Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Scottish Surnames


The following surnames are all clan names with their own tartans, often more than one kind i.e. 'hunting' and 'dress'. Some have several branches in different areas which have separate chiefs and tartans. Most clans have several other surnames within them.

Angus Armstrong Baillie
Baird Barclay Bisset
Brodie Bruce Buchan
Buchanan Cameron crooked nose Campbell crooked mouth
Chattan Chisholm Clark
Cochrane Cockburn Colquhoun
Comyn Crawford Dalziel
Davidson Douglas Drummond
Dunbar Dundas Elliot
Erskine Farquharson Ferguson
Fletcher Forbes - forba field/district Fraser de Frisselle, O Fr strawberry?
Galbraith Gordon Gow
Graham Grant Gunn
Hamilton flat topped hill Hannay Hay
Henderson Innes Johnston
Keith Kennedy - 'ugly head' Kerr
Lamont Leith Lennox
Leslie placename, may be 'leas cuilinn' garden of hollies Lindsay placename Lindsey, Lincoln's wetland Livingstone
Logan MacAlister MacAlpine
MacArthur MacAulay MacBean
MacBride MacColl MacDonald
MacDonell MacDougall MacDuff
MacEwan MacFarlane MacGillivray
MacGregor MacInnes MacIntyre
MacKay MacKenzie MacKinley
MacKinnon MacKintosh MacLachlan
MacLaine MacLaren MacLean
MacLennan MacLeod MacMillan
MacNab MacNaughton MacNeil
MacPhee MacPherson MacQuarrie
MacQueen MacRae Malcolm
Matheson Maxwell Menzies
Moncreiffe Montgomerie Morrison
Muir Munro Murray
Nicholson Nisbet Ogilvie
Ramsay Robertson Rose
Ross Scott Shaw
Sinclair Skene Stewart
Stuart Sutherland Teall
Urquhart Wallace Wemyss
Wotherspoon Young  


Many clan and family names are preceded by Mac- or 'son of' so were originally patronymics. Many surnames which are not recognised as a separate clan are associated with one and entitled to wear their chief's tartan. From the C14th on, the Lowlanders were mostly speakers of Scots (a dialect of English) and the Highlanders of Gaelic. By the C15th, bynames and nicknames were becoming inherited surnames in the Lowlands and most people had a fixed family surname by the C16th. In the Highlands, patronymics continued to be used regularly into the C17th century and sometimes later. Until the C17th, a woman always retained her own byname or surname on marriage and it was not common practice for her to adopt her husband's name until the late C19th or early C20th. Modern Scottish law tends to identify a woman by her original name.

Abercrombie Abercromby Abernethy
Acheson Affleck Agnew
Aherne Ainslie Anstruther
Arbuthnot Atholl Auchmulty
Auchnie Austin Bain
Bane Bardon Begley
Bennie Berridge Berryman
Bevan Bignal Birnie
Bleazard Bosanquet Boyd
Brann Burke Burns
Caird Cardew Carrick
Cattanach Cayzer Chalmers
Clunes Coinneach Corsie
Craig Craigie Crerar
Crichton Cunningham Curwen
Darroch Doig Dougan
Dow Dumbreck Duncan
Dyer Elphinstone Esslemont
Fairlie Farquhar Farrell
Fiddes Findlay Finlater
Foulis Gaffron Gale
Gallacher Gallie Geddes
Gilzean Gough Hastie
Hay Henderson Hendry
Jory Kenneil Kermode
Kernuish Kiley Killeen
Kinnear Kirbishly Kivlochan
Knock Kyle strait/channel Lamond
Lauder Lithgow Lloyd
Lochhead Lochore Lyall ON 'Liulfr' + wolf
Lyle from the island MacAlonie MacAra
MacArdle MacArtney MacAsgill
MacAskie MacAuliffe MacAuslane
MacAvoy Macbeth MacBradden
MacBrayne MacCaig MacCall
MacCallum MacCambridge MacCarlich
MacCaw MacChrystal MacClacher
MacClelland MacClements MacClintock
MacCloy MacClung MacCombie
MacCorkill MacCosh MacCrimmon
MacCrindell MacCrum MacCulloch
MacCurtin MacCutcheon MacDade
MacDerment MacDonaugh MacDougal
MacDougall MacDuffie MacEachan
MacElfrish MacEwing MacFadzean
MacFeat MacFee MacFetridge
Macfie MacGachan MacGeechan
MacGhie MacGibbon MacGill
MacGlashan MacGowing MacGugan
MacHardie MacHendrie MacHutchin
MacIan MacIlraith MacIlroy
MacIlvain MacIndeor MacIvor
MacJarrow MacKail MacKechie
MacKeith MacKellar Mackie
MacKillop MacKimmie MacKinder
MacKinlay MacKinley MacKissack
MacLay MacLeay MacLeish
MacManus MacMarquis MacMaster
MacMichael MacMinn MacMurchie
MacNair MacNicol MacNidder
MacOmish MacPartland MacPheeters
MacQuilly MacQuistan MacRaith
MacRanald MacRory MacRuer
MacSporran MacTaggart MacTavish
MacTurk MacVarish MacVurich
MacWatters MacWhirter MacWilliams
Malise Malloch Marnoch
Mcclung McGahey Mcgreal
Mcilwraith McKelvey Mclatchie
McNish Meikle Millar
Moffat Moir Monteith
Mundy Murchie Nairn
Nance Naysmith Negus
Ogg Opie Paisley
Pascoe Peden Penrose
Pew Pitcairn Pitkeathy
Pollock Quarry Quiggin
Rafter Rankeillor Reagh
Reive Rhoney Riach
Riddoch Ring Ritshie
Ryan Scobie Sonnborn
Soutar Strachan Sullivan
Tosh Towrie Trease
Trevean Trewen Uige
Vessy Weir Whearty


toísech leader, chief
escob bishop
ab/abb abbot
mormaer similar to English earl
sacart priest
brithem judge

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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