Usage: Gwendolen, of Celtic origin, is not a popular first name. It is more often used as a girl (female) name.
People having the name Gwendolen are in general originating from Czech Republic, Ireland, United Kingdom.
For another variant of the name Gwendolen across the world, see Gwen.
The Growth number corresponding to this first name is 9.
The name Gwendolen is ranked on the 50,327th position of the most used names. It means that this name is rarely used.
We estimate that there are at least 1500 persons in the world having this name which is around 0.001% of the population.
The name Gwendolen has nine characters. It means that it is relatively long-length, compared to the other names in our database.
We do not have enough data to display the number of people who were given the name Gwendolen for each year.
History and Origin
Gwendolen (/ˈɡwɛndɵlɨn/ GWEN-də-lin; from Welsh gwen, meaning “white, fair, blessed”, and dolen, meaning “loop, link of a chain, ring, bow”) is a feminine given name, in general use only since the 19th century.
It has come to be the standard English form of Latin Guendoloena, which was first used by Geoffrey of Monmouth as the name of a legendary British queen in his History of the Kings of Britain (c. 1138). He reused the name in his Life of Merlin (c. 1150) for a different character, the wife of the titular magician “Merlinus”, a counsellor to King Arthur; the metre shows that Geoffrey pronounced it as a pentasyllable, Guĕndŏlŏēnă, with the “gu” pronounced /ɡw/. Dr. Arthur Hutson suggests that “Guendoloena” arose from a misreading of the old Welsh masculine name Guendoleu; Geoffrey may have mistaken the final U for an N, then Latinized *Guendolen as a feminine name to arrive at Guendoloena. In the Vita Merlini, however, Geoffrey Latinizes the masculine name of Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio as Guennolous. Spelled Gwendoloena, the name reoccurs in the anonymous Latin romance De Ortu Waluuanii belonging to Arthur’s queen Guinevere.
It did not become a common English given name until the 19th century. Gwendoline was in use in England by the 1860s (an early example being Lady Gwendoline Anson, born c. 1837, a daughter of the 1st Earl of Lichfield), and Gwendolen appeared in Daniel Deronda, written by George Eliot and published in serialized form 1874–6.
Welsh and English: apparently composed of the elements gwen white, fair, blessed, holy + dolen ring, bow. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of the wife of the mythical Welsh king Locrine, who, however, left her for a German princess called Estrildis. Gwendolen in revenge had Estrildis and her daughter Sabrina drowned in the River Seven. The name is borne by one of the principal characters in Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest (first performed in 1895).
Variants: Gwendolin, Gwendolyn; Gwendoline (formed under the influence of the many female given names ending in -line).
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