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Is it daft to use Gwilym if we're not Welsh?

(78 Posts)
Laquila Fri 03-Jul-15 16:33:15

This is pretty much the only boys' name I like. My husband's worried that it's "a bit Welsh" (well...duh), although he loves Wales and has a lot of good memories from there. What do you think? Would you automatically assume a Gwilym was Welsh?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 03-Jul-15 16:34:08

Is it William?

RitaCrudgington Fri 03-Jul-15 16:37:24

Look in the mirror. Say the following words out loud.

"Yes, pronounced Gwi-lim.
Yes, it's Welsh.
No, I'm not.
No, he isn't either.
No we just really liked the name"

Repeat twenty times and if you still love the name then go for it.

Laquila Fri 03-Jul-15 16:37:52

I guess it's the Welsh equivalent of William. It's a very old name, I think.

Laquila Fri 03-Jul-15 16:39:57

Hah Rita so I take that to mean you'd assume were Welsh ;)

I'd maybe expect to be asked if we were, but I wouldn't think I'd have to clarify pronunciation that often...would I?! Is it really that little-known in England?

RitaCrudgington Fri 03-Jul-15 16:43:25

The pronounciation isn't that tricky but I do think that everyone will assume you're Welsh and you will have to explain that no you're not. But that's not the worst thing in the world, and as long as you can live with it then why not.

BeautifulRedBoots Fri 03-Jul-15 16:47:02

I know a 50 yo man with this name, who has Welsh parents. He hated it growing up, but nowadays there are many more names around. However, even now he is constantly having to tell people how to pronounce it and spell it, and many people just get it wrong all the time!

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 03-Jul-15 16:49:25

I would not if you are living in England, so many English people are v scathing about anything Welsh and he will prob end up being called 'sheep shagger' or some other original thing when he is at school.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 03-Jul-15 16:58:14


DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 03-Jul-15 17:16:41

So is it pronounced Willam?

I think Willam is a nice name but do the mirror thing before you decide to do the whole Welsh spelling wink

honeysucklejasmine Fri 03-Jul-15 17:21:25

I wouldn't. DF is welsh with a very welsh name. It speaks volumes of his life long difficulty with spelling it out that DPs chose to give us "normal" (his words!) English names, which are also used in Wales, rather than they welsh equivalent.

Think Ann rather than Angharad.

FWIW I like Gwilym, but would not use it unless you live in Wales or are Welsh.

thatstoast Fri 03-Jul-15 17:21:50

Yes. I'd think there's a welsh connection. Nice name though. Move to Wales before you have the baby?

Floggingmolly Fri 03-Jul-15 17:24:04

is it really that little known in England?. Yes. Probably because it's not English; it's Welsh...

batfish Fri 03-Jul-15 19:05:30

I would definitely assume someone with that name was Welsh and I don't know how it is pronounced but I don't think that means you shouldn't use it if you like it! We are using a girls name that is apparently Hungarian!

Laquila Fri 03-Jul-15 20:53:42

Thanks all - food for thought!

Flogging - it seems you're right, and that it's not that well-known in England, but I'm not sure that the logic really follows - there are looooads of non-English names that are well-known in England!

Dame - it's pronounced Gwi-lim, as although it's sort of the equivalent of William, it's still very much a name in its own right (I guess a bit like Guillaume, from which I've always assumed William came).

GinUpGirl Fri 03-Jul-15 21:21:51

I'd assume it was (and you were) Welsh, yes.

seaoflove Fri 03-Jul-15 21:24:36

I think some Welsh names have become mainstream (like Seren) to the point of not needing to be Welsh to use them... but Gwilym is just mega Welsh, so I don't think you could get away with it.

reuset Fri 03-Jul-15 23:25:27

Guillaume is French. William is originally from Willahelm.

What's wrong with plain old William, it smacks of pretension (I'm sure you're not). E.g. would you want to use Johannes instead of John, or Pierre instead of Peter

pootlebug Fri 03-Jul-15 23:29:23

I wouldn't. FWIW I'd never heard of it (English, a few holidays in Wales, don't live anywhere near Welsh borders).

I love love love the name Eilidh. But I'm not Scottish, DH isn't Scottish, no family connection etc - so no. I would use e.g. Fiona - which is Scottish but common as an English name too.

Y0la Fri 03-Jul-15 23:30:17

I don't like the look of that, but I had Olwen on my list. So I say use it if you want to. I don't think people would have given me twenty questions if I'd used Olwen. I kjnow a Bethan and she's never asked if she's Welsh. I'd say about a third of English people have one grandparent who is Irish/Scottish/Welsh. Disclaimer, I plucked that wildly out of thin air! But it is how it seems to me, just chatting to people (not vey scientific I know).

PilchardsonToast Fri 03-Jul-15 23:31:37

If you like it use it- I have a fairly unusual welsh name and live in England (although I am of welsh parents) - I am only very very rarely asked if it and I am Welsh.

MrSlant Fri 03-Jul-15 23:34:20

It's an absolute stunner of a name IMHO. Mostly shortened to Gwil or Wil for English relatives who show no inclination to learn how to say the name of their youngest grandson grin

reuset Fri 03-Jul-15 23:37:10

Your pronunciation is likely to be a bit ropey, also. You not being Welsh and all.

Names like Fiona has no English version, I think that makes it more 'ok' somehow.

PoorNeglectedBike Fri 03-Jul-15 23:38:59

It is a very old man name

Dilligufdarling Fri 03-Jul-15 23:39:12

I knew a Gwillem from Holland - so it's not exclusively Welsh.

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