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Primrose © AnHeuer/Pixabay
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The Most Beautiful Welsh Names and What They Mean

Picture of Poppy Jacob
Updated: 25 October 2017
Welsh is such a lyrical language, it’s no wonder that many beautiful and poetic names are derived from it. Here is a selection of some the very loveliest names with Welsh roots.

Eirianwen

Pronunciation: Eye-ree-an-wen

Meaning: From the Welsh words eirian (shining or bright) and gwen (holy, white, pure).

Alaw

Pronunciation: AH-low (‘ow’ rhymes with now)

Meaning: Melody or melodious

There’s a river named Afon Alaw (melodious river) and a Welsh band named Alaw. It is traditionally a woman’s name. Some believe it is the old Welsh version of the name Lily.

Eira

Pronunciation: Eye-ra

Meaning: Snow

Cilgwyn snowscape
Cilgwyn snowscape | © Creative Commons

Gwenllian

Pronunciation: Gwen-lli-anne. The sound of a ‘ll’ in Welsh is somewhere between an ‘l’ and a ‘th’ sound. To make it, spread your tongue so it touches your upper teeth, and keep it there as you blow air around it.

Meaning: Derived from gwen (white, holy, pure) and llian (flaxen)

Gwenllian of Wales or Gwenllian fetch Llewelyn, was the daughter of the Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last native Prince of Wales, which makes Gwenllian the last truly Welsh Princess of Wales.

Rhianwen

Pronunciation: Ree-an-wen

Meaning: Fair maiden. The etymology of the name comes from the Middle Welsh word rhiain (maiden) and a form of gwen (white, pure).

Other iterations include, Rhianwenn, Rhianwinn, Rhianwyn, Rhyanwen and Rhyanwyn.

Briallen

Pronunciation: Bree-all-en (Has the same ‘ll’ sound as Gwenllian. See above.)

Meaning: Primrose

Seren

Pronunciation: Seh-ren

Meaning: Star

This is a very popular name in Wales for people and animals alike.

Welsh sky at night
Welsh sky at night | © Mycatkins/Flickr

Llewelyn

Pronunciation: Ll-ow-ellin (again, with the same ‘ll’ sound described above.)

Meaning: Leader or lion-esque. Llew is Welsh for lion.

There are many famous Llewelyns in Welsh history. Llywelyn the Great (a variation of the name) was Prince of Gwynedd in North Wales and eventually became the de facto ruler over most of Wales from 1195 until his death in 1240.

Emyr

Pronounciation: Em-irr

Meaning: Ruler or emperor

There are a few prominent people who claim this beautiful name, including Welsh poet and novelist Emyr Humphreys and Emyr Lewis, an international Rugby player.

Gwilym

Pronunciation: Gwih-lim

Meaning: Protector

Gwilym is the Welsh version of the names William and the French Guillaume.

Taliesin

Pronunciation: Tally-essin

Meaning: Shining brow.

Taliesin was a sixth century poet and bard. He appeared in Welsh legends as a wizard or prophet who accompanied King Arthur.