Anwen is a Welsh girl’s name and is popular within the Welsh speaking community, however outside Wales the name is often mistaken for the name “Arwen,” a name popularized by J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series (his languages frequently mimicked Welsh etymology). Anwen was not in the top 100 most popular girl’s names in Wales in 2012.
Meaning of the Name Anwen
Though the origins of the name Anwen are vague, the suffix -wen is thought to be an altered version of the word gwen, the feminine form of the word gwynn which once meant “white” or “blessed.” This suffix is used frequently in Welsh names such as Anwen, Arianwen and Ceinwen.
The first syllable, an, is an intensive prefix likened to the words “very” and “much.” The common meaning of Anwen is “very beautiful” though there is speculation that the word was inspired by another, annwyl, a term of endearment meaning “beloved” or “dear.” The name Anwen could also be considered a prefixed version of the name Gwen (meaning “pretty” or “fair”).
How to Pronounce Anwen?
Anwen pronunciation: Ann-wen.
Famous people with the name Anwen include: Anwyn Rees-Myers and Anwen Keeling. In the popular series Torchwood, the daughter of the characters Gwen and Rhys is also named Anwen.
- See our guide to other Welsh girls’ names