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Wendy is a given name generally given to females 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 females and males 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. However, its popularity in Britain as a girl's name is attributed to the character Wendy Darling from the 1904 play Peter Pan and its 1911 novelization Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie; reaching its peak in the 1960s but has since rapidly declined.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'.
The name Wendy is sometimes considered a variation of the (originally Polish) name Wanda.
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).
Various Chinese rulers have held the name and title Emperor Wen, which in Chinese is read Wen(-)di (文帝). 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 as it is the name of a magazine (targeted specifically at young girls) about horses and horse riding.
In film, television, and radio
- Wendy Beckett, nun and TV presenter on art history
- Wendy Calio (born 1977), American actress
- Wendy Craig (born 1934), British actress
- Wendy Hiller, English film and stage actress
- Wendy Hurrell (born 1982), British weather presenter
- Wendy Kaufman, television personality and former Snapple spokesperson
- Wendie Malick, born Wendy Malick, American actress and former fashion model
- Wendy Mesley, host and reporter for CBC Television's consumer investigation series Marketplace
- Wendy Richard (1943-2009), British actress
- Wendy Toye (1917-2010), British actress and filmmaker
- Wendy Williams, longtime radio host, media personality and author
In the arts
- Wendy Carlos, American composer
- Wendy Holden (born 1961), British journalist and author
- Wendy Holden (born 1965), British chick-lit novelist
- Wendy James, Transvision Vamp's singer
- Wendy Melvoin, musician and composer
- Wendy Pepper, fashion designer
- Wendy Shon, known simply as Wendy, Korean singer with Red Velvet (band)
- Wendy Sulca, Peruvian singer
- Wendy Whelan, New York City Ballet principal dancer
- Wendy O. Williams, stripper turned punk rocker and leader of the Plasmatics