Rhiannon: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Rhiannon
Origin of the name Rhiannon:
Borrowed from the Welsh, Rhiannon is an ancient Celtic name of uncertain derivation. Some believe it to be derived from the Old Celtic Rigantona (great queen). The name, which is borne in Celtic Mythology by a goddess of fertility, was not used as a given name until the 20th century. Its popularity outside Wales is due in large part to the song "Rhiannon" by the rock group Fleetwood Mac.
Looking for more name information? Get Name MatchMaker & more Expert name-finding tools!
Sister & Brother Names
Know a Rhiannon? What are her siblings named?
Contribute your knowledge to the name Rhiannon
- Comments and insights on the name Rhiannon: | Edit
My name is Rhiannon. I love my name, but it gets irritating when someone asks me how to say it and they always say it wrong. I love not knowing very many Rhiannons so I always know when someone is talking to me.
This name is so unique and in fact I prefer it to my first name being Darcy it is so beautiful!
I had a friend named Rhiannon in high school, and she went by Rhi. I loved her name, but I learned rather quickly that the easiest way to irritate her was to start singing "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac--the song she was named after!
Love this name! It is very uncommon and I love the Welsh mythology meaning behind it. I also love the song Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac. I am definitely naming my daughter this when I have one!
- Personal experiences with the name Rhiannon: | Edit
- Share what you know!
- Nicknames for Rhiannon: | Edit
- Meanings and history of the name Rhiannon: | Edit
Rhiannon can mean great queen, goddess, nymph or witch. It's also derived from the horse goddesses Epona (saxon) and Macha (Gaelic)
Rhiannon is a goddess associated with horses in celtic mythology, who later married the sea god Mannanan.
A prince fell in love with Rhiannon who was riding a white mare, however whenever he sent his men to intercept her they could not catch her. Therefore the prince gave chase and finally caught Rhiannon. Rhiannon told the prince that she was promised to another however he killed his opposition and they married. Rhiannon bore the prince a son, however when the son was little he was stolen and the assasin could not kill him so he left the boy with a poor family. Rhiannon's ladies in waiting discovered that the child was missing so they killed a foal and left the blood of the foal in the childs bed and painted Rhiannon with it's blood. On waking the prince saw this and punished Rhiannon, whereby she had to sit at the palace gates and tell whomever passed her story as well as give them rides on her back into the city.
When her son was older he returned and Rhiannon was set free and the prince was vanquished thereby Rhiannon married Mannanan.
- Famous real-life people named Rhiannon: | Edit
Rhiannon Lassiter, English writer
Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, American child actress
Daughter of director Robert Rodriguez
Rhiannon Fish, Australian Actress
- Rhiannon in song, story & screen: | Edit
"Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)," 1976 song by Fleetwood Mac
"The Song of Rhiannon, 1972 novel by Evangeline Walton
Rhiannon in Welsh mythology. (The story above is quite close but I know a little more, so I'll just put it here.) Pwyll, who is one of the most important Welsh mythological heroes despite his consonant-heavy name, was told to go to Gorsedd Arberth, which was basically an enormous magic mound that could result in something good or something terrible. In Pwyll's case, the beautiful Rhiannon turned up. He pursued her for a while and eventually found out that she was in love with him but promised to a man called Gwawl. There was a big confrontation at Rhiannon's father's house in which Pwyll mistakenly promised Rhiannon to Gwawl, and they had to wait a whole year before they could trick him out of it with a magic bag, a beggar disguise and a bunch of food. All the other things in the above story are correct except for the fact that Rhiannon's second husband was named Manawydan. She married him after Pwyll was killed (nobody seems to know how), and after several interesting adventures she lived in harmony with him, her son Pryderi, and his wife Cigfa in Dyfed for many years. Besides horses, Rhiannon also stands for the moon, women and creativity.