Welsh Mythology Names

These names occur in the mythologies and legends of Wales.
gender
usage
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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]
Eigyr f Welsh Mythology
Welsh form of Igraine.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.