Names Categorized "Arthurian legend"

This is a list of names in which the categories include Arthurian legend.
gender
usage
Arthur m English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements *artos "bear" (Old Welsh arth) combined with *wiros "man" (Old Welsh gur) or *rīxs "king" (Old Welsh ri). Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius.... [more]
Avalon f English (Rare)
From the name of the island paradise to which King Arthur was brought after his death. The name of this island is perhaps related to Welsh afal meaning "apple", a fruit that was often linked with paradise.
Bedivere m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Bedwyr, possibly from bedwen "birch" and gwr "man". In Arthurian legends Bedivere was one of the original companions of King Arthur. He first appears in early Welsh tales, and his story was later expanded by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century. He is the one who throws the sword Excalibur into the lake at the request of the dying Arthur.
Bors m Arthurian Romance
From French Bohort, probably from Old French behort or bohort meaning "jousting" or "jousting lance". First appearing in the 13th-century Lancelot-Grail Cycle, Bors was one of Arthur's knights who quested for the Holy Grail. His father, the king of Gaunnes, was also named Bors.
Cadeyrn m Welsh (Rare)
From Old Welsh Catigirn meaning "battle king", derived from cat "battle" and tigirn "king, monarch". This was the name of a 5th-century king of Powys in Wales, the son of Vortigern.
Caradog m Welsh, Arthurian Romance
From the Old Welsh name Caratauc, a Welsh form of Caratācos. This is the name of several figures in Welsh history and legend, including an 8th-century king of Gwynedd, a 12th-century saint, and a son of Brân the Blessed. In Arthurian romance Caradog is a Knight of the Round Table. He first appears in Welsh poems, with his story expanded by French authors such as Chrétien de Troyes.
Elaine f English, Arthurian Romance
From an Old French form of Helen. It appears in Arthurian legend; in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation Le Morte d'Arthur Elaine was the daughter of Pelleas, the lover of Lancelot, and the mother of Galahad. It was not commonly used as an English given name until after the publication of Alfred Tennyson's Arthurian epic Idylls of the King (1859).
Enid f Welsh, English, Arthurian Romance
Probably derived from Welsh enaid meaning "soul, spirit, life". In Arthurian tales she first appears in the 12th-century French poem Erec and Enide by Chrétien de Troyes, where she is the wife of Erec. In later adaptations she is typically the wife of Geraint. The name became more commonly used after the publication of Alfred Tennyson's Arthurian poem Enid in 1859, and it was fairly popular in Britain in the first half of the 20th century.
Enide f Arthurian Romance
Old French form of Enid.
Fay f English
Derived from Middle English faie meaning "fairy", ultimately (via Old French) from Latin fata meaning "the Fates". It appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's chronicles in the name of Morgan le Fay. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century. In some cases it may be used as a short form of Faith.
Gaheriet m Arthurian Romance
Medieval French form of Gareth (appearing in the works of Chrétien de Troyes and in the Lancelot-Grail Cycle).
Galahad m Arthurian Romance
From earlier Galaad, likely derived from the Old French form of the biblical place name Gilead. In Arthurian legend Sir Galahad was the son of Lancelot and Elaine. He was the most pure of the Knights of the Round Table, and he was the only one to succeed in finding the Holy Grail. He first appears in the 13th-century French Lancelot-Grail Cycle.
Gareth m Welsh, English (British), Arthurian Romance
Meaning uncertain. It appears in this form in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation of Arthurian legends Le Morte d'Arthur, in which the knight Gareth (also named Beaumains) is a brother of Gawain. He goes with Lynet to rescue her sister Lyonesse from the Red Knight. Malory based the name on Gaheriet or Guerrehet, which was the name of a similar character in French sources. It may ultimately have a Welsh origin, possibly from the name Gwrhyd meaning "valour" (found in the tale Culhwch and Olwen) or Gwairydd meaning "hay lord" (found in the chronicle Brut y Brenhinedd).
Gauvain m French, Arthurian Romance
French form of Gawain used in the works of Chrétien de Troyes.
Gavin m English, Scottish
Medieval form of Gawain. Though it died out in England, it was reintroduced from Scotland in the 20th century.
Gawain m Arthurian Romance
Meaning uncertain, from the Latin form Gualguainus used in the 12th-century chronicles of Geoffrey of Monmouth (appearing also as Walganus, Gwalguanus and other spellings in different copies of the text), where he is one of the knights who serve his uncle King Arthur. He can be identified with the earlier Welsh hero Gwalchmai, and it is possible that the name derives from Gwalchmai or a misreading of it.... [more]
Geraint m Welsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown, possibly a Welsh form of Gerontius. This was the name of a figure in various Welsh legends. He was also incorporated into Arthurian tales (the romance Geraint and Enid) as one of the Knights of the Round Table and the husband of Enid.
Gualguainus m Arthurian Romance
Latin form of Gawain used in some copies of Geoffrey of Monmouth's chronicles.
Guendolen f Arthurian Romance
Variant of Gwendolen, used by Walter Scott in his poem The Bridal of Triermain (1813) for a queen who became the mother of Gyneth by King Arthur.
Guendoloena f Arthurian Romance
Latin form of Gwendolen used by Geoffrey of Monmouth for the wife of Merlin.
Guinevere f Arthurian Romance
From the Norman French form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar meaning "white phantom", ultimately from the old Celtic roots *windos meaning "fair, white, blessed" (modern Welsh gwen) and *sēbros meaning "phantom, magical being". In Arthurian legend she was the beautiful wife of King Arthur. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, she was seduced by Mordred before the battle of Camlann, which led to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur. According to the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, she engaged in an adulterous affair with Sir Lancelot.... [more]
Guiomar f & m Portuguese, Spanish, Arthurian Romance
Possibly derived from the Germanic name Wigmar, which is formed of the elements wig "war, battle" and mari "famous". In the medieval Lancelot-Grail Cycle he plays a minor role as a cousin of Guinevere, who banishes him after he becomes a lover of Morgan le Fey. In modern Portugal and Spain it is a feminine name.
Gwydion m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Probably means "born of trees" from Old Welsh guid "trees" and the suffix gen "born of". In the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, Gwydion is the nephew of King Math of Gwynedd, and like him a powerful magician. In an elaborate plot to give his brother a chance to rape his uncle's footbearer, he arranged a war between Gwynedd and the neighbouring kingdom of Dyfed. Gwydion himself killed King Pryderi of Dyfed at the end of the war. In punishment for the rape, Math transformed Gwydion and his brother into different animals over the course of three years. Gwydion was the uncle of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, whom he fostered. Math and Gwydion fashioned Lleu a wife, Blodeuwedd, out of flowers and they later aided him after her betrayal. Gwydion also appears in older Welsh poetry such as the Book of Taliesin.
Gyneth f Arthurian Romance
Perhaps a variant of Gwyneth, used by Walter Scott for the daughter of King Arthur and Guendolen in his poem The Bridal of Triermain (1813).
Hector m English, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek Ἕκτωρ (Hektor), which was derived from ἕκτωρ (hektor) meaning "holding fast", ultimately from ἔχω (echo) meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles' friend Patroclus in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends where it belongs to King Arthur's foster father.... [more]
Hoel m Breton, Arthurian Romance
Breton form of Hywel. This was the name of two dukes of Brittany. According to the chronicles of Geoffrey of Monmouth, it was borne by a ruler of Brittany who was an ally of King Arthur.
Igraine f Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown, from Igerna, the Latinized form of Welsh Eigyr. In Arthurian legend she is the mother of King Arthur by Uther Pendragon and the mother of Morgan le Fay by Gorlois. The Welsh form Eigyr or Eigr was rendered into Latin as Igerna by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Iseult f Arthurian Romance
The origins of this name are uncertain, though some Celtic roots have been suggested. It is possible that the name is ultimately Germanic, from a hypothetical name like *Ishild, composed of the elements is "ice, iron" and hild "battle".... [more]
Isolde f German, Arthurian Romance
German form of Iseult, appearing in the 13th-century German poem Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. In 1865 the German composer Richard Wagner debuted his popular opera Tristan und Isolde and also used the name for his first daughter.
Jennifer f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish
From a Cornish form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar (see Guinevere). This name has only been common outside of Cornwall since the beginning of the 20th century, after it was featured in George Bernard Shaw's play The Doctor's Dilemma (1906). It barely ranked in the United until the late 1930s, when it began steadily growing in popularity, accelerating into the early 1970s. It was the most popular name for girls in America between 1970 and 1984, though it was not as common in the United Kingdom.... [more]
Kay 2 m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Cai or Cei, possibly a form of the Roman name Gaius. Sir Kay was one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He first appears in Welsh tales as a brave companion of Arthur. In later medieval tales, notably those by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, he is portrayed as an unrefined boor.
Lancelot m Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown, possibly an Old French diminutive of Lanzo (see Lance). In Arthurian legend Lancelot was the bravest of the Knights of the Round Table. He became the lover of Arthur's wife Guinevere, ultimately causing the destruction of Arthur's kingdom. His earliest appearance is in the works of the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes: briefly in Erec and Enide and then as a main character in Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart.
Laudine f Arthurian Romance
Possibly a derivative of Lot 2 (or derived from the same place name). It was used by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for a character in his romance Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. Also called the Lady of the Fountain, Laudine married Yvain after he killed her husband.
Lionel m French, English, Arthurian Romance
French diminutive of Léon. It appears in Arthurian legend in the 13th-century Lancelot-Grail Cycle, belonging to a knight who was the brother of Sir Bors. A notable modern bearer is the Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi (1987-).
Lohengrin m Arthurian Romance
From the earlier form Loherangrin, derived from Lothringen, the German name for the region of Lorraine. It appears in Arthurian legend, initially in the 13th-century German poem Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, belonging to a son of the knight Parzival. The tales were adapted by Richard Wagner for his opera Lohengrin (1850).
Loherangrin m Arthurian Romance
Form of Lohengrin used by the 13th-century German poet Wolfram von Eschenbach.
Lot 2 m Arthurian Romance
From the name of the region of Lothian in southern Scotland, of unknown meaning. A king of Lothian by this name appears in early Latin and Welsh texts (as Leudonus and Lewdwn respectively). He was inserted into Arthurian legend by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, who makes him the father of Gawain.
Lucan m History
From the Roman cognomen Lucanus, which was derived from the name of the city of Luca in Tuscany (modern Lucca). Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, commonly called Lucan, was a 1st-century Roman poet.
Luned f Welsh, Arthurian Romance
Form of Lunete used in the Welsh tale Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain (which was based on Chrétien's poem).
Lunete f Arthurian Romance
Form of Eluned used by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes in his poem Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. In the poem she is a servant of the Lady of the Fountain who aids the knight Yvain.
Lynet f Arthurian Romance
Form of Lunete used in Thomas Malory's 15th-century tale Le Morte d'Arthur, where it is borne by a woman who enlists the help of Sir Gareth to rescue her sister Lyonesse. She eventually marries his brother Gaheris.
Lyonesse f Arthurian Romance
Means "lioness" in Middle English. In Thomas Malory's 15th-century tale Le Morte d'Arthur this is the name of a woman trapped in a castle by the Red Knight. Her sister Lynet gains the help of the knight Gareth in order to save her.
Lyonors f Arthurian Romance
Probably from Middle English lyon meaning "lion". It appears in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation of Arthurian legends Le Morte d'Arthur, belonging to a woman who had a child with Arthur. Alfred Tennyson used the name in his poem Gareth and Lynette (1872) for the sister of Lynette (this character is called Lyonesse in Malory's version of the story).
Meliora f Various
Derived from Latin melior meaning "better".
Merlin m Arthurian Romance, English
Form of the Welsh name Myrddin used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century chronicle. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus over Merdinus in order to prevent associations with French merde "excrement".... [more]
Mordred m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From Welsh Medraut, possibly from Latin moderatus meaning "controlled, moderated". In Arthurian legend Mordred was the illegitimate son (in some versions nephew) of King Arthur. Mordred first appears briefly (as Medraut) in the 10th-century Annales Cambriae, but he was not portrayed as a traitor until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth. While Arthur is away he seduces his wife Guinevere and declares himself king. This prompts the battle of Camlann, which leads to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur.
Morgaine f Arthurian Romance
Variant of Morgan 2, from a French form.
Morgan 2 f Arthurian Romance
Modern form of Morgen, which was used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century for the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, who was unnamed in earlier stories. Geoffrey probably did not derive it from the Welsh masculine name Morgan, which would have been spelled Morcant in his time. It is likely from Old Welsh mor "sea" and the suffix gen "born of".
Nimue f Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. In Arthurian legends this is the name of a sorceress, also known as the Lady of the Lake, Vivien, or Niniane. Various versions of the tales have Merlin falling in love with her and becoming imprisoned by her magic. She first appears in the medieval French Lancelot-Grail Cycle.
Olwen f Welsh, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Means "white footprint" from Welsh ol "footprint, track" and gwen "white, fair, blessed". In the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen she was a beautiful maiden, the lover of Culhwch and the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Her father insisted that Culhwch complete several seemingly impossible tasks before he would allow them to marry.
Owain m Welsh, Arthurian Romance
From an Old Welsh name (Ougein, Eugein and other spellings), which was possibly from the Latin name Eugenius. Other theories connect it to the Celtic roots *owi- "sheep", *wesu- "good" or *awi- "desire" combined with the Old Welsh suffix gen "born of". This is the name of several figures from British history, including Owain mab Urien, a 6th-century prince of Rheged who fought against the Angles. The 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes adapted him into Yvain for his Arthurian romance Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. Regarded as one of the Knights of the Round Table, Yvain or Owain has since appeared in many other Arthurian tales, typically being the son of King Urien of Gore, and the errant husband of Laudine, the Lady of the Fountain.... [more]
Parsifal m Arthurian Romance
Form of Parzival used by Richard Wagner for his opera Parsifal (1882).
Parzival m Arthurian Romance
Form of Percival used by the 13th-century German poet Wolfram von Eschenbach.
Perceval m Arthurian Romance
Old French form of Percival used by Chrétien de Troyes.
Percival m Arthurian Romance, English
Created by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem Perceval, the Story of the Grail. Chrétien may have derived the name from Old French perce val "pierce the valley", or he may have based it loosely on the Welsh name Peredur. In the poem Perceval is a boy from Wales who hopes to become a knight under King Arthur. Setting out to prove himself, he eventually comes to the castle of the Fisher King and is given a glimpse of the Grail.
Peredur m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
Meaning uncertain. It possibly means "hard spears" from Welsh peri "spears" and dur "hard, steel". In early Welsh poetry and histories, the brothers Peredur and Gwrgi were chieftains in Cumbria who defeated Gwenddoleu at the Battle of Arfderydd. This name was later used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in the Latin form Peredurus for an early (fictitious) king of Britain. Entering into Arthurian romance, Peredur is an aspiring knight in the 14th-century Welsh tale Peredur son of Efrawg (an adaptation or parallel of Chrétien de Troyes' hero Percival).
Taliesin m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "shining brow", derived from Welsh tal "brow, head" and iesin "shining, radiant". This was the name of a semi-legendary 6th-century Welsh poet and bard, supposedly the author of the collection of poems the Book of Taliesin. He appears briefly in the Welsh legend Culhwch and Olwen and the Second Branch of the Mabinogi. He is the central character in the Tale of Taliesin, a medieval legend recorded in the 16th century, which tells how Ceridwen's servant Gwion Bach was reborn to her as Taliesin; how he becomes the bard for Elffin; and how Taliesin defends Elffin from the machinations of the king Maelgwn Gwynedd.
Tristan m English, French, Arthurian Romance
Probably from the Celtic name Drustan, a diminutive of Drust, which occurs as Drystan in a few Welsh sources. As Tristan, it first appears in 12th-century French tales, probably altered by association with Old French triste "sad". According to the tales Tristan was sent to Ireland by his uncle King Mark of Cornwall in order to fetch Iseult, who was to be the king's bride. On the way back, Tristan and Iseult accidentally drink a potion that makes them fall in love. Later versions of the tale make Tristan one of King Arthur's knights. His tragic story was very popular in the Middle Ages, and the name has occasionally been used since then.
Urien m Arthurian Romance
From the Old Welsh name Urbgen, possibly from the Celtic root *orbo- "heir" and the suffix gen "born of". This was the name of a 6th-century king of Rheged. Passing into Arthurian tales, he became the king of Gore, the husband of Morgan le Fay, and the father of Owain.
Uther m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Uthyr, derived from Welsh uthr meaning "terrible". In Arthurian legend Uther was the father of King Arthur. He appears in some early Welsh texts, but is chiefly known from the 12th-century chronicles of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Vivien 2 f Literature, Hungarian
Used by Alfred Tennyson as the name of the Lady of the Lake in his Arthurian epic Idylls of the King (1859). Tennyson may have based it on Vivienne, but it possibly arose as a misreading of Ninian. A famous bearer was British actress Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), who played Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.
Yseut f Arthurian Romance
Old French form of Iseult, appearing in the 12th-century Norman French poem Tristan by Béroul.
Ysolt f Arthurian Romance
Old French form of Iseult, appearing in the 12th-century Old French poem Tristan by Thomas of Britain.
Yvain m Arthurian Romance
Form of Owain used by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his Arthurian romance Yvain, the Knight of the Lion.