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Gwendolyn

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Gender: Female Meaning of Gwendolyn: "white ring" Origin of Gwendolyn: Variation of Gwendolen, Welsh Gwendolyn's Popularity in 2017: #379

The name Gwendolyn is a girl's name of Welsh origin meaning "white ring". Gwendolyn is ranked #379 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like British Girl Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Names on NB that make you go WOW!".

From the experts:

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.

In the Oscar Wilde play, the character's name is spelled the traditional Welsh way, Gwendolen, as it was for one of the principal characters in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, and Gwendolen was also Merlin's wife in Arthurian legend.

Find other names based on Gwendolyn using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Gwendolyn

Gwendolyn "Gwen" Ifill, American TV journalist
Gwendolyn Bennett, American poet and fiction writer
Gwendolyn Bradley, American operatic soprano
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks, American poet
Gwendolyn Margaret MacEwen, Canadian poet and novelist
Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong, American civil rights activist
Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia, Filipina politician
Gwendolyn "Gwen" Guthrie, American singer-songwriter
Gwendolyn King, American businesswoman and Social Security administrator
Gwendolyn "Gwen" Watts, English actress
(Gwendolyn) Avril Coleridge-Taylor, English pianist, conductor, and composer
Gwendolyn Lee "Gwen" Byrd, daughter of singer Tammy Wynette

Pop Culture References for the name Gwendolyn

Guendoloena (Gwendolen), Merlin's wife in some Arthurian legends (e.g. Vita Merlini)
Gwendolyn "Gwen" Tennyson, character in animated series Ben-10
Gwendolyn "Gwen" Stacy, character in the Spider-Man series
Gwendolyn "Winnie" Cooper, a main character on TV's "The Wonder Years"
Gwendolyn Post, character on TV's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Gwendolyn "Gwen" Thompson, character in American Girl film "Chrissa Stands Strong"
Gwendolyn Shepherd, character in the German Gem Trilogy
Gwendolyn Sommerset, character in video game "Ravenhearst "
Gwendolyn, character in video game "Odin Sphere"
Gwendolyn, Princess of Treecrest, character in "The Wide-Awake Princess" by E. D. Baker

Comments

aleerakate Says:

2017-06-18T13:50:50

Spiderman's beautiful, science major girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, is a Gwendolyn too :)

paulapuddephatt Says:

2016-11-16T21:29:30

Yes, June is a nice name. I don't remember many of those characters as being nice, either. Alicia wasn't, from what I can recall. Well, Dorothea is a lovely name, especially because you can get the nickname Thea.

morning_glory Says:

2016-11-16T16:07:03

Dorothea and Rosamund are personal favourites of mine, too :) I get you about GWTW. Mind you to be quite honest there weren't many 'nice' characters! I think Darrell's surname, Rivers, was the only thing I ever particularly thought about concerning Malory Towers names - and June. Not an especially 'nice' character, again, but it showed me that it can be used most effectively as a name!

paulapuddephatt Says:

2016-11-11T16:06:11

It's true. She was a vivid character, so it probably isn't surprising. I remember all of those Malory Towers characters pretty well. One of my main associations with Alicia would be the Malory character, as well as the fact that it was the middle name of one of my best childhood friends. I also remember thinking that Darrell was bad enough as a boys' name, let alone a girls', but her younger sister was named Felicity, which was so different. I do know what you mean about coming across character names in books and liking them. When I hear Silas, Caleb, Dorothea and Rosamund, and they all end up on my favourites' list, I pretty much know that George Eliot sowed the seed. I actually love 'Gone With The Wind' and don't think I've ended up loving any names from that, apart from ones I don't especially associate with it - and Tara, the plantation name. But literature definitely has an influence, along with movies, TV, etc.

morning_glory Says:

2016-11-11T14:54:24

Well, she was quite a vivid character, so in that respect it isn't so surprising . . . I find that I like a lot of my favourite boy names because I've come across a character in a book (often Rosemary Sutcliff) that I like, especially with the more unusual/less immediately appealing ones, e.g. Conory, Draco, Benet.

paulapuddephatt Says:

2016-11-10T17:44:54

I did wonder if there was anyone else out there who had. It's bizarre how these associations stay with us throughout the years. :-)

morning_glory Says:

2016-11-10T16:44:36

I've had EXACTLY the same problem!

paulapuddephatt Says:

2016-11-10T14:55:31

I've finally got over the connection with the spoilt brat of a character in Malory Towers, to the point where I now love the name Gwendolyn/Gwendolen. Gwen, for short, is cute, too.

thisismyname773 Says:

2016-06-20T00:43:43

This is my name, and I prefer being referred to as "Gwen" because I feel as though "Gwendolyn" is a little bit too princess-y and girly for me. Still, I'm glad my parents named me this because it means something similar to white/bright, and this suits me well. I'm not sure why my parents named me this, I don't think I have any Welsh in me, but they probably just thought it is a nice name; I agree.

Fluffykitten101 Says:

2016-06-09T20:51:11

What a great Welsh name. Gwendolyn, Gwendolen and Gwendoline are all beautiful names to give to your child. Some cute nicknames I thought of are Gwen, Gweni, Winnie, Wendy, and lastly Lyn.

ENCHANTMEN Says:

2016-03-28T17:12:10

Halt!

This is the tomb of the Great Lord Gwyn.

Tarnished, it shall not be, by the feet of men.

If thou art a true discipline of the Dark Sun, cast aside thine ire,

hear the voice of mineself, Gwyndolin, and kneel before me.

Haids1987 Says:

2016-03-18T14:30:01

This is WInnie Cooper's full name on The Wonder Years. :)

cabosanmucus Says:

2015-12-08T21:27:35

It's old school but there's something charming about it ;)

PineWarrior Says:

2015-09-16T00:45:27

Gwendolyn is not only a beautiful baby name, but it also has some nice nickname options!
Gwen, Wen, Wendy, Lyn. . .
I have so much love for this name~

Kim Michaud Says:

2015-06-12T17:32:22

My daughters name is Gwendolyn Rain I love it to the blogger who said her friend was going to name her child Gwendolyn Annalise that's one of the names I considered

acwears Says:

2015-04-23T19:40:43

How cool! My daughters name is Gwyneth Abigail!

JustBrowsing Says:

2015-04-23T17:36:50

I like this spelling with the y, because I feel it opens itself up to Wendy as a nickname.
I love how this name is vaguely reminiscent of a Tolkien character, but is totally useable today.

Ansonfam4 Says:

2015-03-13T12:00:15

This is my daughter's name but we just call her Gwen for short. She loves her name and says that her full name, Gwendolyn Rose, is a real princess name. I love how beautiful her full name is and how sleek, pretty and unique the nn Gwen is. We also call her Gwennie on occasion. It's such a versatile name that she can grow into!

headintheclouds Says:

2015-01-24T19:50:45

I love this name, definitely one of my top choices for a girl when I get around to having kids.

I'm torn about the spelling though- it's one of the few names where I like the variant spelling more than the original (barring Katherine).

But while I like Gwendolen less than Gwendolyn, it has more gravitas that makes the name less cutesy and princess-like. Then again, the difference of -len and -lyn changes the whole image and vibe of the name, as acutely as the difference between (Rose- name variants, not spelling variants) Rosamund and Rosalind. I feel Rosamund, the Gwendolen equivalent, is more grounded and elegant but stuffier, and so loses the magic of Rosalind, the Gwendolyn equivalent. Rosalind on the other hand is more lively and spunky, but can be too airy and princessy IMO).

Ultimately, I think I'd still end up with Gwendolyn though, because Gwendolen makes the name seem more serious than I'd like, and the ultimate draw of the name for me, is the nickname Gwen, which both names have, and it's a short-and-sweet feminine but strong nickname that can balance out the girlier full name.

gwensight Says:

2014-12-30T00:00:01

This is my name- and I have to say I love that I have not met many people with the same name. To me it is a bit princess- sounding, and is very romantic, but it suits me well.

Essa Says:

2014-12-07T16:39:13

I disliked this name until I met a little girl called it who went by the nickname Gwennie, and then I fell a little bit in love with it! Super cute.

Bethany Marie Gregory Says:

2014-07-04T00:05:30

Gwendolyn Abigail says thank you

jtay07 Says:

2014-07-03T23:33:39

I think you have given your daughter a wonderful name! I've always thought Gwen was so cool and not overused, and Gwendolyn is my favorite long form.

Bethany Marie Gregory Says:

2014-07-03T22:58:17

This is my daughters name ... I find the fact that someone says it's too cutsy to be odd ... I selected it because it can grow with a child and can be Gweni as a kid, hip and Gwen as a teen and if in need of professional sounds professional as an adult

leonoras Says:

2014-05-15T18:36:59

I'd rather go with the original spelling.