Welsh Names | Welsh Wednesdays

Rhys is a Welsh name with Welsh etymology. It means enthusiasm, but it's heritage and history goes far beyond that one-word definition.

I have always, always been interested in etymology. Even as a little kid, I loved looking through the big baby names books and looking to see what my favorite names meant. So, after I became obsessed with Wales and all things Welsh, I knew that I was going to use Welsh names for my children…all I had to do was convince my husband!

Rhys is a Welsh name with Welsh etymology. It means enthusiasm, but it's heritage and history goes far beyond that one-word definition.

Rhys was an all-time favorite Welsh name of mine. It is easy to say, sounds smooth, and has a proud heritage. Many princes and warriors have been named Rhys in Welsh history. The most famous of all is Prince Rhys ap Gruffydd. He held Wales together while the Norman kinds, especially ruthless Henry II, tried to bring Wales under their rule. Rhys stood up for the rights of the Welsh and kept them united. He ruled most of Southern Wales. Prince Rhys was a smart tactician and politician. He was very witty and wise. He also is the ancestor of Henry VII, who began the Tutor Reign.

Rhys is also in many fantasy books and videogames. They all happen to be red-headed warriors. Well, I knew I wanted my son to be a red-headed warrior who was proud of his Welsh heritage, as I am. It helps to now know that Justin’s family tree includes many Dark Age Irish, Scottish, and Welsh kings and princes, including King Arthur himself!

When I brought up to my husband my burning desire to name our firstborn son Rhys, he was ok with it. Mainly because one of his favorite characters from his favorite series of videogames, Fire Emblem, had a red-headed warrior healer named Rhys.

The true etymology of Rhys is “enthusiasm”, and our son Rhys definitely has an enthusiasm for life!

[ctt title=”Do your children exemplify the meaning of their names? @themorrelltale \’s does!” tweet=”Do your children exemplify the meaning of their names? @themorrelltale ‘s does!” coverup=”V0CfJ”]

Some other famous Rhyses are John Rhys-Davies (Gimli on Lord of the Rings) and Rhys Ifans the actor.

We have decided to have Welsh names be part of all our kids’ names, either the first or middle name. If this baby #2 happens to be a girl, we already have a name picked out: Irish first name and Welsh middle name.

Do you have any Welsh names or know someone who does? What is it and what does it mean?

Make sure you check out Llinos’s post to see what her very Welsh name means!

Join Llinos from the Lilac Linnet and Tayler from The Morrell Tale on the last Wednesday of every month for Welsh Wednesdays!Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • I enjoyed reading about the history of Rhys!

    • Thanks! I love his name so much!

  • I think it’s really cool that you chose a name so tightly linked to your own heritage. I don’t know yet if we’ll give our kids Spanish names or not. They’ll already have a practically unpronounceable Spanish surname (unpronounceable in Asia, anyways), so having Spanish first names might be a little bit hard if they’re going to grow up in a part of the world where no one speaks Spanish…

    • I had a friend in my church congregation who married a German–born and bred. They decided to give their children German names, but made sure they were simple, easy to pronounce correctly both in German and English. So, maybe you could do that….like Maria and Jose….

      • That’s definitely true, sticking with simple, classic names means that everyone can pronounce them/understand them!! But I’m really drawn to more unusual names (probably not the biggest surprise)….plus, Angel’s family is huge and there’s nearly one of every name in the family already. His mom is Maria, his cousin is Jose, etc. etc. I guess we’ll just have to see what we decide when the moment finally comes…

  • Desiree @ Macke Monologues

    I love the meaning behind Rhy’s name, and that you’ve done so much research on your names! Aside from your son I don’t think I know any others with Welsh names.