Trying to find info on name Maiwen

I read somewhere that the name Maiwen was Gaelic and meant "beautiful Mary". I love the sound of the name and the meaning, but I can't find confirmation that it really means that. Anyone have any insight?


February 21, 2017 11:07 PM

Probably because it isn't Gaelic, but Breton, and is likely a contraction of two other names.

February 21, 2017 11:48 PM

Yep, if this website is correct. Breton contraction for Mari-Gwenn, which means "blessed Mary"


February 22, 2017 12:00 AM

So Breton falls more under Celtic, yes?

February 22, 2017 1:32 AM

There  are six modern Celtic languages divided into two groups: Goidelic (q-Celtic) and Brythonic (p-Celtic). The Goidelic are Scottish and Irish Gaelic and Manx, and the Brythonic are Breton, Welsh, and Cornish. Manx and Cornish became essentially extinct in modern times, but efforts are being made to revive both. Welsh has the most fluent speakers. There were also other branches of Celtic that became extinct in ancient times.

February 22, 2017 11:35 AM

Interesting. I knew you would have good info Miriam! So what do you know about the name Maiwen? Is it a legit name in the Celtic category? And does it mean "beautiful/fair Mary"? I've found the name "Mairwen" that seems to mean that, but I like the sound of "Maiwen" better and am hoping it will work. 

February 22, 2017 12:29 PM

I am a Germanic philologist, not a Celticist, but -gwen/-wen means fair in the sense of white, light-colored. It slides over into fair=beautiful, because, well, blondes have more fun.

February 22, 2017 12:57 PM

So basically, it's close enough? :)

February 22, 2017 3:36 PM

That's your call.


February 22, 2017 5:44 PM

AKA Blonde Mary?
Without the R. So an equal interpretation is Blonde May?

February 22, 2017 7:15 PM

More like May the White or May the Fair, but fair referring to coloring, not beauty. The conflation of the two concepts stems from the fact that fair coloring has been associated with higher social class and greater beauty, and dark hair and tanner complexion with homeliness and lower social status in northwest Europe (where there are blondes) for many centuries. Of course, in ancient Rome prostitutes were required to have blonde hair to distinguish them from the respectable Roman matrons with Mediterranean complexions.

February 21, 2017 11:45 PM

There is a considerable amount of information on a recent forum post regarding someone who gave this name to their daughter as a middle name. You may be interested in reading it.

February 22, 2017 12:12 AM

What's the name of the forum? I'd love to read it but I'm having trouble finding it. 

February 22, 2017 1:10 AM

I think maybe LLLN is thinking of this one?

February 22, 2017 11:31 AM

How funny...that's MY post! I'm just trying to find more info on Maiwen as I want to make sure it's a legit name and also means what I think it means.

February 22, 2017 7:30 PM

Ha ha! I thought it was odd that two people mentioned Maiwen in a span of only about a month. Sorry about that!

February 22, 2017 9:29 PM

No problem! :)

February 22, 2017 1:15 AM

If you do a google search for the term you want to search plus the website it will pull up every time it's been discussed here.

This is what it would look like in your search bar -


February 22, 2017 7:22 PM

Maiwenn is a somewhat popular name in France, especially in Bretagne, where it is widely accepted as a Breton name combining Mary (or actually its Breton or French equivalent) and Gwenn, the latter of which is described as meaning "blanc" and, variously, "pur" or "sacré" (white, pure, sacred).

I think it would be accurate to call it a Celtic name meaning "fair Mary", leaving the exact definition of "fair" just as ambiguous as in the original.

February 22, 2017 9:28 PM

Thanks! This is helpful!