Gender: Female Meaning of Gwendolen: "white ring, circle" Origin of Gwendolen: Welsh

Gwendolen Origin and Meaning

The name Gwendolen is a girl's name of Welsh origin meaning "white ring, circle".

Gwendolen, an ancient Welsh favorite, retired decades ago in favor of the short form Gwen, but now, as in the case all across the naming board, the nickname has faded and the more distinguished original is up for reappraisal.

Gwendolen means "white circle," probably alluding to an ancient moon goddess, and appears in both Welsh and English legend, once as a fairy with whom King Arthur fell in love and another was the wife of the wizard Merlin.

Gwendolen is the name of principal characters in George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda and in the Oscar Wilde play, The Importance of Being Earnest.

An alternate spelling is Gwendolyn, as in Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer prize for poetry. Gwendolyn, always the more popular spelling in the U.S. and the full name of the character Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years is now at Number 514, having reached as high as 112 in the 1950's.

Singer Gwen Stefani was actually christened Gwen.

16 names similar to Gwendolen

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Gwendolen. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Gwendolen, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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Famous People Named Gwendolen

Pop Culture References for the name Gwendolen

Gwendolen's International Variations

Gwendoline, Wendolyn, Gwendolin, Gwynne, Gwenda, Gwyneth, Wendolen (Welsh)


elanorelle Says:


"Wendy" has long been my favorite nickname for Gwendolen!

Runa Says:


Hm, what about Gwendolen nn Wendy?

paulapuddephatt Says:


I used to, but now I prefer this spelling.

Carol Says:


i've never noticed that. when i was little my grandmother told us stories about a Gwendolen who was the local swamp monster. i always loved the name though.

Fluffykitten101 Says:


Oh my gosh Freya Gwendolen is absolutely stunning! I totally agree that the -en spelling is more feminine and traditional. I'd say definitely use Freya Gwendolen!

hmg1204 Says:


I like this name but I feel everyone would call her "Gwen" and I don't like that name

tori101 Says:


A pretty, delicate Welsh name. She's just so pretty.

cheyenne_melody123 Says:


I like "Gwendolyn" better

Catastroffy Says:


I agree with you :)

jordalini Says:


I love this, I really want to use it as a middle name. Freya Gwendolen. I prefer this spelling because keeping with the welsh tradition with -en being feminine and -yn being masculine

LadyVanRaven Says:


I used to never really like this name but it has really grown on me. I prefer the full Gwendolen to its nickname Gwen though. Gwen just doesn't live up to the loveliness of Gwendolen in my opinion.

AnonymousPerson Says:


Here is my question - why are so many spoilt blonde girls in childrens' novels called Gwendolen/yn/ine?

AnonymousPerson Says:


My favourite spelling. Quite pretty.