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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Gwendolyn

An unconventional feminine name, Gwendolyn is of Welsh origin and signifies ‘fair bow’ or ‘blessed ring.’ The name can also mean ‘white ring.’ The name’s original spelling in ancient Wales arose from the root terms ‘Gwen’ and ‘Dolen.’ Gewn is also a Welsh feminine name, which means ‘white’ or ‘holy.’ Dolen means ‘ring,’ ‘bow,’ or ‘loop.’ In Welsh mythology, Gwendolyn was the legendary queen of the Britons. Medieval English chroniclers like Geoffrey of Monmouth said she became the first Queen Regnant and reigned over Britons in her own right.

Another theory claims that the name came from misreading the male name Guendoleu. Until the 19th century, Gwendolyn was not used as a given name. The daughter of the 1st Earl of Lichfield, Thomas William Anson, was named Gwendoline Isabella Anna Maria Anson and perhaps the first related occurrence of the name. After that, many duchesses and countesses were born with this name. Some of the major ones include the Duchess of Norfolk, Gwendolen Fitzalan-Howard, and the Countess of Iveagh, Gwendolyn Guinness.

In Arthurian Romance writings, this name has been referred to as Guendoloena or Guendolen. In English, the term has Gwendolyn, Gwen, and Gwendoline variants, while in French, it is Gwendoline. This long name gives you plenty of options for nicknames. Some adorable ones include Gwen, Winnie, Gwenna, Gwenny, and Lynn.

Guendoloena, or Gwendolen, was the popular Welsh mythical figure Merlin’s wife in the Latin poem written in 1150, Life of Merlin. In the modern world, the name got a further boost through literature. Gwendolen Harleth is the lovely and refined heroine in George Eliot’s ‘Daniel Deronda.’ Gwendolen Fairfax is part of one of the two couples in Oscar Wilde’s play ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’

Gwendolyn has been among the top 1000 baby names since the early 2000s. Many prize-winning poets, journalists, and civil rights activists have taken on this name.


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Fair Bow; White Ring; Blessed Ring; Variation of Gwendolen
Celtic, Welsh
 g..  gu..  gue..  Gue..  Gwe..  Gwy.. 

How To Pronounce Gwendolyn?


Famous People With The Name Gwendolyn

  • Gwendolyn “Gwen” IfillAmerican journalist known for hosting the nationally televised U.S. public affairs program with Washington Week
  • Gwendolyn BennettAmerican writer and journalist and a leading contributor to Harlem Renaissance
  • Gwendolyn Elaine ArmstrongA pioneer of the black Civil Rights Movements of 1965
  • Gwendolyn “Gwen” GuthrieAmerican singer and songwriter known for her 1986 anthem “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ on But the Rent.”
  • Gwendolyn “Gwen” WattsEnglish actress best known for Irish on the Buses
  • Gwendolyn BradleyAmerican soprano known for performing in many opera and concerts

Gwendolyn On The Popularity Chart

Gwendolyn’s popularity has seen a slight uptake in the 2000s. Except for a brief dip in 1995, the name’s usage has been consistent.

Popularity Over Time

The popularity of Gwendolyn reached a high point in 2019 when 849 babies per million got the name.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

Gwendolyn is currently among the top 500 baby names in the U.S. The name’s rank has improved from 2015.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Gwendolyn

Gwendolyn has a unique sound and it appeals to you but you want to explore more such names. Listed below are some options.

Names With Similar Meaning As Gwendolyn

If you are looking for a name with similar meaning as Gwendolyn, take a look at the suggestions below.

Name Numerology For Gwendolyn

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