|Pronunciation||📣 \gwe-ndol-yn, gwen-do-lyn\|
|Number in U.S||👶 120,000|
|Rate in 2021||765|
|Name origin||🌍 Welsh|
Meaning of name Gwendolyn:
Gwendolyn is a Celtic-derived name used primarily in Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany. The name comes from the Bythonic branch of Celtic languages (compared to Gaelic), from the words "Gwyn" meaning 'holy, pure righteous' and "dolyn" meaning either 'ring' or 'eyebrows, hair'. Queen Gwendolyn was a fictional female queen and warrior of ancient Britain, immortalized by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the Middle Ages (the same Welsh clergyman who popularized the tales of King Arthur). After her husband, King Locrinus, leaves her for a German princess, Gwendolyn builds a defeated army in Cornwall and her husband cheats on her. She then goes to rule herself (in peace) until she abdicates in favor of her son. Saint Gwen is a sixth century saint; a Breton woman who was supposedly given a maternal third by God as a gift for her fertility (ability to reproduce). This is obviously folklore, but Saint Gwen is invoked for the fertility of women.
Considering the tight geographic origin of Gwendolyn (ie Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany), it is impressive that the name has not only remained in use, but has successfully spread to other English-speaking countries. In the United States, Gwendolyn has been in use at least since the Social Security Administration began tracking naming trends in 1880. Apparently, however, Gwendolyn's popularity in the United States has come and gone. The 1950s were definitely Gwendolyn's best decade in America, reaching almost the top 100 to eat, but not quite. Today, the name is given to barely 500 girls each year. Lucky for them; they don't have to share such a nice name with many other people! Gwendolyn is so underused that she still feels completely aligned with her original Welsh heritage. For example, seeing how the old Irish-Celtic Caitlin became so overused and Americanized to the point of losing the “Irishness” of him. Gwendolyn remains pure to her roots, and the pet forms (Gwen, Gwenie) provide one- and two-syllable options that lighten the name.
Famous people named Gwendolyn
Gwendolyn "Gwen" Stefani (musician)
Gwendolyn Brooks (poet)