Wales is a country in southwest Great Britain known for its hilly coastline, mountainous national parks, distinctive Welsh language, and Celtic culture. Welsh baby names have really taken off in recent years with a renewed interest in these traditional names in Wales and beyond. In the US, there are several baby names for girls with Welsh origins in the US top 1000 most popular baby names from last year. Names like Meredith, Morgan, and Megan all have Wales to thank for popularizing them.
Most of these baby names do honor their Celtic tradition but some were imported from elsewhere and adopted into the Welsh lexicon with style and fashion to match. We wanted to discover the best Welsh baby names for girls and also wanted to highlight some current favorites to give expecting parents a good mix of popular and unique baby names. If you would like to honor your Welsh heritage or just like whimsical-sounding appellations, you should definitely scroll through the list below to find some options for your daughter. Here are 25 Welsh baby names for girls that new parents should totally consider.
Brynn can be spelled with two N’s as is the most popular variant in the US. Or, you can simply spell it Bryn, which is a touch closer to the original. Brynn is a name with Welsh origins that means “hill.” It has been a top 500 baby name for girls in the US since 2003!
One spelling variation that’s more popular than the original (Gwendolen), this somewhat vintage name might be in honor of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize for poetry, or could be a way to get to the short form Gwen. Gwendolyn comes from Welsh and means “white ring.” While its popularity dipped slightly in the early 80s until the late 90s, the Welsh baby name is on the rise again! It’s a top 500 name today.
Morgan has long been a traditional Welsh male name, a variant of the Old Welsh name Morcant, from the Welsh elements mor, meaning “sea” and cant, “circle.” The female Morgan is unrelated to the male version. It is a name from Arthurian legend created for Morgan le Fay, King Arthur’s half-sister and famed sorceress. Her name comes from Morgen, an Old Welsh baby name meaning “sea-born.” In the US today, Morgan is used primarily for baby girls and it is one of America’s most beloved Welsh appellations. It’s been a top 200 pick since 1981.
Rhys and spelling variant Reese were once only given to baby boys. Today, the name has been applied more often to baby girls thanks to actor Reese Witherspoon‘s popularity. No matter how you spell it, this Welsh baby name means “ardor.” We find that Reese tends to go more often to girls while Rhys goes to boys. Both are top 500 baby names in the US today.
Treasured Tegan comes from a Welsh saint’s name. Teagan is just a little bit different, from an Irish surname. The ea spelling is much more popular. Tegan’s Welsh origins mean “fair.” Musicians and twin sisters Tegan & Sara helped popularize the Welsh baby name in the states.
Evan is a boys’ favorite that has been given the feminine touch by talented actress Evan Rachel Wood. If you want to move beyond Eva and Evelyn and like unisex names, this may be a great option for you. Evan is the Welsh variation of John and it means “the Lord is gracious.”
One of the most popular Welsh baby names ever in the US, it was number 10 in the nineties, Megan is still broadly used today, but waning. It fell to its lowest ranking in 50 years in 2017. Megan is an Old Welsh diminutive of Margaret, which has all but been forgotten as this name is never used as a nickname for Margaret today. No, it stands on its own! Margaret has Greek origins and means “pearl.”
As with many a Welsh name, Meredith was once used for baby boys but that’s no longer the case today. Meredith is a soft, gentle-sounding name for English speakers in England and the US that the nickname “Merry” is often applied. But, if you want to stick to the Welsh pronunciation you will need to put the emphasis on the second syllable like: muh-RED-ith. Its pronunciation might be better served by a nickname such as Red or Reddy.
Again, Dylan can go to both baby boys and girls and we think it retains more of its poetic quality when given to a girl. Robin Wright and Sean Penn must have felt similarly because they gave it to their daughter. Today, the Welsh baby name is a top 500 option for girls in the US. Dylan’s roots mean “son of the sea.”
Jenna exploded in popularity in the 1980s following a character being given the name on the soap Dallas. While this name was at the height of its popularity in the 80s and 90s, it has waned in recent years. It’s still a top 500 name, but it no longer feels like an ultra fresh alternative to Jennifer. Jenna has Welsh and English origins and means “white wave” or “white shadow.”
Ellis is a gender-neutral option that entered the US top 1000 for girls in 2015. Ellis Bell was the name chosen by Emily Bronte as her male pseudonym. This Welsh charmer means “benevolent.” Who could be mad at that?
Anwen sounds like a fairytale name and it is most unusual here in the US. However, Anwen is a top 1000 name in the UK. This lyrical name means “very fair” and “beautiful.” We would love to encounter this one more often!
You would be lucky to find a little girl named Glenda as the name has rarely been given in the last 40 years. Glenda fell out of the US top 1000 in 1989 and has yet to return so perhaps it is time for a comeback. This gentle name means “fair and good.”
Some of Wales’ most beloved imports are two different breeds of Corgi. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Cardigan Welsh Corgi are used to herd sheep. Not to be confused with the little dog, Cordi is a Welsh diminutive name that comes from Cordelia which has Celtic origins and means “heart” and “daughter of the sea.” It would be a bold and unique choice for an American girl today.
Efa is the Welsh preferred form of the Hebrew name Eve. Thus, this name means “life.” It’s a top 1000 name in England and Wales today but it is very rare in the US. But, if you are feeling adventurous and would love the perfect Welsh alternative to Eva and Ava, Efa could be perfect for your needs.
Guinevere was the name of the gorgeous but ill-fated queen of Camelot. For so many years, the name was eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Guinevere is a name most people know but do not choose for their babies for some reason! It’s fabulous! Guinevere is a cousin of Gwendolyn and it means “white shadow” or “white wave.”
With Tristan charming so many parents today, it’s curious that Isolde has not caught on. Isolde became famous as a Medieval Hero who symbolizes undying love. Isolde makes for a romantic choice and it means “ice ruler.” We hope this name makes a debut on the US top 1000 list in the coming years!
Eigra is a name with a storied mythological and literary past. It is the Welsh version of Ygraine, who was the mother of King Arthur. The name also belongs to one of Wales’ most celebrated writers, Eigra Lewis Roberts. Eigra, pronounced EYE-gra, means “maid.”
American parents are just now discovering the name Nerys which has Welsh origins and means “lady.” Nerys belongs to a couple of popular Welsh celebrities in the actor, Nerys Hughes and artist, Nerys Ann Johnson.
Enid has not appealed to American parents since the 1950s. She’s been MIA ever since! We think it’s far from time to bring this classic treasure back to life. Enid is Welsh, from a word meaning “life” or “spirit.” Back in the Age of Chivalry, to call a woman “a second Enid” was the best of compliments, as she was a legendary romantic figure. The name was revived in Tennyson’s Idyll of the Kings.
Penrose is an ancient place-name and surname derived from several villages in Cornwall, Wales, and the Welsh border country of England. This appellation would make for an even more surprising alternative to the nature name Primrose. Penrose has Cornish and Welsh origins that mean “top of the heath.” Penny and Rosie are two nickname options that are equally appealing.
Spelled Siân or simply Sian, this Welsh name is simply another form of Jane. This name is pronounced shahn, so be prepared to help other parents and children get it right. Sian means “God’s gracious gift.” Popular in Wales, England, and Australia today, you rarely encounter this name in the states.
Wynn is an attractive unisex Welsh name, especially worth considering due to its winning sound. Wynn means “fair, pure.”
This early Welsh saint’s name is strange and lovely, waiting to be discovered. Saint Arianell was a member of the Welsh royal family who was possessed by a spirit that was exorcised by Saint Dyfrig, who became Arianell’s spiritual tutor. Arianell means “shining silver.”
Common in Wales, Carys was introduced to Americans when Welsh-born Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas chose it for their daughter in 2003. It didn’t come into use in Wales until the late nineteenth century. It’s currently a top 500 pick in England and Wales. You will scarcely find it here in the US. Carys is pronounced CA-riss (not Care-iss). This perfect little name means “love.”
There you go! We hope you enjoyed these Welsh baby names for girls that would perfectly pay tribute to your Welsh heritage. Aside from that, these baby names are beautiful, unique appellations that sound both familiar and exotic to most Americans. We shared with you the most popular options at the top of the list and then moved on to more obscure possibilities for your baby girl. Happy baby name hunting!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Brynn
- 2 24. Gwendolyn
- 3 23. Morgan
- 4 22. Reese
- 5 21. Tegan
- 6 20. Evan
- 7 19. Megan
- 8 18. Meredith
- 9 17. Dylan
- 10 16. Jenna
- 11 15. Ellis
- 12 14. Anwen
- 13 13. Glenda
- 14 12. Cordi
- 15 11. Efa
- 16 10. Guinevere
- 17 9. Isolde
- 18 8. Eigra
- 19 7. Nerys
- 20 6. Enid
- 21 5. Penrose
- 22 4. Sian
- 23 3. Wynn
- 24 2. Arianell
- 25 1. Carys
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