author) from UK on July 10, 2013:

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

babynology from New York on July 10, 2013:

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

Judi Brown (author) from UK on February 08, 2013:

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

ffion on February 07, 2013:

Ffion means foxglove not vine, just saying. hahaha

Judi Brown (author) from UK on October 02, 2012:

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

invitationinuk from newyork on October 01, 2012:

My name is kai, LOL!!!

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on August 16, 2012:

LOL!

Judi Brown (author) from UK on August 16, 2012:

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 from Northern Ireland on August 15, 2012:

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 Brown (author) from UK on August 15, 2012:

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 from Northern Ireland on August 15, 2012:

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 Brown (author) from UK on May 31, 2012:

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 from California on May 30, 2012:

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 Brown (author) from UK on March 29, 2012:

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

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

Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on March 28, 2012:

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

Judi Brown (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

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 :-)

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on March 03, 2012:

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 Brown (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

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 :-)

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on March 03, 2012:

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 Brown (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

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 Brown (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

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 Brown (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

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 :-)

Sally Hayes on March 03, 2012:

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 from London, England on March 03, 2012:

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!

Suzie from Carson City on March 03, 2012:

"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 Brown (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

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

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 03, 2012:

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

Judi Brown (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

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

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

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 03, 2012:

Interesting names and hub!

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

Judi Brown (author) from UK on February 12, 2012:

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 :-)

Martie Coetser from South Africa on February 12, 2012:

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 Brown (author) from UK on February 11, 2012:

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

Thanks for your comment, much appreciated :-)

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 11, 2012:

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

Judi Brown (author) from UK on January 01, 2012:

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 from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on December 31, 2011:

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

Judi Brown (author) from UK on December 30, 2011:

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

pmccray from Utah on December 29, 2011:

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 Brown (author) from UK on December 29, 2011:

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 from Sweden on December 29, 2011:

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 Brown (author) from UK on December 28, 2011:

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

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on December 28, 2011:

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 Brown (author) from UK on December 28, 2011:

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

Violet from United Kingdom, I'm British on December 28, 2011:

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 Brown (author) from UK on December 28, 2011:

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 :-)

Kimberly Schimmel from North Carolina, USA on December 28, 2011:

These names sound like Tolkien characters--just beautiful.

Judi Brown (author) from UK on December 28, 2011:

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 from Kansas City, Missouri, USA on December 28, 2011:

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