Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Welsh Names from Hinterland

Hello, readers!

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.***

Awn ni!

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!

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