Scottish names date back to the 9th century and are an integral part of Scotland’s culture. One way this is demonstrated is through the prevalence of “Mc” and “O'” in Scottish last names, which stand for “son of” or a father’s name. These two letters have been around since medieval times, when they were used as a means of distinguishing bloodlines. What has changed recently is that more people from outside Scotland are taking on these traditional surnames as their own, but what does it mean to be named Mc or O’ today?
This blog post will explore 6 things you didn’t know about Scottish Names!
How many people in Scotland actually have these names?
Do “Mc” and “O'” mean the same thing?
Are there any other Scottish surnames with apostrophes or dashes like Mc’Donalds or McDonald’s?
Why is having a name ending in an ‘e’ such as O’Neal popular among Scottish folks?
What does it feel like to have your last name be one of only a handful, rather than being just another Smith or Jones out there?
How do you pronounce Macdonald anyway?! (Listen here) *For those who want to know how they’re pronounced: The letter M at the beginning of these words signifies “son of.”
The media has not told you about Scottish names. It’s time to set the record straight!
Mc means son of, and O’ means descendant of. These are both last name prefixes that can be abbreviated with a dash or an apostrophe in written text.
Only one percent (roughly) of Scots have these as their surnames since it is quite uncommon for people to change their surname upon marriage; therefore, there are very few Macdonalds outside Scotland who do not descend from Scotland. This makes many Scots feel like they’re family no matter where on earth they go like “the McQuaig clan,” because we all share this common lineage back home, even if we’re on the other side of the world.
It’s important to sound out these words in order to know what they mean. For example, Mac means “son” and Quaig or O’Quinn is pronounced with a long E (like egg).
The media has not told you about Scottish names! It’s time for us all to set the record straight by understanding some key facts:
Mc means son of, and O’ descendant of these are common prefixes that can be abbreviated with a dash or an apostrophe when written text. Only one percent (roughly) of Scots have these as their surnames since it is quite uncommon for people to change their surname upon immigration.
The Scottish are not the only ones to have these prefixes O’Brien, O’Neill, and McQuaig are Irish names.
In some cases, Mc or Mac is used as a surname when one’s father has an uncommon name that is difficult for others to pronounce (like “MacDonald”). In other cases, it may be associated with a profession like MacDonalds – those who work in agriculture. Finally, there are many Scots who simply take on their last name from another family member; MacLean takes on his wife’s maiden name after marriage as he assumes her identity while she retains hers at all times. His children will also use the same system of inheritance so they share both parents surnames.
Regardless of the reason for its use, you’ll never find a Scotsman without his surname prefix and to many it’s an important part of their identity.
It is often customary that if one has two last names, they are hyphenated together with Mac or Mc preceding the second name for example: Logan-McPhee would be written as “Logan-MacPhee.” This practice is not universal, but in some cases it can help distinguish between branches within a family tree. It also allows children to know which parent belongs to each side of their heritage. With more than three generations living under one roof (in marriages where there have been multiple divorces), this becomes increasingly difficult otherwise!
The Mc prefix can be traced back to Norman French, where it was used as a way for landowners to identify their status. The McK prefix is from an Irish Gaelic word meaning “son of” or “descendant of.” And let’s not forget the Mac and O’ prefixes!
In both cases, these are pre-Norman influences on surnames in Scotland that have been around since at least the 13th century.
McDonalds? McDonald might actually mean son of Donald (O’) which would make sense if they’re descendants of highland clans like MacDonald or MacLeod. But then again, McDonald could also come from founding father Angus McDonell who settled near Glasgow in 1685 and became known as McDonell the Mc.
The truth is we don’t know for sure, but one thing’s for certain: surnames in Scotland are more diverse than you might think!
Content Marketing Strategy Tip: In your content marketing strategy, be wary of naming conventions that may or may not have deep roots with local audiences. If you’re writing a blog post about food that has international influences without acknowledging these cultural differences, then it will be difficult to create quality long-form content because people who live there already know what they like better. This won’t go over well if you try to tell them how they should feel about their culture just because “it isn’t American.” You’ll end up looking foolish and ignorant to locals.
So, in the case of Scottish names, if you’re going to write about them for an American audience and don’t know much about their culture or what’s different than other cultures with surnames (for example, your name is “Jones” and you live in America), then it would be best to do a little bit more research first before writing anything just yet! You want whoever reads this blog post to feel like they learned something new about Scotland that they didn’t already know – not leave feeling lost because none of this makes any sense without background knowledge.
What are some things I can learn from my own last name? That really depends on where your ancestors came from originally. For instance: people who have Irish or Scottish last names may have an “O'” in their name, like O’Brien or McPherson.
People with German last names will most likely have a “von” prefix to it, such as von Rothschild (or Rozencrantz). People with French-sounding last names often end up being named after places they’re from – for example: Cherbourg McCooler.
There are many other types of surnames you can see if your ancestors came from different countries and the accents might be more pronounced than just the common American accent that we hear on TV! But don’t worry about this too much because by reading this blog post you’ll get some basic knowledge beforehand so maybe now you won’t feel completely lost when you hear someone talking about their surname. You might want to ask them, “What’s your last name again?” But make sure that if they don’t speak English then it is best not to say anything at all and just smile politely! If you’re Scottish or Irish and have an O’ prefix in your last name, be careful because some people may think the -O- should be pronounced like a long “o” but actually it’s more short than anything else. For example: McDonald sounds like Macdonald (McDonald). You can pronounce this as Makdowndohne by saying each letter individually before putting up everything together with a “th”. So now next time you tell someone what your last name