Selwyn: History, Meaning and Origin

The striking, typically masculine name Selwyn, with several alternate spellings including Selvin and Selwin, has a history of Anglo-Saxon (synonymous with Old English) origin and became a surname as well as given name after the Norman Invasion of 1066 when the French introduced the concept of family names to the Anglo-Saxons.

The meaning of Selwyn is derived from the Old English root word “sele”, which translates to house,hall, or castle; and wyn’s roots come from “wine” or “win”, which interestingly translates as both literal wine and friend.


Selwyn was not in the top 100 baby boys names in England in 2015.

Famous Selwyns

The popularity of Selwyn increased after a 19th-century Bishop named George Augustus Selwyn rose to fame.

There are a few current famous Selwyns such as Selwyn Ward, an actor best known for his role as a red Power Ranger in “Power Rangers in Space” and “Power Rangers Turbo”; Selwyn Whalley, a British football player; and Selwyn Brown, the keyboardist of the reggae band Steel Pulse. The name Selwyn is still quite an uncommon however, and its obsurity would prove to be an unique name with a rich history for your future child.

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and popularity of other English names on our website