Uther


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Celtic

Meaning: “the terrible.”

Pronunciation: (OO-thur)

Nicknames: Utho

Detail: Possibly of Celtic origin and means “the terrible”.

In Celtic mythology, Uther Pendragon is Arthur‘s father in the Arthurian ledgends.

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Nimue


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Welsh

Pronunciation: (NIM-oo-ay)

Nicknames: Nim, Moon

Detail: A moon goddess who was sometimes called Lady of the Lake. The Lady of the Lake is usually referred to by various spellings of the names Nimue or Vivienne.

Nimue is thought to be related to Mneme, the shortened form of Mnemosyne, one of the nine water-nymph Muses of Roman and Greek Mythology who gave weapons, not unlike Arthur‘s sword, to the heroic Perseus.

Gawain


Beheading of the Green Knight, Cotton Nero

Gender: Masculine

Origin: Welsh

Meaning: “White hawk of battle.”

Pronunciation: (GOW-wihn)

Detail: Gawain is King Arthur‘s nephew and a Knight of the Round Table. He is one of a select few of the Round Table members to be referred to as the greatest knight. And he is quite a chivalrous knight, most notably in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Eluned


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Welsh

Meaning: debated “She of Great Desire.” “Idol; image.”

Eluned derived from Welsh -el “greatly, much” + (i)uned “wish, desire.” Or from Welsh eilun “image, idol.”

Pronunciation: Eng (eh-LOON-ed); Welsh (el-EEN-ed)

Detail: Eluned was a handmaiden of the Lady of the Fountain in the Welsh Arthurian romance Owein. She had a magic ring which rendered the wearer invisible – one of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. Eluned’s beauty and intelligence were legendary. This was also the name of a 5th-century Welsh saint.

Nicknames: Luna, Elle, Lena, Lune, Ned

Variations:

  • Alud (Welsh)
  • Eiluned (Welsh)
  • Elined (Welsh)
  • Eliwedd (Welsh)
  • Elyned (Welsh)
  • Lenae
  • Linetta
  • Luned (Welsh)
  • Lunet
  • Lunetta
  • Lunette (French)

Arthur


painting by Frank Dicksee

Name Day: November 15

Gender: Masculine

Origin: debated

Meaning: (Celtic) “Bear; Stone” (Germanic) “Thor, eagle.”

Nicknames: Art, Artie, Thor

Detail: King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against the Saxon invaders in the early 6th century.

Lucius Artorius Castus was a Roman officer who lived in the late second century.

St. Arzhel was born in Wales in 482, founded a monastery in the Forest of Broceliande in Brittany. Famed as a magician, Arzhel was summoned to King Childebert’s court in Paris. After his death, Arzhel’s name was invoked to end droughts.

Variations:

  • Aart (Dutch)
  • Anthanasios (Greek)
  • Artair (Scottish)
  • Artek (Polish), Artis (Czech)
  • Arto (Finnish)
  • Artorius (Latin)
  • Artturi (Finnish)
  • Arturo (Italian and Spanish)
  • Arzhel (Celtic) [AHR-zel]
  • Arzhul (Celtic) [AHR-zool]
  • Arzhur (Celtic) [AHR-zoor]
  • Atze (German)
  • Thanasis (Greek)
  • Thanos (Greek)

Isolde


Sophia Myles

 

Gender: Feminine

Meaning: (Welsh) “Beautiful; fair lady.” Or (Germanic) “Ice princess.”

Pronunciation: (ih-ZOLD)

Origin: The origin of Isolde is somewhat disputed. It might derive from the Welsh word “esyllt,” meaning “beautiful”; it might also derive from the Germanic words for “ice” and “to rule.”

Detail: In Arthurian legend, this is the name a tragic princess who was the lover of Tristan.

Variations:

  • Essylt (Old Irish)
  • Esyllt (Welsh)
  • Iseult (Old French)
  • Ishild (Ancient Germanic)
  • Isold (English)
  • Isolda (English)
  • Isolina (Italian)
  • Isolt (English)
  • Isolte (English)
  • Isotta (Italian)
  • Izolda (Polish)
  • Yseult (Old French)
  • Ysolt (Celtic)