Posts Tagged ‘Tegeirian’

As promised, here’s the second part of Welsh Flowers that have great name potential. Pronunciation at the end if you want to sound like you were born and bred in the Land of Song.

  • Gwaedlys — pink persicaria
  • Gwendon — bedstraw
  • Gwenith y gog — figwort
  • Gwenonwy — lily of the valley
  • Gwern — alder
  • Gwlithlys (g-LITH-lis) — sundew
  • Helogan — celery
  • Helygen — willow
  • Helyglys — lesser willowherb
  • Isop— hyssop
  • Lili Mai — lily of the valley
  • Ller — darnel
  • Llin — flax
  • Llwyfen (“LHOO-ee-ven”) – elm
  • Llyriad — broad-leaved plantain
  • Maglys — lucerne
  • Meillion — clover
  • Melenydd — hawkweed
  • Melyn euraidd — golden rod
  • Melyn Mair — marigold
  • Melenllys — greater celandine
  • Merllys — asparagus
  • Merywen — juniper
  • Mesen — acorn
  • Miaren — briar
  • Murlys — wall pellitory
  • Onnen — ash
  • Oren — orange
  • Pabi — poppy
  • Pansi — pansy
  • Pengaled -(pen-GA-led) – knapweed
  • Persli — parsley
  • Pren — tree
  • Pren Ceri — medlar tree
  • Pren Eirin — plum tree
  • Rhedyn — fern
  • Rhos Mair — Rosemary
  • Rhosmari (ros-MA-ree) — Rosemary
  • Rhosyn — rose
  • Saets — sage
  • Safri — savoury
  • Serenyn — squill
  • Siasmin — jasmine
  • Suran — common sorrel
  • Syfi — strawberries
  • Syfien — strawberry
  • Taglys — field bindweed
  • Tansi — tansy
  • Tegeirian (te-GAY-ree-an) — orchid
  • Teim — thyme
  • Tormaen — golden saxifrage
  • Tresi Aur — laburnum
  • Trilliw (TRI-lhee-oo) — pansy
  • Trydon — agrimony
  • Ywen — yew

Pronunciation notes:

  • “ae,” “ai,” “au,” and “eu” pronounced “eye”
  • “c” always hard, as in “cat”
  • “e” pronounced like “e” in “bet,” “set,” etc
  • “ei” pronounced “ay”
  • “f” ipronounced “v”
  • “ff” pronounced “f”
  • “g” always hard, as in “get”
  • “ll” see Extreme Welsh Names
  • “s” always “s,” never “z”; often “sh” before an “i”
  • “th” pronounced like the “th” in “thistle”
  • “y” in the last syllable is pronounced “i” as in “in”, but in most other syllables, is pronounced “uh.”

(In words of two syllables, stress is divided equally. In words of three, stress usually falls on the first syllable, unless otherwise stated.)

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Since moving into the Nook, I’ve been on an odyssey around the world and through the ages, and it occurred to me that it was about time I came home and featured the names of Wales.

Wales belongs to the Celtic fringe — along with Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and Britany. Of the Celtic lands and regions of the British Isles, Wales has preserved its language more successfully than any of the others; it is actively spoken across the Principality as a first language, and many others speak and understand some Welsh.

If you visit Wales, you are virtually guaranteed to hear some Welsh spoken. The same is sadly not true or Ireland or Scotland, where even in the regions where Irish and Gaelic are spoken, you’ll be lucky to hear the native tongue, unless you actively seek it out.

You might think, then, that the old Welsh names had survived in use along with the language. As far as a handful of names are concerned, you would be right. But by the mid 19th Century, most of the names used in Wales were English — most of the Welsh names had been consigned to history.

Only in the late 19th Century, with the rise of Welsh nationalism, were the old names revived. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength.

The majority of babies in Wales still receive the same names as in the rest of the English-speaking world. But a great many receive Welsh ones as a first or second name — names which have a distinctly foreign, mystical ring to an English ear.

It is my intention to make a big thing of Welsh names here at the Nook over time. They are close to my heart, and there are a lot of extremely beautiful names with great meanings which are surprisingly accessible to non-Welsh speakers. If the Celtic calls to you, why not consider a name from the Land of Song?

These are some of my personal favorites:


  • Aneira (pronounced ‘an-AY-ra’) — the intensive prefix an-carrying the sense of ‘very’ or ‘much’ + eira ‘snow’. Probably first inspired by the boy’s name Aneirin, and used since the late 19th Century. Eira is also used on its own.
  • Annwyl — ‘dear’ and ‘beloved’. In use since the 1930s.
  • Anwen— a modern combination of Ann + the –wen ending found in so many Welsh girls’ names, which is the mutated femining form of gwyn ‘white’ and ‘blessed’. Ann here is sometimes interpreted as the intensive prefix an-, like Aneira and Angharad.
  • Blodwenblodyn ‘flower’ + gwyn ‘white’ and ‘blessed’. A traditional Welsh name, found in the Middle Ages and revived at the end of the 19th Century
  • Branwenbran ‘crow’, ‘raven’ + gwyn ‘white’. In Welsh mythology, the name of the sister of Bran the Blessed. It was used as a genuine name in medieval times, and revived in the 19th Century.
  • Caryscar ‘love’. Modern name, dating to the early 20th Century. Another variant is Cerys.
  • Eilir (pronounced ‘ay-leer’) — ‘butterfly’. First used at the end of the 19th Century.
  • Eirian (pronounced ‘AY-ree-an’) — ‘brilliant’, ‘splendid’ and ‘bright’. Another late 19th Century coinage
  • Eirlys (pronounced ‘AY-er-lis’) — ‘snowdrop’. Late 19th Century again.
  • Enfys (pronounced ‘en-vis’) — ‘rainbow’. Also first used at the end of the 19th Century.
  • Ffion (pronounced ‘fee-on’) — ‘foxglove’. A modern name inspired by the unrelated Fiona.
  • Fflur (pronounced ‘fleer’) — ‘flower’. Inspired by the use of the French Fleur, Fflur was first used at the end of the 1960s.
  • Gwen — ‘white’ and ‘blessed’ – a very traditional and ancient name. Deserves a post all to itself!
  • Gwenhwyfar (pronounced ‘gwen-HOO-i-var’) — original Welsh form of Guinevere and Jennifer.
  • Hafren – see Fair Sabrina
  • Mabli — Welsh form of Mabel
  • Mared — one of the Welsh forms of Margaret
  • Morwen — ‘maiden’. Welsh equivalent of the Cornish Morwenna
  • Seirian  (pronounced ‘SAY-ree-an’) — ‘sparkling’.  First used in the ’60s.
  • Seren (pronounced ‘seh-ren’) — ‘star’. A modern Welsh name — i.e. not used in medieval times. First used at the end of the 1930s and now a popular choice for baby girls.
  • Tanwentan ‘fire’ + gwyn ‘white’. A modern Welsh name, first used in the 1960s.
  • Tegeirian (pronounced ‘teg-AY-ree-an’) — ‘orchid’.
  • Tirion (pronounced ‘TI-ree-on’) — ‘gentle’ , ‘happy’ and ‘gracious’.


  • Aneirin (pronounced ‘an-AY-rin’) — traditional old Welsh name, borne by an early poet. Probably from the Latin Honorius.
  • Arthen — ‘bear-born’.
  • Bedwyr (pronounced ‘bed-weer’) — from bedw ‘birch’ + gwyr ‘man’. A character from Welsh myth, who became Bedivere in the Arthurian cycles.
  • Berwynbar ‘peak’, ‘mound’, ‘head’ + gwyn ‘blessed’ and ‘white’. An ancient name, revived in the late 19th Century.
  • Bleddyn (pronounced ‘bleth-in’ — the ‘th’ as in ‘the’) —blaidd ‘wolf’.  Traditional name, revived in the 19th Century.
  • Cai (pronounced ‘ky’ – to rhyme with eye) — Welsh form of Gaius — also deserves an entry of its own!
  • Einion (pronounced ‘AY-nee-on’) — ‘anvil’; traditional old name.
  • Eirian — see girls above.
  • Gwern — ‘alder’; a name from mythology
  • Gwydion (pronounced ‘gwi-DEE-on’) — gwyddon ‘wizard’ and ‘scientist’. An important figure in Welsh mythology. Used asa genuine name from the early 20th Century.
  • Heddwyn (pronounced ‘heth-win’ — the ‘th’ as in ‘the’). Modern name from hedd ‘peace’ + gwyn ‘white’ and ‘blessed’.
  • Ianto (pronounced ‘yan-toh’) — a pet form of Ifan, the Welsh form of John.
  • Iestyn (pronounced ‘yes-tin’). Welsh form of Justin.
  • Iolo (pronounced ‘yol-oh’)
  • Lleu (pronounced ‘lleye’ — the best approximation of the notorious Welsh letter ‘ll’ is probably ‘cl’) — important figure in Welsh myth.
  • Macsen — Welsh form of Maximus; the name of a legendary hero.
  • Morien (pronounced ‘MOH-ree-en’) — very old Welsh name meaning ‘sea-born’.
  • Myfyr (pronounce ‘muh-veer’) — Welsh for ‘muse’ and ‘meditation’. Used since the late 19th Century.
  • Myrddin (pronounced ‘mur-thin’ — the ‘th’ as in ‘the’) — Welsh form of Merlin. In use in the Middle Ages, and revived in the 19th Century.
  • Peredur (pronounced ‘peh-REH-deer’) — peri ‘spear’ + dur ‘hard’. The name of one of King Arthur’s knights — he became Percival in English. Used since the 19th Century.
  • Rhodrirhod ‘wheel’, ‘circle’ + rhi ‘ruler’ and ‘king’; trad old name.
  • Rhun (pronounced ‘rheen’) — ‘mystery’ and ‘charm’. The name of a character in Welsh mythology. First used as a real given name in the late 19th Century.
  • Rhydian (pronounced ‘RID-ee-an’) — probably from Old Welsh rhudd ‘red’
  • Seirian  (pronounced ‘SAY-ree-an’) — ‘sparkling’.  First used in the ’60s.
  • Taliesin (pronounced ‘tal-ee-EH-sin’ — although ‘tal-ee-AY-sin’ is often heard) — the name of a legendary bard, to whom a corpus of early medieval poetry is attributed. From tal ‘brow’, ‘forehead’ + iesin ‘fair’, ‘beautiful’ — often translated as ‘shining’.
  • Tegid (pronounce ‘teh-gid’) — from Latin tacitus ‘serene’ and ‘quiet’. The name of a character in Welsh mythology, as well as the Welsh name of Bala Lake. First used as a genuine name in the late 19th Century.

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