The name Gwendolyn is a girl's name of Welsh origin meaning "white ring". Gwendolyn is ranked #379 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like British Girl Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "If I had 8 daughters whose names started with...".
From the experts:
One spelling variation that's more popular than the original, this somewhat old-fashioned name might be in honor of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer prize for poetry, or may be a way to get to the modern short form Gwen.
In the Oscar Wilde play, the character's name is spelled the traditional Welsh way, Gwendolen, as it was for one of the principal characters in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, and Gwendolen was also Merlin's wife in Arthurian legend.