Old Welsh name derived from brych "speckled, freckled" combined with a diminutive suffix. Brychan Brycheiniog is a Welsh folk hero who gave his name to Brecon in mid-Wales. He was reputedly an Irishman by birth and is said to have fathered 36 saints. According to K.M. Sheard, "As a figure, he may be a complete invention, created to explain the name of Breconshire; it may also be no coincidence that brych shares the same root as Welsh brith - Celtic *mrixto "variegated" and "painted", from which BRITANNIA itself derives. He may well represent a Celtic deity himself too; many - if not most - of his saintly offspring have a distinct aura of the goddess or god about them."