Eilonwy



Origin:
Welsh
Gender: Female
Meaning: "River Song" or "Deer River"
Pronunciation: ay-LON-wee, eye-LON-we
Other Forms: N/A

Though I was born in 1996, I had a wealth of movies, especially cartoons, dating back much further. All of it was thanks to my parents, who usually got me movies from their own childhood and teen years. One of those older movies was The Black Cauldron, and I remember it being a favorite (and who knows, it may have sparked my love of all things fantasy!). Little did I know then that the movie was based on a book series called the The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. One of the main characters was a Princess named Eilonwy, a name that I've been deeply enchanted by!

While many believed Eilonwy to be an invention by Prydain, it actually has roots dating back at least to the 19th century. In a tale by Owen Wynne Jones, known more commonly by his bardic name of Glasynys, Eilonwy is the name of a mermaid's daughter. Another bard, Talhaiarn, used it as the name of one of his poems. The name itself comes from the Welsh poetic word eilon, meaning "deer, stag" or "song". The last part, wy, is a suffix used on the ends of river names, common in the 19th century.

In the books, she is a powerful enchantress like all of her line, including her mother Angharad (another splendid Welsh name), with red-gold hair and blue eyes. She is no damsel-in-distress, either, but instead is brave and brash, with a temper to match her fiery hair.

I think this is just a stunning name, perfect for fantasy lovers, families of Welsh descent, and those who wish to drift away from the "typical" set of Princess names.

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