Welsh Names for Girls
Welsh names for girls have long punched far above their weight, gaining recognition and use far beyond Wales to Great Britain and the world. Given how few people live in Wales, and how obscure the Welsh language is, Welsh girl names like Gwyneth, Rhonda and Bronwen are huge overachievers.
Why have Welsh names for girls enjoyed such success in the wider world? They blend the exotic and the familiar in a way that's appealing. The Welsh girls' name Arwen achieved widespread fame via the Lord of the Rings books and movies, inspiring a taste for the traditionally-Welsh wen-ending names.
Browse through our list of Welsh names for girls for many more choices. The girl names from Wales on this list are ordered according to their current popularity on Nameberry. For a full alphabetical list, click All.
Description:Now that Tristan has been rediscovered, maybe it's time for his fabled lover in the Arthurian romances and Wagnerian opera, a beautiful Irish princess, to be brought back into the light as well.
Description:One of the few remaining unrestored vintage gems, with a choice of two winning nicknames--the girlish Winnie and the tomboyish Freddie--as well as the slight stretch Freda. Winifred, the name of a legendary Welsh saint, was a Top 200 name into the mid-1920's.
Meaning:"white shadow, white wave"
Description:Guinevere was the name of the beautiful but ill-fated queen of Camelot, for so many years eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Today, Guinevere could be a cool possibility for adventurous parents intrigued by this richly evocative and romantic choice.
Description:Arwen is well known as princess of the Elves in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The author took inspiration from Welsh for many of his character names, and indeed Arwen and its masculine counterpart Arwyn do have a modest history of use as legitimate Welsh names, deriving from the -wyn suffix ("fair, blessed") plus an intensifying prefix.
Origin:Welsh diminutive of Margaret
Description:Megan originally evolved from Meg, which itself derived as a nickname for Margaret. Margaret ultimately comes from the Greek word margarites, meaning "pearl." Megan is no longer a common nickname for Margaret—it is most often used as a full name. Other spellings include Meghan, Meagan, Megyn, and Meaghan.
Description:This Welsh nature name that can be pronounced exactly like the male Ira. Or, to avoid confusion, you could just name her Snow.
Description:This Celtic goddess and Arthurian name may sound terminally old-ladyish to many ears--but so did names like Ella and Etta not so long ago. So Enid is yet another forgotten four-letter E-possibility: she's has been M.I.A since 1954.
Origin:Spelling variation of Bryn, Welsh
Description:Brynn outshines the original Welsh Bryn in the popularity stakes. This simple, brisk name might be seen as a combination of Bree and Lynn, an androgynous-sounding choice that especially in this spelling is not truly unisex: Brynn, for boys, is not even in the Top 1000.
Origin:English, diminutive of Jennifer
Meaning:"white shadow, white wave"
Description:Jenna was first noted on the 1980s TV series Dallas, later associated with one of the First Twin Daughters. Jenna is still being used, but no longer feels much fresher than Jennifer. You can also spell it Jena, but then many people will pronounce it jeen-a, as in Gina.
Origin:Variation of Gwendolen, Welsh
Description:One spelling variation that's more popular than the original, this somewhat old-fashioned name might be in honor of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer prize for poetry, or may be a way to get to the modern short form Gwen.
Origin:Diminutive of Gwendolen/Gwendolyn
Description:While Gwen may have originated as a short form of Gwendolen and Gwendolyn, these days it frequently stands on its own. Rocker Gwen Stefani has given it a shot of cool, and parents are choosing it as a standalone more and more often—Gwen hopped back onto the US Top 1000 in 2013 after an absence of over 30 years. Gwen could also be short for Guinevere.
Description:Common name in Wales that's all but unknown in the U.S. Certainly an attractive choice ripe for export. In the UK it sits at Number 330.
Description:Most of us had never heard this lovely Welsh name with links to the moon until we heard the 1976 smash hit Fleetwood Mac song of that name, with lyrics by Stevie Nicks. That same year it popped onto the U.S. Top 1000 at Number 593.
Meaning:"white spear or famous friend"
Description:A fabled storybook name via the heroine of Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe (1819), which featured a heroine called Rowena of Hargottstanstede, and also a Harry Potter name, as Rowena Ravenclaw, founder of one of the Hogwarts houses.. Rowena has some old-fashioned charm, though most modern parents seem to prefer Rowen. Pronunciation, however, is NOT like Rowen with an a at the end, but with a long e and an emphasis on the middle syllable.. She was on the popularity list until 1963, several years in the Top 500.
Description:Meredith is a soft, gentle-sounding name with subtle Welsh roots. Although originally a boys’ name , Meredith is used mainly for girls now.
Description:The sassy, steel magnolia appeal of Oscar-winning Reese (born Laura Jeanne—Reese is her mother's maiden name) Witherspoon has single-handedly propelled this formerly boys’ name into girls' popularity.
Origin:Welsh, Breton, Scandinavian, Hungarian, Estonian, and Basque variation of Maria or Mary
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:Mari enjoyed some mid-century popularity as a nicknameish version of Mary, but now deserves a second look as a multicultural classic. Mari is the name of the Basque goddess of fertility and weather and is also, for unrelated reasons, popular in Norway. The biggest problem with the potentially-lovely Mari will be getting people to say it the way you want. While some Europeans pronounce it as Marie, that will only confuse things more. Better to make it its own individual name by pronouncing it MAH-ree. As one commenter pointed out, in Estonian the name is not a Mary variation but means "berry" – all the more reason for us to like it!
Meaning:"sea-born, sea-song or sea-circle"
Description:Morgan has long been a traditional Welsh male name, a variant of the Old Welsh name Morcant, from the Welsh elements mor, meaning “sea” and cant, “circle.” The female Morgan is unrelated to the male version—it is a name from Arthurian legend created for Morgan le Fay, King Arthur's half-sister and famed sorceress. Her name comes from Morgen, an Old Welsh name meaning “sea-born,” and is related to the Irish name Muirgen.
Meaning:"star or sail mast"
Description:Seren is a top girls' name in Wales – and a lovely choice almost unknown elsewhere. Seren, in the Sirona form, was an ancient goddess of the hot springs.
Description:Because of Gwyneth Paltrow, this has almost become a one-person name, but not in the prohibitive there's-only-one-Oprah sense. Also seen as Gwenyth and Gweneth, this mellifluous appellation is definitely becoming more and more appreciated by American parents-- enough to land it on this year's Top 1000.