Glynis Johns
Glynis Johns; Image by joanna tidball via Flickr

Looking for a modern name that still reads Granny chic?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Actress Glynnis O’Connor is who I immediately think of with this name.

    I generally like girls’ names that begin with Gl- and often recommend Glynis to people who say they are looking for something different.

  2. I can never keep Glynis Johns and Gwen Verdon straight in my head. Both were Broadway actresses with Welsh names and red hair (at least some of the time). I was about to look up Glynis Johns to remember which one she was, but as soon as you mentioned Mary Poppins… I got the “Votes for Women” verse from Step in Time stuck in my head.

    I love the “-is” ending in girls names: Agnes, Ailis, Lois, Charis, Persis, Nerys. While a lot of these names have a old-fashioned quality that some parents will find a bit musty. I just find it refreshing to consider a name that doesn’t end in a vowel. Glynis is lovely.

    I kind of like Gladys, it has such a happy sound.

  3. I’m a fan of Glynis Johns and I think you described her perfectly: not well-known, but certainly memorable. The name Glynis itself is pretty (in a fashion similar to the words glitter and glimmer), but I have a difficult time saying it without thinking “Johns” as a silent addendum in my head.

  4. See I like Gertrude a lot. I see no difference between:

    They all sound like clunky names and I love clunky names. Obviously not everyone will like those names but I seriously don’t see why Gertrude is on all the hate lists, I think it is an adorable name and the nn Gerty or Trudy make it even greater.
    I guess to each their own because I see a lot of names that are thrown around as ‘great’ names and I just see the appeal.

  5. I’m surprised that I actually like Glynis! I think this would be a great way to honor a Gladys with something more modern sounding. I do agree though with Patricia that circa 2011 the most usable of Gl names is Gloria, then Glynis, then Gladys.

  6. Being the huge Smashing Pumpkins fan that I am, I videotaped the live No Alternative performance when it aired and I had the CD. So yeah, I’ve hear the name Glynis before. I actually had it on a list for a while, but not for babies. I was a writer in college. My area of study was creative writing and I had a ton of interesting names lined up for my stories.

    But would I use the name in real life? Not a chance. This one should go the way of Gertrude, Eunice, and Edith. Blech.

    BTW – did you get my email about Meredith/Edith? Is there a connection?

      1. I have a friend named Meredith (who I’m sure would not want to be called Edith), so this query interests me. I had never noticed Edith as part of the name Mer -edith before. It seems that may be merely a coincidence. According to a couple of UK dictionaries of first names, the sources of the two names are very different. Edith is from a fairly common Old English name Eadgyth, a name which survived the Norman Conquest, “probably because of the popularity of St Eadgyth (962-84), daughter of King Edgar”. On the other hand, Meredith is from the Old Welsh male personal name, Maredudd. “Today Meredith is perhaps commoner among females that it is among men, especially in the USA, promoted by a female character called Meredith…in the popular novel “National Velvet” (1935).”

  7. This reminds me of other names I have discovered I like:
    I never thought I would see the day that I stated a liking to any of these names… Goes to show how much tastes change!

    1. Gladys on a baby/ little girl/ teen? The only Gladys I know (of retirement age) doesn’t seem to particularly like her name. ( A male colleague and friend used to call her, in a fond way, Glad-@ss.) I would rate Glynis more appealing than Gladys, and Gloria the most usable of the three in 2011.

  8. I was a fan of Glynis Johns years ago and just now googled her name to see if she’s still living. She is –and is 88 years old. According to a Wikipedia article, she was born in Pretoria, South Africa, because her parents – Alys Maude, a pianist, and Mervyn Johns (1899

  9. I always find myself strangely attracted to Welsh names. Even if nothing else really appeals to me about the name, just knowing it’s Welsh makes it somehow charming. Glynis is one of those names that has always been fascinating to me, yet is eternally dowdy sounding at the same time…

  10. Yay! Thanks, Abby!
    I do freely admit to watching old movie credits for fun names–“The Court Jester” in this case, I believe.
    I have an slight obsession with Welsh names, and adding onto that the cute nicknames of Glyn or Nissa, and absence of a usual “girly” ending, Glynis is just a total winner in my book. Now to get my husband over his anti-“old lady”-name bent…