Celtic Mythology Names

These names occur in the mythologies and legends of the Celtic peoples. See Irish mythology and Welsh mythology for more specific lists.
gender
usage
Áed m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Aodh.
Agrona f Celtic Mythology (Hypothetical)
Perhaps derived from the old Celtic root *agro- meaning "battle, slaughter". This is possibly the name of a Brythonic goddess for whom the River Ayr in Scotland and River Aeron in Wales were named.
Aífe f Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Old Irish form of Aoife.
Ailbe m & f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Ailbhe.
Ailbhe f & m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Ailbe, possibly derived from the old Celtic root *albiyo- "world, light, white" or Old Irish ail "rock". In Irish legend this was the name of a female warrior of the Fianna. It was also the name of a 6th-century masculine saint, the founder of a monastery at Emly.
Ailill m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "elf" in Irish. This name was borne by several early Irish kings. It also occurs frequently in Irish legend, borne for example by the husband of Queen Medb.
Áine f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "radiance, brilliance" in Irish. This was the name of a goddess of love and fertility in Irish legend, thought to dwell at the hill of Cnoc Áine in Limerick. It has sometimes been Anglicized as Anne.
Andraste f Celtic Mythology (Hellenized)
Possibly means "invincible" in Celtic. According to the Greco-Roman historian Cassius Dio, this was the name of a Briton goddess of victory who was invoked by Boudicca before her revolt.
Angharad f Welsh, Old Welsh (Modernized), Welsh Mythology
From an Old Welsh name recorded in various forms such as Acgarat and Ancarat. It means "much loved", from the intensive prefix an- combined with a mutated form of caru "to love". In the medieval Welsh romance Peredur son of Efrawg, Angharad Golden-Hand is the lover of the knight Peredur.
Aodh m Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Áed, which meant "fire". This was a very popular name in early Ireland, being borne by numerous figures in Irish mythology and several high kings. It has been traditionally Anglicized as Hugh.
Aoife f Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Aífe, derived from oíph meaning "beauty" (modern Irish aoibh). This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including a woman at war with Scáthach (her sister in some versions). She was defeated in single combat by the hero Cúchulainn, who spared her life on the condition that she bear him a child (Connla). Another legendary figure by this name appears in the Children of Lir as the jealous third wife of Lir.... [more]
Aonghus m Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Óengus, possibly meaning "one strength" from óen "one" and guss "force, strength". Aonghus (sometimes surnamed Mac Og meaning "young son") was an Irish god of love and youth, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He was the son of Dagda and Boann. The name was also borne by an 8th-century Pictish king, several Irish kings, and a few saints, including a 9th-century bishop of Tallaght.
Arawn m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the god of the underworld, called Annwfn, in Welsh mythology.
Arianrhod f Welsh Mythology
Probably means "silver wheel" from Welsh arian "silver" and rhod "wheel". According to the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, Arianrhod was the mother of the twins Dylan and Lleu Llaw Gyffes, who she spontaneously birthed when she stepped over a magical wand. It is speculated that in earlier myths she may have been a goddess of the moon.
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]
Balor m Irish Mythology
Meaning uncertain. In Irish mythology Balor was a giant king of the Fomorians. He had an evil eye that could destroy opposing armies, though it took four men to pull open the eyelid. In battle with the Tuatha Dé Danann he slew their king Nuada, but was himself killed when the hero Lugh shot a stone into his eye.
Bébinn f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fair woman", from Old Irish "woman" and finn "fair, white". This name was borne by several characters in Irish mythology, including the mother of the hero Fráech.
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.
Belenus m Gaulish Mythology
Latinized form of Gaulish Belenos or Belinos, possibly from Celtic roots meaning either "bright, brilliant" (from Indo-European *bhel-) or "strong" (from Indo-European *bel-). This was the name of a Gaulish god who was often equated with Apollo. He is mostly known from Gallo-Roman inscriptions and was especially venerated in Aquileia in northern Italy.
Beli m Welsh Mythology
Probably a Welsh derivative of Belenus. Beli Mawr was a Welsh ancestor deity who established several royal lines in Wales.
Bendigeidfran m Welsh Mythology
From Welsh bendigaid "blessed" combined with the lenited form of the name Brân. This is another name for Brân the Blessed.
Bile m Irish Mythology
Possibly an Irish form of Belenus, though it may derive from an Irish word meaning "sacred tree, scion, hero". In Irish mythology this was the name of one of the Milesians who was drowned while invading Ireland.
Bláithín f Irish, Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Bláthíne.
Bláthíne f Irish Mythology
Variant of Bláthnat using a different diminutive suffix, used in some versions of the legend.
Bláthnaid f Irish, Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Bláthnat.
Bláthnat f Irish Mythology
Means "little flower" from Irish bláth "flower" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend she was a maiden abducted and married by Cú Roí. She was rescued by Cúchulainn, who killed her husband, but was in turn murdered by one of Cú Roí's loyal servants.
Blodeuedd f Welsh Mythology
Means "flowers" in Welsh. This was the original name of Blodeuwedd.
Blodeuwedd f Welsh Mythology
Means "face of flowers" in Welsh. According to the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, she was created out of flowers by Gwydion to be the wife of his nephew Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Originally she was named Blodeuedd meaning simply "flowers". She was eventually transformed into an owl by Gwydion after she and her lover Gronw attempted to murder Lleu, at which point he renamed her Blodeuwedd.
Boann f Irish Mythology
Possibly from Old Irish "cow" and finn "white, fair". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of the River Boyne, which is named for her. She was the wife of Nechtan and the father of Aonghus (by Dagda).
Bóinn f Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Boann.
Brân m Welsh Mythology
Means "raven" in Welsh. According to the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, Brân the Blessed (called Bendigeidfran) was a giant king of Britain. He was the son of the divine figure Llŷr. After his sister Branwen was mistreated by her husband the Irish king Matholwch, Brân led an attack on Ireland (the text says that he was so big he was able to wade there). Although victorious, the British lost all except seven men with Brân being mortally wounded by a poisoned spear. He asked the survivors to cut of his head and return with it to Britain. The head continued to speak for many years until it was buried in London.
Bran 1 m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "raven" in Irish. In Irish legend Bran mac Febail was a mariner who was involved in several adventures on his quest to find the Otherworld.
Bran 2 m Welsh Mythology
Unaccented variant of Brân. This is also the Middle Welsh form.
Branwen f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven" from Old Welsh bran "raven" and gwen "fair, white, blessed". According to the Second Branch of the Mabinogi she was the daughter of Llŷr. After she was mistreated by her husband Matholwch, the king of Ireland, she managed to get a message to her brother Brân, the king of Britain. Brân launched a costly invasion to rescue her, but she died of grief shortly after her return.
Brígh f Irish Mythology
From Old Irish bríg meaning "might, power". This was the name of a daughter of the Irish god Dagda.
Brighid f Irish, Irish Mythology
Newer Irish form of Brigit (see Bridget). Since the 1948 spelling reform, this name is spelled Bríd.
Brigid f Irish, Irish Mythology
Irish variant of Brighid (see Bridget).
Cáel m Irish Mythology
From Old Irish cáel meaning "slender". In Irish legend Cáel was a warrior of the Fianna and the lover of Créd.
Céibhfhionn f Irish Mythology
Means "fair locks", from Old Irish ciab "locks, hair" and finn "fair, white". In Irish legend this was the name of one of the three daughters of Bec mac Buain.
Cernunnos m Gaulish Mythology (Latinized)
Means "great horned one", from Celtic *karnos "horn" and the divine or augmentative suffix -on. This was the name of the Celtic god of fertility, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was usually depicted having antlers, and was identified with the Roman god Mercury.
Cian m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "ancient, enduring" in Irish. In Irish mythology this was the name of the father of Lugh Lámfada. It was also borne by the mythical ancestor of the Ciannachta and by a son-in-law of Brian Boru.
Ciar m & f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Derived from Irish ciar meaning "black". In Irish legend Ciar was a son of Fergus mac Róich and Medb, and the ancestor of the tribe of the Ciarraige (after whom County Kerry is named). As a feminine name, it was borne by an Irish nun (also called Ciara) who established a monastery in Tipperary in the 7th century.
Cleena f Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of Clíodhna.
Clídna f Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Clíodhna.
Clíodhna f Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Irish legend this was the name of a beautiful goddess. She fell in love with a mortal named Ciabhán and left the Land of Promise with him, but when she arrived on the other shore she was swept to sea by a great wave.
Conall m Irish, Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "rule of a wolf", from Old Irish "hound, dog, wolf" (genitive con) and fal "rule". This is the name of several characters in Irish legend including the hero Conall Cernach ("Conall of the victories"), a member of the Red Branch of Ulster, who avenged Cúchulainn's death by killing Lugaid.
Conchobar m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Derived from Old Irish "hound, dog, wolf" (genitive con) and cobar "desiring". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish rulers. It was borne by the Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa, one of the central characters in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, known for his tragic desire for Deirdre and his war with Queen Medb of Connacht.
Conchobhar m Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Conchobar.
Conchúr m Irish, Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Conchobar.
Conn m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Perhaps from Old Irish conn meaning "sense, reason" or cenn meaning "head, chief". This was the name of a legendary high king of Ireland, Conn of the Hundred Battles.
Connla m Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Conláech, derived from "hound, dog, wolf" (genitive con) and láech "warrior". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including the son of Cúchulainn and Aoife. When he finally met his father they fought because Connla would not identify himself, and the son was slain.
Conor m Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of Conchobar (or the Modern Irish form Conchúr).
Cormac m Irish Mythology, Irish
From Old Irish Cormacc or Corbmac, of uncertain meaning, possibly from corb "chariot, wagon" or corbbad "defilement, corruption" combined with macc "son". This is the name of several characters from Irish legend, including the semi-legendary high king Cormac mac Airt who supposedly ruled in the 3rd century, during the adventures of the hero Fionn mac Cumhaill. This name was also borne by a few early saints.
Creiddylad f Welsh Mythology
From Middle Welsh Creidylat, of uncertain meaning, possibly from craidd "heart, center" or crau "blood" combined with dylad "flood". In the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen this is the name of the beautiful daughter of Lludd Llaw Ereint, loved by both Gwyn and Gwythyr. Her name is allegedly the basis for Cordelia.
Cúchulainn m Irish Mythology
Means "hound of Culann" in Irish. This was the usual name of the warrior hero who was named Sétanta at birth, given to him because he took the place of one of Culann's hounds after he accidentally killed it. The Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology tells of Cúchulainn's many adventures, including his single-handed defense of Ulster against the army of Queen Medb.
Culann m Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a smith in Irish legend. After Sétanta killed one of his dogs in self-defense, Sétanta took the place of the dog and was thereafter known as Cúchulainn.
Culhwch m Arthurian Romance, Welsh Mythology
Means "hiding place of the pig" in Welsh. In the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen he was the lover of Olwen, the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Before the giant would allow Culhwch to marry his daughter, he insisted that Culhwch complete a series of extremely difficult tasks. Culhwch managed to complete the tasks with the help of his cousin King Arthur, and he returned to marry Olwen and kill the giant.
Dagda m Irish Mythology
Means "the good god" from the Old Irish prefix dag "good" and día "god". In Irish myth Dagda (called also The Dagda) was the powerful god of the earth, knowledge, magic, abundance and treaties, a leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He was skilled in combat and healing and possessed a huge club, the handle of which could revive the dead.
Dáire m Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fruitful, fertile" in Irish. This name is borne by many figures in Irish legend, including the Ulster chief Dáire mac Fiachna who reneged on his promise to loan the Brown Bull of Cooley to Medb, starting the war between Connacht and Ulster as told in the Irish epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley.
Dáirine f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Dáire. This was the name of the daughter of the legendary Irish king Túathal Techtmar.
Deimne m Irish Mythology
Means "sureness, certainty" in Irish. This was the birth name of the Irish hero Fionn mac Cumhaill.
Deirdre f English, Irish, Irish Mythology
From the Old Irish name Derdriu, meaning unknown, possibly derived from der meaning "daughter". This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobar, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise.... [more]
Diarmaid m Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown, though it has been suggested that it means "without envy" in Irish. In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior who became the lover of Gráinne. It was also the name of several ancient Irish kings.
Doireann f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from the Old Irish prefix der "daughter" and finn "white, fair". Alternatively it may be derived from Irish doireann meaning "sullen, tempestuous". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including a daughter of Bodb Derg who poisoned Fionn mac Cumhaill after he spurned her advances.
Dylan m Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology
From the Welsh prefix dy meaning "to, toward" and llanw meaning "tide, flow". According to the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, Dylan was a son of Arianrhod and the twin brother of Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Immediately after he was baptized he took to the sea, where he could swim as well as a fish. He was slain accidentally by his uncle Gofannon. According to some theories the character might be rooted in an earlier and otherwise unattested Celtic god of the sea.... [more]
Eadán f Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Étan.
Éadaoin f Irish, Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Étaín.
Éber m Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Éibhear.
Éibhear m Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Éber, meaning uncertain. According to Irish legend this name belonged to two of the sons of Míl, Éibhear Dunn and Éibhear Finn, the first of the Gaels to conquer Ireland.
Eigyr f Welsh Mythology
Welsh form of Igraine.
Éimhear f Irish, Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Emer.
Eithne f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly from Old Irish etne meaning "kernel, grain". In Irish mythology Eithne or Ethniu was a Fomorian and the mother of Lugh Lámfada. It was borne by several other legendary and historical figures, including a few early saints.
Emer f Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Irish legend she was the wife of Cúchulainn. She was said to possess the six gifts of womanhood: beauty, voice, speech, needlework, wisdom and chastity.
Eógan m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Eoghan.
Eoghan m Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "born from the yew tree", from Old Irish "yew" and the suffix gan "born". Alternatively, it might be derived from the Latin name Eugenius. It was borne by several legendary or semi-legendary Irish figures, including a son of the king Niall of the Nine Hostages.
Epona f Gaulish Mythology
Derived from Gaulish epos meaning "horse" with the divine or augmentative suffix -on. This was the name of a Gaulish goddess of horses and fertility. She appears only in Roman sources.
Ériu f Irish Mythology
From the name of an Irish goddess, who according to legend gave her name to Ireland (which is called Éire in Irish). In reality, the goddess probably got her name from that of the island, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
Étaín f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét meaning "jealousy, passion". In Irish legend she is the subject of the 9th-century tale The Wooing of Étaín. She was the wife of Midir, but his jealous first wife Fuamnach transformed her into a fly. She was accidentally swallowed, and then reborn to the woman who swallowed her. After she grew again to adulthood she married the Irish high king Eochaid Airem, having no memory of Midir. Midir and Étaín were eventually reunited after Midir defeated Eochaid in a game of chess.
Étan f Irish Mythology
Possibly a variant of Étaín. In Irish mythology she was the daughter of Dian Cécht, the god of healing.
Fachtna m Irish, Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from Old Irish facht meaning "malice". This was the name of a legendary high king of Ireland, said in some traditions to be the husband of Neasa and the father of Conchobar.
Fearghas m Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Irish Mythology
Irish and Scottish Gaelic form of Fergus.
Fedelm f Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly a feminine form of Feidlimid. This name is borne by several women in Irish legend including Fedelm Noíchrothach, a daughter of Conchobar the king of Ulster. It was also the name of a few early saints.
Feidlimid m & f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Traditionally said to mean "ever good", it might be related to Old Irish feidil "enduring, constant". This was the name of three early kings of Munster. It was also borne by a 6th-century saint, typically called Saint Felim. In Irish legend, it was the name of the father of Deirdre.
Fergus m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "man of vigour", derived from the Old Irish elements fer "man" and guss "vigour, strength, force". This was the name of several early rulers of Ireland and Dál Riata, as well as many characters from Irish legend. Notably it was borne by the hero Fergus mac Róich, who was tricked into giving up the kingship of Ulster to Conchobar. However, he remained loyal to the new king until Conchobar betrayed Deirdre and Naoise, at which point he defected to Connacht in anger. The name was also borne by an 8th-century saint, a missionary to Scotland.... [more]
Fiachna m Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Derived from Irish fiach meaning "raven". This is the name of several characters from Irish legend. It was also borne by Fiachna mac Báetáin, a 7th-century king of Dál Araide.
Fiachra m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Fiachrae, possibly from fiach "raven" or fích "battle" combined with "king". This was the name of several legendary figures, including one of the four children of Lir transformed into swans for a period of 900 years. This is also the name of the patron saint of gardeners: a 7th-century Irish abbot who settled in France, usually called Saint Fiacre.
Finn 1 m Irish Mythology, Old Irish, Irish, English, Dutch, German
Old Irish form of Fionn, as well as the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.
Fintan m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly means either "white fire" or "white ancient" in Irish. According to legend this was the name of the only Irish person to survive the great flood. This name was also borne by many Irish saints.
Fionn m Irish, Irish Mythology
From the Old Irish name Finn, derived from finn meaning "fair, white". It occurs frequently in Irish history and legends, the most noteworthy bearer being Fionn mac Cumhaill, the central character of one of the four main cycles of Irish mythology, the Fenian Cycle. Fionn was born as Deimne, and acquired his nickname because of his fair hair. He grew all-wise by eating an enchanted salmon, and later became the leader of the Fianna after defeating the fire-breathing demon Áillen. He was the father of Oisín and grandfather of Oscar.
Fionnuala f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "white shoulder" from Old Irish finn "white, fair" and gúala "shoulder". In Irish legend Fionnuala was one of the four children of Lir who were transformed into swans for a period of 900 years.
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.
Gobannos m Gaulish Mythology
From old Celtic *goban meaning "smith". This was the name of a scantily attested Gaulish smith god.
Gofannon m Welsh Mythology
From Welsh gof meaning "smith". This was the name of a smith in Welsh legends. He is possibly a later development of an earlier Celtic god (seen also in Gaulish Gobannos and Irish Goibniu).
Goibniu m Irish Mythology
Derived from Old Irish gobae meaning "smith". In Irish mythology this was the name of a divine metalsmith and weaponmaker of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He also provided them with feasts that protected them from old age. He may be derived from an earlier Celtic smith god (seen also in Gaulish Gobannos and Welsh Gofannon).
Goronwy m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Variant of Gronw. This form appears in the Book of Taliesin. It was borne by the Welsh poet Goronwy Owen (1723-1769).
Gráinne f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly derived from Old Irish grán meaning "grain" or gráin meaning "hatred, fear". In the Irish legend The Pursuit of Diarmaid and Gráinne she escaped from her arranged marriage to Fionn mac Cumhaill by fleeing with her lover Diarmaid. Another famous bearer was the powerful 16th-century Irish landowner and seafarer Gráinne Ní Mháille (known in English as Grace O'Malley), who was sometimes portrayed as a pirate queen in later tales.
Gronw m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps from Old Welsh gur "man". According to the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi he was the lover of Blodeuwedd. He attempted to murder her husband Lleu Llaw Gyffes with a special spear he crafted over the course of a year, but Lleu transformed into an eagle. After he was restored to human form he killed Gronw.
Gwalchmai m Welsh Mythology
Derived from Welsh gwalch "hawk", possibly combined with Mai "May (the month)" or mai "field, plain". This is the name of a character in Welsh legend (appearing in Culhwch and Olwen for example). He is probably the antecedent of Gawain from later Arthurian romance.
Gwawl m Welsh Mythology
Means "wall" in Welsh. In the First Branch of the Mabinogi Gwawl is an unwelcome suitor of Rhiannon.
Gwenddoleu m Welsh Mythology
From Old Welsh Guendoleu, possibly derived from gwyn meaning "white, fair, blessed" and dol (plural dolau) meaning "meadow". This was the name of a semi-legendary 6th-century king of Arfderydd in Cumbria. His defeat at the Battle of Arfderydd caused his bard Myrddin to go mad with grief.
Gwenddydd f Welsh Mythology
Derived from Welsh gwen meaning "white, fair, blessed" and dydd meaning "day". In medieval Welsh tales this is the name of Myrddin's sister. Geoffrey of Monmouth calls her Ganieda and also makes her the wife of Rhydderch Hael.
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.
Gwyn m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "white, fair, blessed" in Welsh. In Welsh legend Gwyn was a king of the Otherworld and the leader of the Wild Hunt. He appears in the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen, where he is one of the many who help Culhwch hunt the monstrous boar Trwyth. The story also tells of his rivalry with Gwythyr for the beautiful Creiddylad.
Gwythyr m Welsh Mythology
Welsh form of Victor. This name appears in the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen belonging to the rival of Gwyn for the maiden Creiddylad. Seeking peace between the two, King Arthur declared that Gwyn and Gwythyr shall only fight once each year on May Day.
Heber 1 m Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of Éibhear.
Heilyn m Welsh Mythology
Means "winebearer, dispenser" in Welsh. According to the Second Branch of the Mabinogi he was one of only seven warriors to return from Brân's invasion of Ireland.
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.
Ler m Irish Mythology
Means "the sea" in Old Irish. Ler was probably an Irish god or personification of the sea, best known as the father of Manannán mac Lir.
Lir m Irish Mythology
Possibly from the patronymic Manannán mac Lir, in which case Lir is the genitive case of the name Ler. The medieval Irish legend the Children of Lir tells how Lir of the Tuatha Dé Danann had his children transformed into swans by his third wife Aoife. The legendary characters Lir and Ler seem to be distinct.
Lleu m Welsh Mythology
Probably a Welsh form of Lugus. In the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, Lleu Llaw Gyffes is the son of Arianrhod. He was raised by his uncle Gwydion, who helped him overcome the curses that his mother placed upon him. His wife Blodeuwedd and her lover Gronw conspired to overcome his near invincibility and murder him, but they were not successful. Eventually he became the king of Gwynedd.
Llew m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Variant of Lleu. It can also be a short form of Llewelyn. It coincides with the Welsh word llew meaning "lion".
Lludd m Welsh Mythology
Probably a variant of Nudd altered due to alliterative assimilation with his byname Llaw Ereint meaning "silver hand". Lludd Llaw Ereint is named as the father of Creiddylad in Culhwch and Olwen. He also appears in the Welsh tale Lludd and Llefelys as the king of Britain, the son of Beli Mawr.
Llŷr m Welsh Mythology
Means "the sea" in Welsh. According to the Mabinogi he was the father of Brân, Branwen and Manawydan. His name is cognate with Irish Ler, and it is typically assumed that Llŷr may have originally been regarded as a god of the sea. He might also be the basis for the legendary King Leir of the Britons.
Llyr m Welsh Mythology
Unaccented variant of Llŷr.
Lóegaire m Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "calf herder", derived from Old Irish lóeg "calf". In Irish legend Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
m Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Lugh.
Lug m Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Lugh.
Lugh m Irish Mythology
Probably an Irish form of Lugus. In Irish mythology Lugh Lámfada was a divine hero who led the Tuatha Dé Danann against his grandfather Balor and the Fomorians. Lugh killed Balor by shooting a stone into his giant eye.
Lughaidh m Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Lugaid, a combination of the name of the mythological figure Lugh and Old Irish dech "honour, better". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including the king Lugaid mac Con.
Lugus m Gaulish Mythology (Hypothetical)
Possibly from one of the Indo-European roots *lewk- "light, brightness", *lewg- "dark" or *lewgh- "oath". This was the name of a Celtic (Gaulish) god of commerce and craftsmanship, who was equated by the Romans with Mercury. He probably forms the basis for the characters and names of Lugh (Irish) and Lleu (Welsh).
Mabon m Welsh Mythology
Later Welsh form of Maponos. In the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen he is a prisoner freed by Arthur's warriors in order to help hunt the great boar Trwyth. His mother is Modron.
Macsen m Welsh Mythology
Welsh form of Maximus. Magnus Maximus (known as Macsen Wledig in Welsh) was a 4th-century co-ruler of the Western Roman Empire. In Wales he was regarded as the founder of several royal lineages. He appears in the medieval Welsh tale The Dream of Macsen.
Maeve f Irish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Medb meaning "intoxicating". In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. She and her husband Ailill fought against the Ulster king Conchobar and the hero Cúchulainn, as told in the Irish epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley.
Manannán m Irish Mythology
Probably from the name of the Isle of Man, itself possibly from the Celtic root *moniyo- meaning "mountain". In Irish mythology Manannán mac Lir was a god of the sea and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
Manawydan m Welsh Mythology
Welsh cognate of Manannán. According to the Mabinogi he was a son of Llŷr, and the brother of Brân and Branwen. He participated in his brother's invasion of Ireland, and was one of only seven warriors to return. Afterwards he became a companion of Pryderi and married his widowed mother Rhiannon.
Maponos m Celtic Mythology
Means "great son", from the Celtic root *makwos meaning "son" (Gaulish and Brythonic mapos) combined with the divine or augmentative suffix -on. This was the name of a god of youth worshipped in Gaul and Britain. He was commonly equated with the Greco-Roman god Apollo.
Math m Welsh Mythology
Possibly from the old Celtic root *matus meaning "bear". According to the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, Math ap Mathonwy was a king of Gwynedd and a magician. Whenever he was not at war, it was required that he rest his feet in the lap of a virgin. He was the uncle of the hero Gwydion, with whom he shared most of his adventures.
Matrona 2 f Celtic Mythology
Means "great mother", from Celtic *mātīr meaning "mother" and the divine or augmentative suffix -on. This was the name of a Gaulish and Brythonic mother goddess, the namesake of the River Marne.
Méabh f Irish, Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Medb (see Maeve).
Meadhbh f Irish, Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Medb (see Maeve).
Medb f Irish Mythology
Original Irish form of Maeve.
Modron f Welsh Mythology
Later Welsh form of Matrona 2. In the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen she is the mother of Mabon, who was taken from her as a baby.
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.
Morrígan f Irish Mythology
Means either "demon queen" or "great queen", derived from Old Irish mor "demon, evil spirit" or mór "great, big" combined with rígain "queen". In Irish mythology Morrígan (called also The Morrígan) was a goddess of war and death who often took the form of a crow.
Muirenn f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish muir "sea" and finn "fair, white". This is another name of Muirne, the mother of the legendary hero Fionn mac Cumhaill.
Muirgen f Irish Mythology
Means "born of the sea" in Irish. In Irish legend this was the name of a woman (originally named Lí Ban) who was transformed into a mermaid. After 300 years she was brought to shore, baptized, and transformed back into a woman.
Muirne f Irish Mythology
From Irish muirn meaning either "affection, endearment" or "festivity, exuberance". In Irish legend this was the name of the mother of Fionn mac Cumhaill. She is also called Muirenn.
Myrddin m Welsh Mythology, Welsh
Original Welsh form of Merlin. It is probably ultimately from the name of the Romano-British settlement Moridunum, derived from Celtic *mori "sea" and *dūnom "rampart, hill fort". Prefixed with Welsh caer "fort", this town has been called Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen in English) from medieval times. It is thought that Caerfyrddin may have mistakenly been interpreted as meaning "fort of Myrddin", as if Myrddin were a personal name instead of a later development of Moridunum.... [more]
Naoise m Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown, presumably of Irish origin. In Irish legend he was the young man who fled to Scotland with Deirdre, who was due to marry Conchobar the king of Ulster. Conchobar eventually succeeded in capturing Deirdre and killing Naoise, which caused Deirdre to die of grief.
Neas f Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Neasa.
Neasa f Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Ness, meaning uncertain. In Irish legend she was the mother of Conchobar. She installed her son as king of Ulster by convincing Fergus mac Róich (her husband and Conchobar's stepfather) to give up his throne to the boy for a year and then helping him rule so astutely that the Ulstermen demanded that he remain as king. According to some versions of the legend she was originally named Assa meaning "gentle", but was renamed Ní-assa "not gentle" after she sought to avenge the murders of her foster fathers.
Nechtan m Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Irish name of uncertain meaning, possibly from a Celtic root meaning "damp" (cognate with Neptune). In Irish mythology Nechtan was the husband of Boann, the goddess of the River Boyne. He is sometimes identified with Nuada. This name was borne by the 5th-century Saint Nectan of Hartland in Devon, who was supposedly born in Ireland. It was also the name of several kings of the Picts (described mostly from Gaelic sources, this may represent a Pictish cognate).
Ness 1 f Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Neasa.
Nessa 3 f Irish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of Neasa.
Níam f Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Niamh.
Niamh f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "bright" in Irish. She was the daughter of the sea god Manannán mac Lir in Irish legends. She fell in love with the poet Oisín, the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill. It has been used as a given name for people only since the early 20th century.
Nodens m Celtic Mythology
Possibly from the old Celtic root *snowdo- meaning "mist, haze". Alternatively it might be related to the Indo-European root *neud- meaning "to acquire, to use". This is the name of a Celtic god associated with healing, hunting and fishing. He is known from a shrine excavated at Gloucestershire, where the name is only found in the dative forms Nodenti and Nodonti. He probably forms the basis for the legendary figures of Nuada (Irish) and Nudd (Welsh).
Noíse m Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Naoise.
Nuada m Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Nuadu, probably from Nodens. In Irish mythology he was the first king of the Tuatha Dé Danann. After he lost an arm in battle it was replaced with one made from silver, and he received the byname Airgetlám meaning "silver hand". He was later killed fighting the monstrous Fomorians led by Balor. This name was also borne by a few semi-legendary Irish kings.
Nuadha m Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Nuada.
Nuadu m Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Old Irish form of Nuada.
Nudd m Welsh Mythology
Welsh cognate of Nuada. This is the name of a figure in Welsh legend, appearing in early poetry and in Culhwch and Olwen as the father of Gwyn.
Oisín m Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "little deer", derived from Old Irish oss "deer, stag" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend Oisín was a warrior hero and a poet, the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill and the narrator in many of his tales.
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.
Oscar m English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Old Irish oss "deer" and carae "friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name Osgar or its Old Norse cognate Ásgeirr, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhaill.... [more]
Parthalán m Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Partholón.
Partholón m Irish Mythology
Probably from the Biblical Latin name Bartholomeus (see Bartholomew). According to the 11th-century Irish history the Book of Invasions, he was the leader of the first group of settlers to arrive on Ireland after the biblical flood, though they soon all died of disease. Earlier, he briefly appears in the form Partholomus in the 9th-century History of the Britons, written in Latin.
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).
Pryderi m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
From Welsh pryder meaning "care, worry" (or perhaps from a derivative word *pryderi meaning "loss"). Appearing in Welsh legend in all four branches of the Mabinogi, Pryderi was the son of Pwyll and Rhiannon, eventually succeeding his father as the king of Dyfed. He was one of only seven warriors to return from Brân's tragic invasion of Ireland, and later had several adventures with Manawydan. He was ultimately killed in single combat with Gwydion during the war between Dyfed and Gwynedd.
Pwyll m Welsh Mythology
Means "wisdom, reason" in Welsh. In the First Branch of the Mabinogi, Pwyll is a king of Dyfed who pursues and finally marries Rhiannon. Their son was Pryderi.
Rhiannon f Welsh, English, Welsh Mythology
Probably derived from an unattested Celtic name *Rīgantonā meaning "great queen" (Celtic *rīganī "queen" and the divine or augmentative suffix -on). It is speculated that Rigantona was an old Celtic goddess, perhaps associated with fertility and horses like the Gaulish Epona. As Rhiannon, she appears in Welsh legend in the Mabinogi as a beautiful magical woman who rides a white horse. She was betrothed against her will to Gwawl, but cunningly broke off that engagement and married Pwyll instead. Their son was Pryderi.... [more]
Rigantona f Celtic Mythology (Hypothetical)
Reconstructed old Celtic form of Rhiannon.
Ríoghnach f Irish Mythology
Derived from Old Irish rígain meaning "queen". According to some sources, this was the name of a wife of the semi-legendary Irish king Niall of the Nine Hostages.
Sabia f Irish Mythology
Latinized form of Sadb.
Sadb f Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Probably derived from the old Celtic root *swādu- meaning "sweet". This was a common name in medieval Ireland. In Irish mythology Sadb was a woman transformed into a deer. She was the mother of Oisín by Fionn mac Cumhaill.
Sadhbh f Irish, Irish Mythology
Modern Irish form of Sadb.
Saraid f Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Sárait, derived from sár meaning "excellent". This was the name of a daughter of the legendary high king of Ireland, Conn of the Hundred Battles.
Sárait f Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Saraid.
Scáthach f Irish Mythology
Means "shadowy" in Irish. In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior woman. She instructed Cúchulainn in the arts of war, and he in turn helped her defeat her rival Aoife.
Sionann f Irish Mythology
In Irish legend this was the name of a granddaughter of the sea god Lir who went to Connla's Well, which was forbidden. The well burst and drowned her, leaving her body in the river thereafter known as the Sionainn (see Shannon).
Sláine f & m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish slán meaning "health, safety". This was the name of a legendary high king of Ireland, one of the Fir Bolg. It was also the name of a daughter of the 11th-century high king Brian Boru.
Suibhne m Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Suibne, possibly derived from subae meaning "joy, pleasure". This was the name of several figures from early Irish history, including a 7th-century high king and an 8th-century saint. It also appears in the Irish legend Buile Suibhne (meaning "The Madness of Suibhne") about a king who goes insane after being cursed by Saint Rónán Finn.
Sweeney m Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of Suibhne. In fiction, this name is borne by the murderous barber Sweeney Todd, first appearing in the British serial The String of Pearls: A Romance (1846-1847).
Tadg m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Tadhg.
Tadhg m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish Tadg meaning "poet". This was the name of an 11th-century king of Connacht, as well as several other kings and chieftains of medieval Ireland. According to Irish mythology it was the name of the grandfather of Fionn mac Cumhaill.
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.
Taranis m Gaulish Mythology
Derived from Celtic taran meaning "thunder", cognate with Þórr (see Thor). This was the name of the Gaulish thunder god, who was often identified with the Roman god Jupiter.
Toutatis m Gaulish Mythology
Probably derived from the old Celtic root *toutā meaning "people, tribe". This was the name of a Gaulish god who may have been regarded as the protector of the people or tribe.
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.