Welsh Names for Boys

Welsh Names for Boys

Welsh names for boys are finding a home in the wider world, with Welsh boy names such as Owen and Dylan becoming popular in the US and less common choices such as Idris and Bowen making a name for themselves.

Welsh male names have achieved international fame via films like Lord of the Rings. The Welsh boys' name Maddox was made famous when Angelina Jolie chose it for her oldest son, and the unusual Idris was introduced by actor Idris Elba.

The top Welsh name for boys in the US right now is Owen, in the Top 25. Trending Welsh boy names include Ellis, Rhys, Emrys, and Evan, the Welsh form of John.

This list of Welsh boys names will introduce you to both the popular and the rare selections. The boy names from Wales on this list are ordered according to their current popularity on Nameberry. For a full alphabetical list of all the Welsh names for boys on Nameberry, click All.

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Welsh Names

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  1. Owen
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "young warrior; well-born"
    • Description:

      Owen, a resonant Celtic name, has ranked among the Top 100 boys' names in the US for 20 years and is now at its highest point ever.
  2. Ellis
    • Origin:

      English surname derived from Elijah or Elias or Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "benevolent"
    • Description:

      Ellis is a former Old Man Name turned gender-neutral choice for the 21st century. It's one of the less used names in the currently popular El-family.
  3. Rhys
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "ardor"
    • Description:

      There's Rhys and there's Reese (now more popular for girls) and there's Reece, and we particularly like the traditional Welsh spelling, which entered the list in 2004, possibly influenced by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, of The Tudors, and Welsh-born actor Rhys Ifans.
  4. Emrys
    • Origin:

      Welsh, variation of Ambrose
    • Meaning:

      "immortal"
    • Description:

      If you're looking for a Welsh name less common than Dylan, Griffin, Evan, or Morgan, you might want to consider this offbeat epithet of the wise wizard Merlin.

      Root name Ambrose is an ancient saints' name derived from the Greek ambrosia, the food and drink of the gods that conferred immortality.
  5. Dylan
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "son of the sea"
    • Description:

      Dylan still feels poetic and romantic after years of popularity. It still ranks highly on the charts, among the top boy names starting with D, so if you choose it, be aware that yours may not be the only Dylan in his class.

      dy and llanw, meaning "sea." In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.
  6. Evan
    • Origin:

      Welsh variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Evan has a mellow nice-guy image that has kept it popular, while it has been widely used in Wales since the nineteenth century. And interestingly—and surprisingly—enough, Evan charts highly for boys in France.
  7. Morgan
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "sea-born, sea-song or sea-circle"
    • Description:

      Morgan, once split evenly between the sexes, is a strong and attractive Welsh favorite, still a common boys’ name in Wales. Morgan is now more often a girls' name in the U.S. – about 2000 girls were given the name in one recent year, vs. 362 boys – though it's one of the most traditional unisex choices. Morgan was actually a Top 200 pick for boys in Victorian Britain!
  8. Gael
    • Origin:

      Breton
    • Meaning:

      "Gaelic"
    • Description:

      This cross-cultural name, found in Wales, Brittany, and Spain, is a surprise star in the U.S. in recent years, largely thanks to actor Gael Garcia Bernal. It's especially popular in Texas.
  9. Idris
    • Origin:

      Welsh; Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "lord; studious"
    • Description:

      A name that crosses cultures, Idris was virtually unknown before the emergence of the charismatic Idris Elba, first on The Wire and then depicting Nelson Mandela in the acclaimed film.
  10. Maddox
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "son of Madoc"
    • Description:

      Maddox, a previously obscure Welsh family name with a powerfully masculine image, suddenly came into the spotlight when Angelina Jolie chose it for her son in 2003. By the following year it was in the middle of the Top 1000, and it has risen since.
  11. Kane
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "warrior"
    • Description:

      A name of multiple identities: a somewhat soap-operatic single-syllable surname, a homonym for the biblical bad boy Cain, and, when found in Japan and Hawaii, it transforms into the two syllable KA-neh. Kane also has multiple meanings: in Welsh, it's "beautiful"; in Japanese, "golden"; and in Hawaiian, "man of the Eastern sky."
  12. Bowen
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "son of Owen"
    • Description:

      Bowen is a Celtic surname representing two separate Celtic strains, one Welsh and one Irish, and entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2011.
  13. Dawson
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of David"
    • Description:

      Dawson was scarcely heard as a first name before the debut of Dawson's Creek in 1998, at which point it leaped up more than 550 places in one year. The character Dawson Leery, played by James Van Der Beek, was a teen favorite until the show's demise in 2003.
  14. Vaughn
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "small"
    • Description:

      Vaughn, also commonly spelled Vaughan, has been used quietly over the years, reaching a peak of Number 349 in 1949. It is now in the process of rediscovery, being seen as a good Sean alternative or an updated way to honor an ancestral Paul (which also means small).
  15. Llewellyn
    • Origin:

      Welsh, variation of Llywelyn
    • Meaning:

      "leader's image"
    • Description:

      Llewellyn/Llywelyn is a common patriotic first name in Wales, with its distinctive Welsh double LL's; in the U.S. Llewellyn would make a daring choice, though with the chance that some might find the ellen sound slightly feminine.
  16. Auryn
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "gold"
    • Description:

      An unusual name for a child with golden hair. Auron is a Welsh female name with the same meaning.
  17. Trevor
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "from the large village"
    • Description:

      Trevor, a British standard, took a long time to cross the Atlantic, but finally began its rise here in the 1980s. It is now a thoroughly naturalized citizen, though it still retains a touch of Anglo class.
  18. Reese
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Rhys
    • Description:

      An Anglicized spelling of the Welsh Rhys, this traditional boys' name got a big boost for girls in the early 2000s, thanks to the high-profile Ms. Witherspoon (who was actually born Laura Jeanne Reese, her second middle being her mother's maiden name). This spelling has been on the decline for boys since 2003, possibly for the same reason, but remains a strong, simple choice which might pose fewer spelling and pronunciation issues outside of the UK than the Welsh original.
  19. Gareth
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "gentle"
    • Description:

      Gareth, the name of a modest and brave knight in King Arthur's court, makes a sensitive, gently appealing choice, used more in its native Wales than anywhere else.
  20. Sulien
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "sun born"
    • Description:

      Said to be the name of the most learned man in ancient Wales, in this country it would be open to mispronunciation, making it rhyme with Julien.