Gwyneth, Gwenyth, or Gweneth

Does anyone know which spelling is most authentic for a female?


October 13, 2014 6:32 AM

Authentic might be the wrong word, according to Behind the Name they're all established, used spellings. Living in Wales as I do though, I think Gwyneth would be pronounced differently than Gwenyth and Gweneth. Gwyneth is pronounced GWIN-ith while Gwenyth and Gweneth would be more certain on the GWEN sound. So, basically, if you want Gwen as a nickname to be slighly more intuitive, spell it Gwenyth or Gweneth.

By EVie
October 13, 2014 9:31 AM

I think Gwyneth has the most history. Behind the Name says it may possibly come from the name Gwynedd, which is a region of Wales, and that it has been common in Wales since the 19th century. The name Gwynedd itself is listed as both masculine and feminine, and may or may not be related to the Welsh word gwyn which means "white, fair, blessed." Usually in Welsh Gwyn is masculine and Gwen is feminine, but if Gwyneth is a fairly modern personal name that comes straight from the place name, it makes sense that its use would be irrespective of grammatical gender. The use of the alternate forms Gwenyth and Gweneth in the U.S. are probably from confusion with Gwendolen (since I don't expect that most Americans know enough about Welsh to be "correcting" the gender of Gwyn/Gwen).

October 13, 2014 10:13 AM

Thank you both. This is helpful.  I just found out I'm pregnant with #3 and I have always loved the name Gwen. My husband has always said he'd only use it if we go with Gwendolyn or Gwyneth.  I don't like Gwendolyn as much, but the Paltrow association bothers me on Gwyneth. Also, Gwyneth seems like the more common spelling and I'd mostly be calling her Gwen.

October 13, 2014 10:18 AM

Congratulations! The Gwenyth spelling is very rare, but strangely the only two people I know with this name have that spelling. The first is ten, the second eight.

October 13, 2014 11:19 AM

Thanks Elizabeth. :) I'm only about 6 weeks, so I'm waiting to do a post with all the names on my list. I got ahead of myself last time. But, this name is at the top and is the one to beat for me. 

Im thinking if we use this name, Gwenyth should probably be the spelling since we will use Gwen as a nn. 

October 13, 2014 12:34 PM


If the Paltrow association bothers you and you don't like Gwendolyn as much, perhaps Guinivere?  It's perhaps a more daring choice, but it's always been my favorite of all the "Gwen" names.


October 13, 2014 12:55 PM

This name has been suggested a lot. For some reason it's never grabbed me, but maybe I'll give it a second look and sit with it for a few days.  

October 13, 2014 3:42 PM

Well, I certainly like your taste so far! Gwenyth was my favourite spelling too, even without the spunky and cute 'Gwen' nickname added in. Congratulations!

October 13, 2014 5:00 PM

Thank you! :)

October 13, 2014 8:21 PM

I agree with all of the excellent commentary abovethread. I will say that thanks to Ms Paltrow, I think people are going to assume Gwyneth more often, but I think it's a name that would require spelling occasionally anyway. I don't think that Gwen- spellings are necessary to do Gwen as a nickname, but if you're mostly going to use just-Gwen, then I think Gwenyth makes perfect sense. I do think that an y-less version will look subtly wrong to a lot of people because of the familiarity with the actress (I suspect that people remember that there is a y somewhere rather than whether it's first or last).

Either way it's a beautiful name, and I'm very excited for some variant of it to be used! (I also love Gwendolen/Gwendolyn, which we would have on our list if it weren't so terrible with our G___n surname. But if our daughter ever needs a superhero alias, it's what I'd suggest for her!)

October 13, 2014 8:52 PM

Thanks lucubratrix!  I've wanted to use a Gwen name for a long time, so this last one will probably be a boy! Haha

i also think the Gweneth spelling is probably going to be problematic, so I'll just eliminate that one.