Owen (name)

Owen (name)

Owen is an anglicized variant of the Welsh name Owain, and may appear as both a personal name and as a surname (with or without the s as in Owens [son of Owen] ). Owen is cognate with Eugene meaning noble-born.[1][2] The name corresponds with Irish "Eoghan".[1][2] An alternate but less likely origin of the name is with the Celtic name "Esugenos", meaning "engendered of Esos".[1] However scholar Dr. Rachel Bromwich notes that Owein is usually latinized as "Eugenius", "[I]t seems most natural to regard both the Welsh and Irish forms as derivations of the Latin," T.J. Morgan cites Bromwich as commenting.[1] Variants of the name Owen and Owain include "Ewein, Iguein, Owein, Ouein, Ywein, Ywain, Yuein, and Yvain". Owen has also been latinized as "Oenus" and as "Audoenus", which has evolved into another variant Audoen.[1] Patronymics include "Bowen" (from "[a]b Owain")[3] and Owens.[1][2]

The names "Ednywein, Ednowain, Ednywain, Ednywen" are associated with Owain, and "appears to be a name constructed by a reshuffle of the naming elements, i.e. taking 'Edn'- from 'Ednyfed' and putting it before 'Owain'".[1]



Notable people with the surname or first name of Owen include:


  • Gethin Morgan-Owen (1879–1960), Welsh soldier and army administrator in India
  • Hugh Morgan-Owen (1882–1953), Welsh international footballer
  • Morgan Morgan-Owen (1877–1950), Welsh international footballer
  • Bill Owen (actor) (1914–1999), English actor, father of Tom Owen
  • Cliff Owen (1919–1993), British TV and film director
  • Clive Owen (born 1964), English actor
  • Daniel Owen (1836–1895), Welsh novelist
  • Dicky Owen (1876–1932), Welsh international rugby union player
  • Elias Owen (Welsh cleric) (1883–1899), Welsh cleric and antiquary
  • Elias Owen (footballer) (1863–1888), Welsh international footballer
  • Evelyn Owen (1915–1949), Australian designer of the Owen Sub-Machine Gun
  • Gareth Owen (footballer born 1971), Welsh footballer
  • Gareth Owen (footballer born 1982), Welsh footballer
  • Gilberto Owen (1904–1952), Mexican poet
  • Gordon Owen (born 1959), English footballer
  • Greg Owen (born 1972), English golfer
  • Gwilym Ellis Lane Owen (1922–1982), Welsh philosopher
  • Henry Owen (1716–1795), Welsh theologian
  • Huw Parri Owen (1926–1996), Welsh theologian, writer and academic
  • Ian Owen (born 1948), former Australian rules footballer
  • Jimmy Owen (1864–??), English footballer
  • John Owen, several people, including:
  • Kai Owen (born 1975), Welsh actor
  • Lloyd Owen (born 1966), British actor
  • Malcolm Owen (1955–1980), lead singer of The Ruts
  • Mark Owen (born 1972), English musician and member of Take That
  • Michael Owen (born 1979), English footballer
  • Michael Owen (rugby player) (born 1980), Welsh rugby player
  • Nick Owen (born 1947), English television presenter and newsreader
  • Nora Owen (born 1945), Irish politician
  • Orville Ward Owen (1854–1924), American physician and Baconian
  • Priscilla Owen (born 1954), American judge on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, who was filibustered in the Senate
  • Randy Owen (born 1949), American country musician
  • Ray Owen (1941–2006), English rugby league footballer
  • Richard Owen (1804–1892), English biologist
  • Robert Owen (1771–1858), a Welsh social reformer, considered the "Father" of the cooperative movement
  • Roger Owen (born 1935), British historian
  • Ruth Bryan Owen (1885–1954), member of Congress and U.S. ambassador
  • Sandy Owen (born 1952), American composer/pianist
  • Scott Owen (born 1975), double bass player for Australian rock band The Living End
  • Sid Owen (born 1972), English actor
  • Siobhan Owen (born 1993), Australian harpist
  • Susan Owen, English orthodontic technician and Orthodontic Technicians Association council member
  • Syd Owen (1927–1999), English footballer
  • Tom Owen (actor) (born 1949), English actor; son of Bill Owen
  • Tudor Owen (born 1951), British Judge
  • Walter C. Owen (1868–1934), American judge
  • Wilfred Owen (1893–1918), British World War I poet
  • William Fitzwilliam Owen (1774-1857), British naval officer, hydrographer and explorer.
  • William Owen (judge) (1899–1972), Australian judge
  • William Pierce Owen (1860–1937), Welsh international footballer

Given name

  • Owen Hunt, character in Grey's Anatomy
  • Owen Harper, protagonist in the television series Torchwood
  • Owen Lars, character in the fictional Star Wars universe, "uncle" of Luke Skywalker
  • Owen Lift, played by Danny DeVito, one of the main characters in the 1987 movie Throw Momma from the Train
  • Owen Milligan, character in the Degrassi series
  • Owen Paris, character in the fictional Star Trek universe
  • Owen, character of Total Drama Island
  • Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, American legal television drama, and its title character
  • Owen Meany, title character in John Irving's novel A Prayer For Owen Meany


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Morgan, T.J. and Morgan, Prys, Welsh Surnames, University of Wales, 1985, Owain (Owen, Bowen, Ednowain). According to T.J. Morgan in Welsh Surnames (pp. 172/173) "Owen" is a derivation of the Latin "Eugenis" > [Old Welsh] Ou(u)ein, Eug(u)ein … "variously written in [Middle Welsh] as Ewein, Owein, Ywein. LL gives the names Euguen, Iguein, Yuein, Ouein. The corresponding form in Irish is Eoghan." Morgan notes that there are less likely alternative explanations and agrees with Dr. Rachel Bromwich that Welsh "Owein" "is normally latinized as Eugenius," and both the Welsh and Irish forms are Latin derivatives. Additionally, another latinized variations of the name Owen is "Audoenus" in certain parish registers
  2. ^ a b c Surnames of the United Kingdom, reprinted for Clearfield Company, INC by Genealogical Publishing Co. INC, Baltimore 1995, 1996. Surnames of the United Kingdom notes that the most likely and widely accepted origin of Owen (Old Welsh Owain, Irish Gaelic Eoghan, and Scottish Gaelic Eoghann,) is from Latin Eugenius. Cormic gives this origin for Eogan (one MS, Eogen); and Zimmer considers Owen to be borrowed from Latin "Eugens", as noted by MacBain, p. 400. The mediaeval Latinization of Owen as "Oenus" led to a belief that the etymology was the Welsh and Breton "oen" (lamb). With much stronger reason it was at one tme considered that the name represented Irish "eoghunn" = Gael. Ogan- [f. Old Irish oc- Welsh og, young], "youth".
  3. ^ In the Welsh language, "ap" (derived from old Welsh "map") means "son of".

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