Meaning and Origin of Cenydd

The Welsh male name Cenydd is a prime representative of the Gaelic names surviving centuries of modification into more widely used modern forms. The Brittonic Celt pronunciation of Cenydd is either Kěn-ęth, or Kěn-it. Most people will recognize its modern spelling “Kenneth.”

The meaning of Cenydd, or Kenneth is roughly translated from the ancient Welsh word for “handsome.” Originally, it was not used as a name, but an affinitive and descriptive term for a man who has earned great praise, or social prominence.


Cenydd, or Kenneth seems to have experienced a reemergence in the past few decades. Many famous people from a variety of English speaking countries bear this name. Kenneth Branaugh is a world famous actor and Shakespearean scholar. Kenneth Cole is the founder of a major fashion company. Kenneth G. Mills was a concert pianist and philosopher, and Kenneth L. Tallman was the Superintendent of the US Air Force.

Famous People Called Cenydd

It is possible that the most important Cenydd, or Kenneth for Welsh people is Saint Cenydd, the Hermit of Wales. This man was born a misfit and a cripple in the 6th Century A.D. He lived a pagan life in the Welsh region until a series of prayers miraculously cured his ailments. From the time of his healing, he dedicated his life to the downtrodden and poor. Any man bearing the name Kenneth reminds Welsh nationals of this “saint for the common folk.” St. Cenydd’s Day is a Welsh national holiday celebrated on July 1st.

Useful Resources

Checkout the meaning and popularity of other Welsh boys’ names on this website.

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