Dating back to Medieval times, Owen is an anglicized version of Owain. (An anglicized name is a non-English name given English spelling.) This legendary name means "noble," well-born," or "young warrior."
The name belonged to a 6th-century Welsh prince, Owain ap Urien, who bravely fought against the Angles alongside his father Urien, king of Rheged. Owain's bravery was legendary, and he became inspiration for one of the knights of the round table in the mythical tales of King Arthur. This knight was also known as Ywain, Yvain, Ivan, and Iwain.
In some cases, Owen may also be an anglicized version of the name Eoghan. This is an ancient Irish name, more commonly anglicized as Eugene.
There are a few slight differences in the pronunciation of the name Owen – "o-in," "o-uhn," "o-win," and "o-wuhn" are all common variations.
With a rich history characterized by bravery and nobility, it makes sense that Owen has been given to many fictional heroes. Owen Grady is the lead male protagonist in the film Jurassic World. And on Grey's Anatomy, Owen Hunt is a retired military surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Owen hasn't earned a spot in the top 10 baby names in the United States, but is has steadily increased in popularity since 1995. In 2020, it reached number 22 on the Social Security Administration's list of top baby names.
Internationally, Owen is a hit in England, Wales, and Scotland. Interestingly, the name appears to be waning in popularity on the other side of the pond. Owen's popularity peaked in 2002 and has steadily declined since then.
Owen is typically used as a boy's name but has been used as a girl's name, too. Sing-songwriter Michelle Branch named her daughter Owen Isabelle in 2005. There is also a beautiful feminine variation of the name: Owena.
Owen has nobility in its past and we're certain this name has a remarkable future for brave boys and girls. We won't be surprised if this "young warrior" eventually fights its way to the top ten baby names in the United States.
Owain ap Dyfnwal : Tenth-century King of Strathclyde, which is now southern Scotland and Northern England
Owen Wilson : Award-winning actor, screenwriter, and comedian best known for Wedding Crashers, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Bottle Rocket
Owen Davis : Playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner known for the plays Icebound and Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model
Owen Nolan : Canadian hockey player who was selected as an NHL All-Star five times
Owen Husney : Music manager best known for his role in signing Prince to Warner Bros in 1977
Owen King : Novelist, television producer, and the son of authors Tabitha and Stephen King
Clive Owen : English actor who starred in Sin City and Children of Men
Owen Nolan : hockey player
Owen Wilson : actor
Owen Daniels : football player
Owen Moore : actor
Owen Pearce : actor
Owen Tolson : football player