3 Long Forms of Wendy

Wendy from Peter Pan, from blogger.com

This post is brought to you from the Las Vegas of the North today, since I’m currently in Blackpool for the start of their annual illuminations which light up the coast through to the depths of October – rather brilliantly extending the holiday season for Blackpool by two months.

But onto the premise of the post. Should you visit Disneyland Paris, one of the rides with the biggest queues is Peter Pan, for reasons still not quite clear to me. I last went to Disneyland last summer for a day trip and remember that my sister and I specifically fetched fast passes to go on the ride as we reckoned, with such a long line, the ride must be good since people queue up for so long to go on it. We say this everytime we go, and come out of the ride in the same way, wondering why we had bothered. It must be magical for the younger generation, but my sister in particular is never impressed, and went as far as [jokingly] trying to push Wendy off the plank whilst the ride was in motion last summer.

Does this all have a point? Why, yes it does because the origins of Wendy are often given as being a name penned by J.M.Barrie when he first wrote Peter Pan. It also has roots as a nickname of the Welsh name Gwendolen, which means fair, blessed or white, but it was when Barrie used the name that it really entered the public conscious. It seems apt, then, that the names on the following list have all been given wide coverage following a high-profile use.

Unlike with the Tilly post, I did not set out rules for the names to abide by, except for the rule stating that the name should be, in terms of syllables, longer than Wendy. The main reason I set out the rules in the Tilly list was to help cut down my long list of ideas to just 3, whereas with this post I had a pretty good idea of which names I wanted to propose.

1. Rowena

Most people have heard of the unisex Rowan, but it wasn’t until Harry Potter hit the shelves that people began to hear about Rowena  on a grand scale as she’s the name of one of the four founders of HogwartsRowena Ravenclaw. What with life never being easy, Rowena isn’t simply the name Rowan dressed up a bit.

Sir Walter Scott came before J.K.Rowling, and used the name Rowena in his work Ivanhoe, which predates Harry Potter by over a century as it was published in 1819. The work also helped promote my local hero, Robin Hood, as a noble outlaw. Lady Rowena appears in the book as the love interest of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, and one of the reasons his father disowns him in the opening part.

As for where the name itself comes from, it’s often cited as being from Germanic sources, notably coming from

  • hrod, meaning fame
  • wynn, meaning joy

2. Guinevere/Gwenevere

It’s a bit of a stretch perhaps to get to Wendy if you opt for the Guinevere spelling, but such is the nature of the beast, and I know of people who say that name as GWEN-a-vir rather than GUIN-a-vir, regardless. The name itself was popularised by the Legend of King Arthur, whose wife was a Guinevere. The character was also noted for engaging in an affair with Sir Lancelot, which in turn led to Mordred intiating the Battle of Camlann, leading to the death of both him and Arthur.

The name itself comes from the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar, a combination of the elements gwen and hwyfar. Whilst the former is known to mean white, the origin of the latter part is less concrete. It could mean smooth, but there’s no real evidence for this. It’s also been linked to the Welsh word gwyf, which I’ve only found to mean what extends.

3. Endellion

Two other names fighting for this place were Anwen and Bronwen, but Endellion won this coveted spot because she contains more syllables than Wendy, thus qualifies better as a long form of the name. David Cameron really put this name on the map when he gave it to his youngest daughter, Florence, whose first name we suggested nicknames for many posts ago. Cameron was inspired by the Cornish surroudings which served as an unexpected backdrop for Florence’s arrival.

King Arthur’s goddaughter was named Endellion, which prompted The Daily Mail to go into terrible headline overdrive, and the Saint herself was said to be the daughter of King Brychan. She was also a reclusive virgin and known as Endelienta or Endelient as opposed to Endellion on occasion; the Cornish name for the village named after her is Sen Endelyn, and Endelyn would sit pretty with Emmalyn et al. of today.

As for how you say this name, I say en-DEE-lie-on mostly because I’m a fool who likes to say things foolishly, although that means that the name rhymes with dandelion. Other pronunciations that have been given are end-del-EE-on and en-DEL-yon – these are likely to been more accurate.

— There is likely to be just one post this weekend, which will either be the Weekend Post or Names of the Week, because of my jolly to Blackpool. The one not posted will make an appearance on Monday.

Categories: Girl Names | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “3 Long Forms of Wendy

  1. I must say that Wendy is not a name which appeals to me – I prefer the long forms much more than the nickname!

    Endellion is fascinating; I never knew there was confusion over the pronunciation – I mean it’s a town, surely there’s just one way to say the name of the town?

    I assumed it was en-DELL-yon, although it looks like en-DEL-yee-on!


  2. Apparently David and Samantha were married on St Endellion’s Day!

    Expect a John or a Sylvester to turn up if we ever have a son, haha!!!


  3. Mouse

    I’m aware this is an old post, but I just want to set the record straight. I’m Cornish and grew up within a stone’s throw of St Endellion. The proper pronunciation is en-DELL-ee-un which sounds more like en-DELL-yun when said in my accent. Anything else is wrong. The emphasis is definitely on the DELL and it sounds nothing like dandelion.


  4. Pingback: Don’t Starve | Mer de Noms

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