Bala Cynwyd lies in the Welsh Tract of Pennsylvania, and was settled in the 1680s by Welsh Quaker settlers, who named it after the Welsh town of Bala and the Welsh village of Cynwyd. The American "Cynwyd" is, however, now pronounced /'kɪnwɪd/ ("kinwid"), not /'kənwɪd/ as it would be in the original Welsh pronunciation . It is often pronounced locally as /'kɪnwʊd/ ("kinwood").
Bala Cynwyd is a village in Lower Merion Township which is located in the Main Line in southeastern Pennsylvania, bordering the western edge of Philadelphia. It was originally two separate towns, Bala and Cynwyd, but is commonly treated as a single community. This came about when a single US Post Office was constructed to service both towns (The "Bala Cynwyd" Branch). Bala and Cynwyd are still served by separate stations on SEPTA's R6 Regional Rail line.
Among the claimants for First Boy Scout Troop in the United States is Troop 1 in Bala Cynwyd.