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Brightwen is a unisex baby name that means "bright friend" in Old English from the root words beorht and wine. However, as pointed out by K. M. Sheard, it was also influenced by Beorhtwynn, beorht still meaning "friend," wynn meaning "joy." Brightwyna/Brigthwyna (BRIYT-win-uh seems intuitive but it's likely BRIGT-win-uh) is a strictly female form of the name, a variant of Brichtwyn (BRIKT-win), which may be related to the Dutch name Brecht (BREKT), whose feminine form is Brechtje (BREKT-yeh). Its other close relations Robert and Albert may be more familiar. Brithwen, Beorhtwynn, and Brichtwen could be other forms. We also know of Beorhtwulf, which was used around 840 on medieval Anglo-Saxons, possibly a king. The bert/beorht element was not uncommon.

Brightwen may be more often found as a surname, as in the case of Scottish naturalist Eliza Brightwen. It is important to note that the surname developed after the Norman Conquest, while the given name existed beforehand. However, namesakes do exist for Brightwen as a given name, they are just harder to find. Brightwen Binyon is one, an English architect born in 1856.

Here is one source, here is a longer explanation, and here is one more. This name is not used, nor any of the variant forms. I cannot find any examples of them being used within the last few decades.


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