There’s no better way to honor your Welsh origin than giving your little one a traditional Welsh name. But you don’t really have to be Welsh to appreciate how beautiful, noble, and original Welsh names are.
These are 27 of the best Welsh baby names for both girls and boys we think you’re going to love. When you’re picking the right baby name, you’re usually considering several different factors – most commonly, you want the name to sound and look good, have a nice meaning, and some sort of a story or tradition behind it.
Welsh names are ticking all the boxes – and today we’ve handpicked some of the best and most original of them for you to consider. But before we get to the list itself, let’s take a brief look at their historical roots.
Jump to a specific section
- History of Traditional Welsh Baby Names
- Why We Love Welsh Baby Names
- The List of 27 Best Traditional Welsh Names for Babies
- Owain (m)
- Bran (m)
- Daryn (f/m)
- Glenda (f)
- Rhiannon (f)
- Meredith (f)
- Sian (f)
- Trevor (m)
- Arthur (m)
- Catrin (f)
- Dylan (m)
- Gwyneth (f)
- Reese (m/f)
- Tristan (m)
- Tegan (f)
- Morgan (m/f)
- Ellis (f/m)
- Marvin (m)
- Idris (m)
- Lloyd (m)
- Rhonda (f)
- Winnifred (f)
- Maegan (f)
- Griffith (m)
- Merlin (m)
- Lynn (m/f)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Recommended Reads
History of Traditional Welsh Baby Names
Wales is one of the culturally and historically richest areas in Northwestern Europe – archaeological evidence proves that human beings inhabited this area at least since 225,000 BC.
Many of the Welsh given names reflect this rich history at first sight. They might often look and sound like the names from medieval legends (and they often really are!) – mysterious, noble, and unusual. Regarding the meaning of these names, they are often closely related to the traditional Welsh natural surroundings – sea, lakes, rivers, hills. Other popular motives include human characteristics – bravery, pureness, fairness, enthusiasm, and beauty.
Faith and religion play an important role here too – many Welsh given names reflect their owner’s obedience. While many Welsh names can be recognized quite easily, others were anglicized long ago – maybe you’ll even be surprised they are of a Welsh origin at all.
Welsh names are also very close to old Celtic, Gaelic, and Irish names, sometimes it’s not really possible to say which version was really the first and original one. The vast amount of alternative spellings and variations of these names reflects this very well.
Why We Love Welsh Baby Names
Traditional Welsh names laid the foundations for many contemporary English or American names. Welsh names are therefore often very popular with parents, who are looking for classical names with an excitingly old fashioned twist.
Welsh names also remind us of many popular novels, movies, and TV shows – The Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, The Whisperer, and many other bestsellers in the fantasy genre use traditional Welsh names or their closely similar variations for their characters. Now let’s get straight to the names:
The List of 27 Best Traditional Welsh Names for Babies
Meaning of Owain:
Origin of Owain:
Pronunciation of Owain:
Alternatives and variations of Owain:
Ewein, Owein, Ywein, Owen
Famous people named Owain:
Actor Owain Yeoman, conductor Owain Arwel Hughes
Owain is one of the few consistently popular Welsh names, although it’s still far from being common and overused. In England, it currently ranks 949th. In the U.S., however, this name is considered quite rare and doesn’t rank in any official charts.
Owain fun fact:
Owain is a very popular name in Wales because of the historical Welsh leader Lord Owain Glyndŵr, a key figure of Welsh rebellion against the English overrule.
Meaning of Bran:
Origin of Bran:
Pronunciation of Bran:
Alternatives and variations of Bran:
Brandon, Brann, Brannan
Famous people named Bran:
Inventor Bran Ferren, king of Leinster Bran Ardchenn
Unlike its longer and more common version Brandon, Bran is an unusual name that avoids popularity charts so far.
Bran fun fact:
Bran Stark is a key character from the Game of Thrones saga – he’s famous for being able to reincarnate into a three-eyed raven.
Meaning of Daryn:
Origin of Daryn:
Pronunciation of Daryn:
Alternatives and variations of Daryn:
Famous people named Daryn:
Broadcaster Daryn Kagan, filmmaker Daryn Tufts, comedian Daryn Jones
Much more popular in its alternative version Darren, Daryn currently doesn’t rank in any official U.S. charts.
Daryn fun fact:
Spelled as ‘Darren’, this name can also means ‘edge’ in Welsh.
Meaning of Glenda:
Good and fair
Origin of Glenda:
Pronunciation of Glenda:
Alternatives and variations of Glenda:
Glinda, Glynda, Glenn
Famous people named Glenda:
Writer Glenda Adams, painter Glenda Randerson, actress and politician Glenda Jackson
Glenda was a remarkably popular name in the 1940s – 1950s, when it even made it to the top 100 in the U.S. Its popularity, however, later dropped sharply. Now it’s considered to be one of the rare names.
Glenda fun fact:
Glenda Slagg is a fictional columnist in the popular satirical magazine Private Eye.
Meaning of Rhiannon:
Great divine queen
Origin of Rhiannon:
Pronunciation of Rhiannon:
Alternatives and variations of Rhiannon:
Rhianon, Riannon, Reannon
Famous people named Rhiannon:
Musician Rhiannon Giddens, novelist Rhiannon Davies Jones, footballer Rhiannon Roberts
Rhiannon was a relatively popular name in the past decades, but some 13 years ago, it suddenly dropped out of the U.S. charts completely. It remains very popular in Wales though.
Rhiannon fun fact:
Rhiannon was a major mysterious female character in medieval Welsh mythology.
Meaning of Meredith:
Origin of Meredith:
Pronunciation of Meredith:
Alternatives and variations of Meredith:
Famous people named Meredith:
Musician Meredith Brooks, tennis player Meredith McGrath, composer Meredith Jane Monk
Meredith is one of the most popular feminine names of Welsh origin. Currently, it ranks #524 in the U.S. and #526 in England.
Meredith fun fact:
At least five townships in the U.S. are called Meredith.
Meaning of Sian:
Origin of Sian:
Pronunciation of Sian:
Alternatives and variations of Sian:
Sean, Sianne, Siana
Famous people named Sian:
Actress Sian Clifford, scientist Sian Proctor, comic Siân Gibson
Sian was always a rare name in the U.S., but it’s also beginning to be a bit forgotten in the UK now too. It doesn’t even appear in the English top 500 now.
Sian fun fact:
Sian is also the name of one Kurdish tribe living in Iraq.
Meaning of Trevor:
Origin of Trevor:
Welsh, English, Irish
Pronunciation of Trevor:
Alternatives and variations of Trevor:
Famous people named Trevor:
Musician Trevor Rabin (Yes), comedian Trevor Noah, footballer Trevor Francis,
In the past decades, Trevor ranked quite high in American, Australian, Canadian, and English charts. Currently, its popularity slowly declines, ranking #380 in the U.S.
Trevor fun fact:
At least four geographical locations in Wales are called Trevor too.
Meaning of Arthur:
Origin of Arthur:
Pronunciation of Arthur:
Alternatives and variations of Arthur:
Arthus, Artur, Art
Famous people named Arthur:
Writer Arthur Conan Doyle, writer Arthur C. Clarke, playwright Arthur Miller
Arthur used to be at the top of the popularity charts in the U.S. for many decades. After a period of decline, it seems to be on the rise again currently ranking #230.
Arthur fun fact:
Arthurian legends about the 6th-century king play a major role in traditional Welsh mythology and culture.
Meaning of Catrin:
Origin of Catrin:
Pronunciation of Catrin:
Alternatives and variations of Catrin:
Catrine, Catrina, Cathrine
Famous people named Catrin:
Musician Catrin Finch, writer Catrin Collier, golfer Catrin Nilsmark
This variation of the notoriously popular name Catherine is quite rare in the U.S. It ranks 922nd in England.
Catrin fun fact:
“Catrin” is a poem by famous Welsh writer Gillian Clarke about her daughter.
Meaning of Dylan:
Son of the sea/Great tide
Origin of Dylan:
Pronunciation of Dylan:
Alternatives and variations of Dylan:
Dyllan, Dillan, Dillon
Famous people named Dylan:
Writer Dylan Thomas, actor Dylan Sprouse, actor Dylan McDermott
Dylan is a trendy name since the beginning of the 1970s. It hardly ever left the top 50 since then and currently ranks #31.
Dylan fun fact:
Dylan is also the name of the programming language.
Meaning of Gwyneth:
Origin of Gwyneth:
Pronunciation of Gwyneth:
Alternatives and variations of Gwyneth:
Gweneth, Gwyn, Gwynedd
Famous people named Gwyneth:
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, poet Gwyneth Lewis, sopranist Gwyneth Jones
Gwyneth is still a very rare and exotic-sounding name in the U.S., but it is on a steady way up, currently ranking in the lowest positions of the top 1000.
Gwyneth fun fact:
The Kingdom of Gwynedd was a Roman Empire successor state in 5th century Britain.
Meaning of Reese:
Origin of Reese:
Pronunciation of Reese:
Alternatives and variations of Reese:
Rees, Rhys, Rhyse
Famous people named Reese:
Actress Reese Witherspoon, musician Reese Lansangan, singer Reese Roper
Reese is a relatively popular name in all English speaking countries, but the only place where it steadily rises in charts is the U.S. Nowadays it ranks #464.
Reese fun fact:
Reese or Rhys was the name of several significant Welsh rulers throughout history.
Meaning of Tristan:
Origin of Tristan:
Pronunciation of Tristan:
Alternatives and variations of Tristan:
Drystan, Trysten, Tristen
Famous people named Tristan:
Poet Tristan Tzara, basketball player Tristan Thompson, actor Tristan Wilds
Tristan is a popular name all over the world. In the U.S. it’s currently the 123rd most popular boys name.
Tristan fun fact:
‘Tristan und Isolde’ is a famous opera by German composer Richard Wagner.
Meaning of Tegan:
Origin of Tegan:
Pronunciation of Tegan:
Alternatives and variations of Tegan:
Famous people named Tegan:
Singer Tegan Quin, wrestler Tegan Nox, singer Tegan Marie
Tegan is a relatively unusual name, which recently dropped out of the U.S. top 1000.
Tegan fun fact:
Tegan Jovanka is one of the characters in “Doctor Who”
- Jennifer (f)
Meaning of Jennifer:
The fair one
Origin of Jennifer:
Pronunciation of Jennifer:
Alternatives and variations of Jennifer:
Gennifer, Yenifer, Jenifer
Famous people named Jennifer:
Actress Jennifer Lawrence, actress and musician Jennifer Lopez, actress Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer was an extremely popular name in all English speaking countries especially during the 1970s-1990s. Currently, its fame dropped to the 344th position.
Jennifer fun fact:
“Project Jennifer” was a 1974 CIA project to recover a Soviet submarine.
Meaning of Morgan:
Origin of Morgan:
Pronunciation of Morgan:
Alternatives and variations of Morgan:
Morganna, Morgana, Morgen
Famous people named Morgan:
Actor Morgan Freeman, actress Morgan Fairchild
Morgan is a remarkably popular feminine name in the U.S. – in the 1990s it repeatedly ranked in the top 25, though now it’s on a decline (#164). As a boy’s name, Morgan is much less usual and ranks #744.
Morgan fun fact:
Morgan la Fey, also known as Morgana, was a legendary enchantress from and old Welsh Arthurian legends.
Meaning of Ellis:
Origin of Ellis:
Pronunciation of Ellis:
Alternatives and variations of Ellis:
Elis, Elise, Ellise
Famous people named Ellis:
Singer Ellis Paul, Aria Clemente, TV presenter Ellis Ward, footballer Ellis Harrison
Ellis as a feminine name is rare and unique, although it seems to gain more popularity in the recent years (climbing from #962 to #783 in just 3 years). Ellis is much more common as a boy’s name though (#317).
Ellis fun fact:
Ellis Island in New York used to be the United States’ busiest immigrant point of entry.
Meaning of Marvin:
Origin of Marvin:
Pronunciation of Marvin:
Alternatives and variations of Marvin:
Marvyn, Marwin, Marve
Famous people named Marvin:
Musician Marvin Gaye, composer Marvin Hamlisch, footballer Marvin Sordell
Marvin clung to the top 200 steadily at least from the 1880s, but recently it slowly drops in popularity, currently ranking #559.
Marvin fun fact:
Marvin the Paranoid Android is a character in the bestselling Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.
Meaning of Idris:
Origin of Idris:
Pronunciation of Idris:
Alternatives and variations of Idris:
Famous people named Idris:
Idris king of Lybia, actor Idris Elba, poet Idris Davies
Idris just recently made it to the US top 1000 (ranking #956). It’s much more popular in England though (currently #212).
Idris fun fact:
Idris is also a traditional name of Arabic origin.
Meaning of Lloyd:
Origin of Lloyd:
Pronunciation of Lloyd:
Alternatives and variations of Lloyd:
Famous people named Lloyd:
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, actor Lloyd Vernet Bridges, R’n’B singer Lloyd
Lloyd used to be one of the most popular masculine names in the past, ranking high in the top 100 in both U.S. and England for many decades. But with the new millennium, Lloyds almost disappeared and dropped out of the charts.
Lloyd fun fact:
There are at least 8 towns or communities named Lloyd in the U.S.
Meaning of Rhonda:
Origin of Rhonda:
Pronunciation of Rhonda:
Alternatives and variations of Rhonda:
Ronda, Rhondda, Rhondi
Famous people named Rhonda:
Actress Rhonda Fleming, wrestler Rhonda Sing, musician Rhonda Vincent
Most of the Rhondas you’re likely to meet will be in their forties to sixties. In 1994, Rhonda dropped out of the charts completely.
Rhonda fun fact:
Ronda is a picturesque historical village in the Spanish Andalusia region.
Meaning of Winnifred:
Origin of Winnifred:
Pronunciation of Winnifred:
Alternatives and variations of Winnifred:
Famous people named Winnifred:
Author Winnifred Eaton, Titanic survivor Winnifred Quick, journalist Winnifred Sprague Mason Huck
If you’re not afraid of good old fashioned names, Winnifred is a name that will definitely make your daughter stand out in the crowd. It’s out of the US Top 1000 since 1939.
Winnifred fun fact:
Saint Winifred was a 7th-century Welsh martyr.
Meaning of Maegan:
Origin of Maegan:
Pronunciation of Maegan:
Alternatives and variations of Maegan:
Megan, Meghan, Meaghan
Famous people named Maegan:
Actress Meagan Good, rock climber Meagan Martin, beauty queen Meagan Elise Fuller
Meagan is a name with many variations and alternative spellings. This particular Welsh version is currently rare and doesn’t rank in official US charts since 2008.
Maegan fun fact:
Megan is a locality north-east of Dorrigo in New South Wales.
Meaning of Griffith:
Origin of Griffith:
Pronunciation of Griffith:
Alternatives and variations of Griffith:
Famous people named Griffith:
Pioneer aviator Griffith Brewer, architect Griffith Thomas, mathematician Griffith C. Evans
Griffith was a popular name in the 19th and early 20th century, but it doesn’t appear in any contemporary popularity chart.
Griffith fun fact:
Griffith is also a glacier in Antarctica.
Meaning of Merlin:
Origin of Merlin:
Pronunciation of Merlin:
Alternatives and variations of Merlin:
Marlin, Merlyn, Myrddin
Famous people named Merlin:
Football player Merlin Jay Olsen, biographer Merlin Holland, actor Merlin Santana
Merlin can currently be perceived as an old fashioned name – it was popular mainly during the 1st half of the 20th century, nowadays is very rare.
Merlin fun fact:
Merlin was a legendary wizard and king’s counselor in traditional Arthurian legends.
Meaning of Lynn:
Origin of Lynn:
Pronunciation of Lynn:
Alternatives and variations of Lynn:
Lynnette, Lynne, Linnie
Famous people named Lynn:
Israeli documentarist Yaron Zilberman, Israeli pianist Yaron Kohlberg
Lynn was popular mainly in the 1940s – 1960s as an attractive alternative to more common Linda. In the mid-1990s, however, Lynn dropped out of charts completely.
Lynn fun fact:
Irish capital city Dublin has a “Lynn” in it too – the name is derived from “dubh” meaning “dark”, and “lind” meaning pond or pool.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Welsh names are often very similar to their modern anglicized versions – Mari, Harri, Meagan, Catrin, etc. But there are many genuinely unique Welsh names too, such as Idris, Morgan, Owain, or Rhiannon.
Answer: Many Welsh given names are also used as surnames. Currently, the most common Welsh surnames include Jones, Thomas, Lloyd, Williams, Davies, Griffiths, and Morgan.
Answer: Celtic peoples currently can be divided into two major groups: British Celts and Gaelic Celts. Cornish, Bretons, and Welsh peoples belong to the British brand of Celtic peoples. Many Welsh names are therefore also Celtic names.
We hope this article inspired you and helped you pick the best Welsh baby name for your little one. Not ready to make the final decision yet? Read our 101 French Baby Names, Best Russian Baby Girl Names or Best Unique Baby Names with Biblical Meanings articles for some more valuable inspiration.