Instead of looking at just the one name today, we’re instead going to ponder about two.
First off is Brunel, famously the surname of the great civil engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Then we have Brunel University, founded in 1966 and named for the engineer; you can find it located in Uxbridge, London.
The surname has seen countless variation in it’s centuries long history, but is most likely to have derived from the German brun, meaning brown.
Aside from the surname, there exists a female name: Brunella, which is a feminine form of Bruno.
Brunella also happens to be the original Latin name for a plant known as selfheal. However, both Brunel and Brunelle are now unused alternative names for the plant, with the modern name being Prunella.
Then we have Bowen.
Again, Bowen is a surname of Welsh origins meaning son of Owain; Owain being the Welsh version of Owen.
As always seems the way, these deceptively simple looking names are not so simple to explain their meanings, although it is most probable that they are related to several other names, namely: Eoghan, Ewan and Eugene.
Eoghan is an Irish name, whose meaning is usually given as born from the yew tree. Eoghan could also be a variant of Eugene, a name which comes from the Greek Eugenios and means well-born. As for Ewan, he’s considered to be a Scottish offshoot of this particular cluster of names.
Other variants of Owain include the medieval Welsh name Ywein and Yvain; the latter coming from Arthurian Legend as the name of one of the Knights of the Round Table.