As an avid Netflix fan and self-taught television critic, I tend to find myself binge-watching programs I hadn't heard of the week before. My current addiction? The Welsh crime drama Hinterland (Y Gwyll). According to its Wikipedia page, the show is part of a movement to show more Welsh language and culture on the BBC. Thanks to this diversity push, Netflix audiences (myself included) get to hear more awesome Welsh names!
Though the show has both English and Welsh versions (I've been watching the English), the names of characters, towns, and regions are primarily Welsh. Below I've compiled a list of Welsh names featured on the series, with a few notes on their origins and popularity.
***Note - Any tips on finding accurate name etymologies is appreciated! I have a feeling a few of my sources aren't entirely trustworthy.***
Awen - Means "muse," a pretty mix between Owen and Arwen
Sian - Pronounced "shahn," this variation of Jane is so sophisticated
Dafydd - Variant of David, a popular choice
Hywel - Means "eminent," used for royalty
Catrin - Variant of Catherine, simple and sweet
Mared - My personal favorite, a unique version of Margaret
Idris - Thanks to Elba, Americans already recognize this rugged choice
Caradog - Derived from the Celtic for "love"
Ffion - Almost too popular in Wales, but perfect for import - pronounced "FEE-on"
Ceri - A unisex pick that sounds like Kerry
Enid - Fits the "so clunky it's cool" trend, and means "spirit" or "life"
Nia - A short form of Niamh, very popular in the UK
Gwilym - Variant of William, unusual in the States
Dic - Nickname for Richard, but wouldn't work in many English-speaking communities
Lowri - This variant of Laurel could make a great honor name
Wyn - Meaning "fair," this concise choice is one to watch
Gwyneth - Not just for Paltrow anymore!
Iwan - Classic Welsh choice, similar to Ian or Owen
Winfred - Another addition to the "so out that it's in" group
Mari - Variant of Mary, popular nickname option
Rhodri - Means "wheel," cool alternative to Riley or Rory
Siwan - Variant of Joan, pronounced "sheh-VAHN"
Iori - Short form of Iorwerth (?), also found in Japanese
Bedwyr - Arthurian name unlike any I've seen!
Alun - Variant of Alan, also a river in Wales
Endaf - Possible meaning of "goods"? (See above note regarding sources)
Geraint - Another Arthurian name, uncommon alternative to Garrett
Morgan - Quintessential Welsh name, still timeless and attractive
Glyn - Means "valley," variant of Glen/n
Bethan - Chic version of Elizabeth, an update to fading Bethany
Branwen - Means "beautiful raven," a great find to bring to the US!
Huw - I really love the spelling of this name, it's so friendly
Esyllt - Variant of Isolde, bit too close to Ethel in sound for modern usage
Aled - Another river in Wales, with an uncertain etymology
Eluned - Ethereal and beautiful, Eluned sounds like a princess' name
Harri - Fabulous spelling variation of handsome Harry
Gareth - Popular in Wales, could gain American fans in a snap
Medi - Means "September," but a bit too medical in my opinion
Rhian - Pronounced "REE-ahn," a lovely name meaning "maiden"
Arwyn - Variant of Arwen, but still traditional
Abi - Short form of Abigail, stylish and sleek
Delyth - Means "pretty," and the sound stays true to that!
Annes - Variant of Agnes, means "pure"
I was also delighted to see a pair of brothers named Caleb and Aron!