In some Arthurian tales a character named "Menw" occurs, e.g. from Kilhwch and Olwen, or The Twrch Trwyth: (emphasis added)

And Arthur called Menw the son of Teirgwaedd, in order that if they went into a savage country, he might cast a charm and an illusion over them, so that none might see them whilst they could see every one.

I wonder how this name (of Welsh origin?) is pronounced in English; or if there is a conventional English pronunciation.

I browsed several dictionaries (Cambridge, Oxford, Webster), but I couldn't find an entry for "Menw", nor any similar names or words. There is a Wikipedia article but unfortunately it doesn't include the name's pronunciation.

If I were to guess, I'd pronounce it "Menew" or "Menoo", i.e. /menuː/ – the first part like men /men/ and the last part like flew /fluː/ or boo /buː/.

Can someone enlighten me, please? Am I on the right track?

  • It's not about the English language. – dwjohnston Sep 14 '18 at 5:20
  • @dwjohnston what do you mean? – Stefan Sep 14 '18 at 6:45
  • Better asked at Linguistics. (like 'menu' without the /y/?) (cognate with 'minnow'?) – AmI Sep 16 '18 at 15:48
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    @AndyT sure, the name is of Welsh origin. But the tales I'm referring to have been translated into English, so there's an English pronunciation for that name. That's what I was asking for. – Stefan Sep 17 '18 at 21:13
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    @Stefan The fact that a story has been translated into English doesn’t mean that personal names in that story have conventional English pronunciations. In some cases, they do end up with English variants or pronunciations (Hansel and Gretel, for instance, or names from Greek mythology), but that doesn’t mean that translating a text makes its characters a matter of English language automatically. There are many names from the Welsh Mabinogion (Bendigeidfran, Branwen ferch Llŷr, Matholwch, etc.), for example, whose ‘English’ pronunciations are just approximations of the Welsh. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 18 '18 at 8:41

Menw (mɛnu).

ɛ = open e



The name Menw is a Welsh baby name. In Welsh the meaning of the name Menw is: Legendary son of Teinkaedd.

— sheknows.com

  • Didn't know about www.sacred-texts.com – what a treasure! – Stefan Sep 11 '18 at 11:09

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