Modern coinage from the Scottish word glen ‘valley’ (Gaelic gleann), in some cases perhaps representing a transferred use of the surname derived from this word. In recent years it has been used far beyond Scotland as a given name. Among well-known bearers of the name is the U.S. country singer Glen Campbell (b. 1936). There has been some confusion with the Welsh name Glyn, which has the same meaning.
Apparently an altered spelling of English Rigden, which Reaney believes to be from Ricdun, a reduced form of the personal name Ricardun, a pet form of Richard. There is no evidence for it as a habitational name: in medieval documents it is never found with a preposition and no relevant place name has been identified.