Using the Social Security Administration’s Top 1000 and The UK’s Office of National Statistics in England & Wales, we’ve compiled a list of popular Welsh names that are most commonly given to babies and their meanings. Which Welsh names are your favorites?
Popular Welsh Boys’ Names
- ARTHUR – Bear – A popular name from the early 20th century, Arthur is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as parents are returning to “old fashioned” names. It might also be associated with the kids’ books and cartoon, Arthur the aardvark.
- BOWEN – Son Of Owain/Owen – A great alternative to the more popular Owen, Bowen might have gained a little popularity from the Modern Family actress, Julie Bowen.
- DYLAN – Son Of The Sea – Used as both a first and last name, Dylan is most often associated with American singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, who’s often referred to by his last name.
- EVAN – God Is Good – Evan is the Welsh form of John and and while it is predominantly used on boys, actress Evan Rachel Wood has made it a more gender neutral name.
- GRIFFIN – From Gryphon, A Fabled MonsterUsed as both a first and last name, this name has multiple famous bearers including Griffin Dunne (actor), Merv Griffin (TV producer), and Kathy Griffin (comedienne).
- JONES – Son Of John – This surname is also used as a first name and recently entered the top 1000 in the US in 2020.
- MORGAN – Great Circle While Morgan is masculine in origin, it has become a true gender neutral name in the US. The most well-known association is actor Morgan Freeman.
- RHYS – Passion, Enthusiasm– Pronounced like Reese, this name has been slowly climbing the ranks since it entered the Top 1000 in the US in 2004. Two famous actors bear the name, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Matthew Rhys (Rhys is actually his middle name).
- TRISTAN – Tumult – Originally a masculine name, it has now crossed over for girls as well. The spelling of Tristan was probably affected by French word “triste” meaning “sad,” after the story of Tristan and Isolde, a doomed romance.
Popular Welsh Girls’ Names
- BRYNN – Hill – Used as both a first and last name, this feminine name has been in the US Top 1000 for the last 20 years.
- GWEN – Blessed Ring – Typically the short form of Gwendolyn, it can be a nickname for other names beginning with Gwen, Guinevere, or even stand on its own. Famous bearer is singer Gwen Stefani.
- GWENDOLYN – Blessed Ring The name could refer to marriage or family, as in closing the blessed loop. It is the name of a mythical queen of the Britons who defeated her husband in battle.
- MEGAN – PearlAs the Welsh form of Margaret, the name Megan has been popular in the US for awhile. It first entered in the Top 1000 in 1952 and reached its peak in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
- MEREDITH – Lord – While Meredith, both a first and last name, is originally masculine in origin it has become mainly associated as a feminine name in the United States. A famous bearer is the Grey’s Anatomy character Meredith Grey.
- REESE – Passion, Enthusiasm– This gender neutral name is the alternative spelling of the name Rhys. While it was originally more common for boys, it has now become predominantly a feminine name potentially due to the fame of actress Reese Witherspoon.
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