Menu

Top Welsh Names for Boys

Welsh names for boys have, for the most part, lagged behind their female counterparts in terms of use beyond Wales. Only a few Welsh boys names — Llewellyn, Rhys — feel familiar at all, and even they're not all that popular. But Welsh boys names, for that reason, feel excitingly unusual. Welsh names for boys, without a doubt, deserve more consideration.

Perhaps this list of Welsh boys names can help get things moving. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.

OwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "young warrior; well-born"
  • Description:

    Owen was derived from two names—the Welsh Owain and the Celtic Eoghan. Each are connected to Eugene, which ultimately came from the Greek word eugenes, comprised of the elements eu, meaning good, and genes, “born.” Owen became a Welsh patronymic surname during the Renaissance. The legendary St. Owen was a Benedictine monk who was a follower of St. Chad.

DylanHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "son of the sea"
  • Description:

    Dylan was derived of the Welsh components 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.

EvanHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh variation of John
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is gracious"
  • Description:

    Evan was derived from Iefan, a Welsh version of John. John is ultimately a derivative of the Hebrew name Yochanan, comprised of the elements yo, meaning “God” and chanan, “to be gracious.” Evan is actually a Hebrew word itself, meaning “rock.”

GaelHeart

  • 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.

MaddoxHeart

  • 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.

DawsonHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • 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.

EllisHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "benevolent"
  • Description:

    Ellis is one of the less used names in the currently popular El-family. It is a popular Welsh name in its own right, sometimes spelled Elis, and also an English surname derived Elijah, by way of the Greek Elias.

KaneHeart

  • 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."

BowenHeart

  • 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.

TrevorHeart

  • 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.

RhysHeart

  • 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.

MarvinHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh, variant of Mervyn
  • Meaning:

    "sea hill"
  • Description:

    Marvin has been neglected for so long that it's hard to believe that it has windswept Welsh roots. It also has some strong namesakes going for it -- singer Marvin Gaye, composer Marvin Hamlisch and boxer Marvin Hagler. It's the real name of both Neil Simon and Meatloaf. And let's not forget mention Marvin Gardens on Monopoly.

MorganHeart

  • 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!

ReeseHeart

  • 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.

IdrisHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh; Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "lord; studious"
  • Description:

    A common Welsh name virtually unknown before the emergence of the charismatic Idris Elba, first on The Wire and then depicting Nelson Mandela in the acclaimed film.

    Idris Hawr "the Giant" was a legendary seventh century Welsh giant and magician who gave his name to a well known mountain, "Idris's Fort"

    Idris also exists in Arabic, meaning "to learn, study" and is the name of a prophet mentioned twice in the Koran. Idris Shah was a prominent Sufi writer.