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Wendy Darling.PNG
Wendy Darling drawn by Oliver Herford in The Peter Pan Alphabet
Pronunciation (/ˈwɛndi/)
Gender Female
Language(s) English
Meaning Welsh-white, holy Germanic-to wander, change, the Vandals
Other names
Alternative spelling Wendi
Related names Gwendolyn, Gwen, Wendeline, Wendelinda

Wendy is a given name generally given to girls in English-speaking countries.

The name is found in United States records from the 19th century; the name Wendy appeared over twenty times in the U.S. Census of 1880. In Britain, Wendy appeared as a name for both women and men in the 1881 census of England, and was occasionally used as a diminutive for the Welsh Gwendolyn. It was also used as a surname in Britain from at least the 17th century.[1] However, its existence in Britain as a feminine name is owed to the character Wendy Darling from the 1904 play Peter Pan and its 1911 novelization Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie.[2][3][4] Its popularity reached a peak in the 1960s but subsequently declined.[5] The name was inspired by young Margaret Henley, daughter of Barrie's poet friend W. E. Henley. With the common childhood difficulty pronouncing Rs, Margaret reportedly used to call him "my fwiendy-wendy".[6][7]

The name Wendy is sometimes considered a variation of the (originally Polish) name Wanda.[8]

The name Wendy in Dutch is either of Anglo-Saxon origin or an abbreviation of names such as Wendela (an old-fashioned name which probably means related to the Vandals).

Chinese women with the same or similar-sounding characters as their given names often anglicise their names as Wendi or Wendy (e.g. Wendi Deng, Wendy Kweh).

In Germany, after 1986, the name Wendy became popular because it is the name of a magazine (targeted specifically at young girls) about horses and horse riding.


In film, television, and radio[edit]

In sports[edit]

In the arts[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ James Heath, John Phillips (1675). A Chronicle of the Late Intestine War in the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland (2nd ed.). London: J.C. for Thomas Basset. p. 480. 
  2. ^ Was the name Wendy invented for the book Peter Pan? at The Straight Dope
  3. ^ Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, Dictionary of First Names, 1990
  4. ^ "Before this, the name simply didn't exist! The History of the name "Wendy"". Archived from the original on June 27, 2001. 
  5. ^ http://www.babynames.co.uk/names/wendy/
  6. ^ "The History of Wendy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  7. ^ Winn, Christopher (2005). I Never Knew That About England. Ebury Press. p. 4. ISBN 9780091902070. 
  8. ^ Think Baby Names - Wanda