Lewis comes from the often misinterpreted / abbreviated clerical approximation of Llywelyn (a name of many Welsh princes, Kings and leaders – see Llywelyn) especially when the first letters of Llywelyn were often turned to Lew by non Welsh speakers that could not fathom Llywelyn. It became more common from the 15th century onwards but Llywelyn did not disappear- both names existing side by side, sometimes within the same name i.e. Lewis Llywelyn. It has become especially popular in the USA where it is one of the most popular surnames. Lewys is also another form of Lewis.
Famous people with the Welsh surname Lewis include:
Lennox Lewis – A formidable boxer who retired as Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion of the world after beating Mike tyson in one of his final fights.
Juliette Lewis – Hollywood actress and singer.
Carl Lewis – American sprinter / athlete who won many medals including 9 gold Olympic medals and 8 World Championship medals. He has had numerous accolades including being voted ‘Sportsman of the century’ by the International Olympic Committee’.
Saunders Lewis – Poet, dramatist, historian, literary critic, political activist, Welsh nationalist and a founder of what would become Plaid Cymru / The Party of Wales, a party advocating independence for Wales as a country.
Sinclair Lewis – American author and first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
CS Lewis – Author best known for his works, The Chronicles of Narnia.
Meriwether Lewis – An American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Lloyd comes from the Welsh name and word for grey / brown which is Llwyd. The name is also found as Loyd, Floyd, Flwyd and Flood, developing through attempts by non Welsh speakers to spell the unique Welsh ‘ll’ sound. The original Welsh Llwyd is still a current and used name in Wales both as a first name and surname.
Famous people with the Welsh surname Lloyd include:
Harold Clayton Lloyd, Sr – A Welsh American film actor and producer, most famous for his silent comedies. Harold Lloyd ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era of the 20’s and 30’s.
Frank Lloyd Wright – A Welsh American and one of the most famous and pioneering architects of the 20th century.
Sampson Lloyd – Co founder of Lloyds banks, one of the world’s biggest banks.
Llwyd is the Welsh word for grey / brown which was first used as a Welsh first name and also developed into Lloyd / Floyd etc (see Lloyd).
Famous people with the Welsh surname Llwyd include:
Edward Lhuyd – Sometimes rewritten as Llwyd in recent times, he was a Welsh naturalist, botanist, linguist, geographer and antiquary. He’s also known by the Latinized form of his name, Eduardus Luidius.
Llywelyn is a Welsh first name of considerable antiquity and has traditionally been the name of Welsh princes and Kings. Variants of spellings, especially clerical misspellings, have resulted in a broad range of different spellings; it can be found as Lewelin, Lewhellin, Llewheling, Llewhellin, Llewhelling, Whellin, Whelling, Wellins, Lello, Lellow, Llelo and Flello. Loveling, ovell and Lewis are also thought of as derivatives of Llywelyn / Llewelyn / Llewellyn, as are Llywela, Llewella and Llewela as female first names.
Famous people with the Welsh surname Llywelyn include:
Gruffydd ap Llywelyn – Leader who became Welsh King and achieved Sovereign Unification for Wales in 1057.
Desmond Wilkinson Llewelyn – A Welsh actor famous for playing Q in 17 of the ‘James Bond’ films between 1963 and 1999.