Where did the baby name Gwyned come from in 1948?

Photo of Gwyned Filling in Life magazine in 1948.

In 1948, the name Gwyned was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data. In fact, it was the top one-hit wonder of the year.

  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted
  • 1948: 9 baby girls named Gwyned [debut]
  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A 23-year-old career girl named Gwyned Filling.

In May of 1948, she was profiled in Life magazine in a 12-page, 24-image photo essay called “The Private Life of Gwyned Filling.” A 25th image of Gwyned was featured on the cover.

Gwyned, a recent college graduate from Missouri, was working in New York City as a copywriter at the Newell-Emmett advertising agency for $52 a week. The photos showed Gwyned in her day-to-day life: quarreling with her roommate Marilyn in their 11×15-foot apartment, eating breakfast at the diner for 15¢, going on a date, running to work in the rain, and so forth.

“In a world where television was still a novelty, the story turned her into a minor celebrity. The issue sold so fast it had to be reprinted in the first week.”

The very first paragraph of the accompanying article revealed that Gwyned’s mother Mildred had discovered the name “Gwyned” in the society column of a newspaper. Life called it an “odd name.” (It may have been based on Gwynedd, the name of an ancient kingdom in Wales.)

In November of the same year, Life gave readers an update on Gwyned: she had quit her job and married a co-worker named Charlie. For their honeymoon, they took a cruise to the Caribbean.

What are your thoughts on the name Gwyned? Do you like it more or less than the similar name Gwyneth?

P.S. Thank you to Becca for calling my attention to Gwyned a few years ago!


Image: © 1948 Life

5 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Gwyned come from in 1948?

  1. I prefer Gwyneth – it has a softer sound. With the “G” and “D” in Gwyned it has a lot of
    hard consonants . Just my preference.

  2. I like “Gwyned” much more. It’s more unique, and stronger sounding.

    I wouldn’t name a baby girl “Gwyneth” because the first thing everyone would think of would be Gwyneth Paltrow, who is going to be the only other “Gwyneth” most people know.

    And THANK YOU, by the way, for this informative article!

  3. My name is Gwyned. My mother had seen the article on Gwyned Filling in Life and the name stuck with her. I was born in 1953. I’ve spent many years spelling and pronouncing my name for others. I was so grateful when Gwyneth Paltrow came along. Now I say, like Gwyneth Paltrow, but ending in a “d” not a “th’.

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