Friday, November 4, 2016

Win-ning Names

Anybody else feel like Winnie-names might be starting to trend? I did a post on Winnie-names for girls a bit back (and somehow missed Elowen, my goodness!), and it recently struck me how much I like -win names for boys, as well.
Surprisingly, -win/wyn names are split about evenly for girls and boys in the U.S.; I expected them to be mostly feminine (although if you include -wen, the boys end up with a huge majority, thanks pretty much exclusively to Owen). 
Most turn out to be Welsh (where wyn means "white" or "blessed") or Old English/Germanic (where win means "friend"). Great meaning in both origins! :D
(many of the Old English names survive only as surnames today)

  • Aelwyn (ILE-win, Welsh)--"white brow". Also spelled Aylwyn
  • Alwyn (AL-win, Welsh, English)--from Welsh, poss. "white hillside"
  • Ashwin (ASH-win, Old English)--"ash [tree] friend" or "spear friend"
  • Baldwin (BALD-win, Old English)--"bold friend"
  • Berwyn (BEHR-win, Welsh)--"white top"
  • Brandwin (BRAND-win, Old English)--prob. "sword friend"
  • Brithwin (BRITH-win, Old English)--poss. "bright friend"
  • Burgwin (BURG-win, Old English)--"castle friend"
  • Caldwin (KAHLD-win, Old English)--poss. "cold friend"
  • Carwyn (KAR-win, Welsh)--"blessed love"
  • Cedwyn (KED-win, Welsh)--poss. "white woods"
  • Cenwyn (KEN-win, Welsh)--poss. "white ridge" or "blessed chief"
  • Christwin (KRIST-win, Old English)--"Christ-friend"
  • Cledwyn (KLED-win, Welsh)--poss. "blessed sword"
  • Colwyn (KAHL-win, Welsh)--poss. "enclosed thicket"
  • Cuthwin (KUTH-win, Old English)--"famous friend"
  • Darwin (DAR-win, English)--"dear friend"
  • Delwyn (DEL-win, Welsh)--"pretty + blessed"
  • Dilwyn (DIL-wyn, Welsh)--"genuine + blessed"
  • Dunwin (DUN-win, Old English)--"brown friend"
  • Edwin (ED-win, English)--"old friend" or "wealthy friend". An older form is Aldwin
  • Elwyn (EL-win, English)--prob. "noble friend", "old friend", or "elf friend"
  • Everwin (EV-er-win, Old English)--"boar friend". Another form is Irwin
  • Geldwin (GELD-win, Old English)--prob. "tribute friend"
  • Gerwin (GUR-win, Old English)--"spear friend"
  • Gladwin (GLAD-win, Old English)--"bright friend". Also spelled Gladwyn.
  • Goldwin (GOLD-win, Old English)--"gold friend"
  • Godwin (GAHD-win, Old English)--"god-friend". Another form is Goodwin.
  • Goswin (GAHZ-win, Old English; GOHZ-veen, German)--"Goth-friend"
  • Hadwin (HAD-win, Old English)--poss. "battle-friend"
  • Hartwin (HART-win, Old English; HART-veen, German)--"strong friend"
  • Heddwyn (HETH-win ['th' like in "the"], Welsh)--"blessed peace"
  • Hildwin (HILD-win, Old English)--"battle-friend". Another form is Hildewin
  • Kenwyn (KEN-win, Cornish [surname])--"white ridge"
  • Lewin (LOO-win, English)--"beloved friend". An older form is Lefwin
  • Merewin (MEHR-eh-win, Old English)--poss. "famous friend" or "sea-friend"
  • Merwin (MUR-win, English)--poss. from Merewin or Welsh Mervyn
  • Morwin (MOHR-win, Old English)--poss. "moor friend"
  • Ortwin (ORT-win, Old English; OHRT-veen, German)--"sharp-point friend"
  • Oswin (OZ-win, English; OHZ-veen, German)--"god-friend"
  • Rhydwyn (RID-win, Welsh)--prob. "white ford"
  • Rodwin (RAHD-win, Old English)--"famous friend"
  • Selwyn (SEL-win, English)--prob. "manor-friend" or "blessed friend"
  • Stanwin (STAN-win, Old English)--"stone friend" [yes, the reverse of Winston]
  • Tilwin (TIL-win, Old English)--poss. "good friend"
  • Wulfwin (WULF-win, Old English)--"wolf friend"

(As an aside, if you do prefer any of the "white/blessed" Welsh names for girls, changing -wyn to -wen generally gets you the feminine spelling. :) 
To complicate matters further, for some of the Old English "friend" names there are related feminine names, deriving from -wynn "joy", which usually became -wen in names that survived to Middle/early Modern English; e.g. Brithwen "bright joy"; Edwen "wealthy joy"The masculine -win names are traditionally feminized to -wina/vina, and the feminine -wen names often became -wina/vina as well!)

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