300 Scottish surnames and their meaning

Ancestry

Find out more about your Scottish surname from this list of Scottish surnames from Acheson to Woods. Please add a comment at the end of the page if your name is missing or you would like to add a note to your name.

ACHESON – Variant of ATCHISON
ADAMSON – Means “son of ADAM”.
AIKEN – Derived from the medieval given name Atkin, a diminutive of ADAM.
AITKEN – Derived from the medieval given name Atkin, a diminutive of ADAM.
ALLAWAY – From a Scottish place name derived from alla “wild” and mhagh “field”.
ALLEN – Derived from the given name ALAN.
ARMSTRONG – Means “strong arm” from Old English earm and strang.
ATCHISON – Variant of ATKINSON.
BAIRD – Anglicized form of MAC AN BAIRD.
BARBER – profession one who cut hair for a living.
BATESON – Means “son of Batte”.
BEATTIE – From the medieval name Battie, a diminutive of BARTHOLOMEW.
BEGBIE – Originates in Scotland, where it is most common in the Edinburgh and East Lothian areas… [more] BLAIR – Placename derived from Gaelic blár meaning “plain, field, battlefield”.
BOYD – From the name of the Scottish island of Bute.
BRECKENRIDGE – Placename in Lanarkshire.
BRECKINRIDGE – Variant of BRECKENRIDGE
BRODIE – Variant of BRODY
BRUCE – From Brix, a city in Normandy, from which the Bruces came.
BUCHANAN – From a Scottish place name meaning “house of the canon”.
BURNS – Derived from Old English burne “stream”.
CALHOUN – Variant of COLQUHOUN
CAMERON – Means “crooked nose” from Gaelic cam “crooked” and sròn “nose”.
CAMPBELL – From a Gaelic nickname cam béul meaning “wry or crooked mouth”.
CARR – From a place name meaning “marsh” in Old Norse.
CARSON – Meaning unknown, possibly from a place name.
CLACHER – From the Scottish word clachair meaning “stonemason”.
COBURN – Variant of COCKBURN
COCKBURN – From a place in Berwickshire
COLQUHOUN – From a place name meaning “narrow corner” or “narrow wood” in Gaelic.
COUTTS – From the place name Cults in Aberdeenshire, derived from a Gaelic word meaning “woods”.
COWDEN – From various place names meaning either “coal valley”, “coal hill”, or “cow pasture” in Old English.
CRAIG – Derived from Gaelic creag meaning “crag” or “rocks”.
CROFT – From an Old English term that referred to a small pasture near a house.
CRUICKSHANK – From a Scottish nickname meaning “bent legs”.
CUMMINS – Means “descendant of Cuimin”, a Breton name meaning “little bent one”.
CUNNINGHAM – From a place name in the Ayrshire district of Scotland.
Currie – Anglicized form of Gaelic MacMhuirich. The name Muireach means “mariner”. The surname has been borne by a noted Hebridean family of bards.
DARROW – Place name Darroch near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, said to be named from Gaelic darach “oak tree”.
DAVID – From the given name DAVID.
DAVIS – Means “son of DAVID”.
DONAGHUE – Variant of DONOGHUE
DONNE – From Gaelic donn meaning “brown”, a nickname for a person with brown hair.


   


DOUGLAS – Anglicized form of Gaelic Dubhghlas, which meant “dark river” from dubh “dark” and glais “water, river”.
DOUGLASS – Variant of DOUGLAS
DRUMMOND – From a place name meaning “ridge” in Gaelic.
DUBHGHLAS – Gaelic form of DOUGLAS
DUFF – Derived from Gaelic dubh meaning “dark”.
DUFFY  – Anglicized form of MAC DUIBHSHÍTHE
DUNBAR – Means “castle headland” and place in East Lothian in Scotland.
DUNCAN – From the given name DUNCAN.
DUNCANSON – Means “son of DUNCAN”.
DUNN – Derived from Old English dunn “dark” or Gaelic donn “brown”, referring to hair colour or complexion.
EWART – From a Norman form of EDWARD also a place name meaning “river enclosure” in Old English.
FAIRBAIRN – Means “beautiful child” in Middle English.
FAULKNER – Old English for “falconer”.
FERGUSON – Means “son of FERGUS”.
FINDLAY – Derived from the given name FIONNLAGH.
FINLEY – Derived from the given name FIONNLAGH.
FORNEY – Name for someone who lived around ferns, from Middle English fern “fern” and heye “enclosure”.
FRASER – Meaning unknown, originally Norman French Fresel, possibly from a lost place name in France.
FRAZIER – Variant of FRASER
GIBB – Derived from the given name GIB.
GIBBS – Means “Gib’s son”, where Gib is a diminutive of GILBERT.
GIBSON – Means “son of GIB”.
GLEN – Variant of GLENN
GLENN – Derived from Gaelic gleann “valley”… [more] GORDON – From a place name meaning “spacious fort” in the ancient Brythonic language.
GRAEME – Variant of GRAHAM
GRAHAM – Derived from the English place name Grantham which probably meant “gravelly homestead” in Old English.
GRAHAME – Variant of GRAHAM
GRANT – Derived from Norman French meaning “grand, tall, large, great”.
GREER – Derived from the given name GREGOR.
GRIER – Derived from the given name GREGOR.
GRIEVE – Occupational name meaning “farm manager” in Middle English.
HAMBLEDON – Variant of HAMILTON
HAMBLETON – Variant of HAMILTON
HAMELDON – Variant of HAMILTON
HAMILTON – From an English place name, derived from the elements hamel “crooked, mutilated” and dun “hill”.
HARDIE – Scottish form of HARDY.
HENDERSON – Means “son of HENDRY”.
HENDRY – Derived from the given name HENRY.
HEPBURN – From a place name meaning “high burial mound” in Old English.
HOLME – Refers either to someone living by an island in a fen or near a holly tree (Middle English holm).
HOLMES – Variant of HOLME.
HOUSTON – Means “HUGH’s town”.
HUGHES – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
HUME  – Variant of HOLME.
HUNTER – Occupational name.
IRVINE – Variant of IRVING
IRVING – Originally derived from a Scottish place name (in North Ayrshire) meaning “green water”.
JACK – From the given name JACK.
JARDINE – Means “garden”, denoting someone who worked as a gardener.
JOHNSTON – From the name of a Scottish town, which meant “JOHN’s town”.
KEIR – Variant of KERR.
KEITH – Place name which is probably derived from “wood”.
KELLY – From a Scottish place name derived from coille “grove”.
KENDRICK – Variant of MCKENDRICK.
KERR – From Scots kerr meaning “rough wet ground”, ultimately from Old Norse kjarr.
KIDD – From a nickname meaning “young goat, kid” in Middle English.
KINLEY – Variant of MCKINLEY.
KINNAIRD – From the name of a place in Scotland.
KYLES – Derived from Gaelic caol meaning “narrows, channel, strait”, originally given to a person who lived by a strait.
Lamont – The name is of great antiquity in southern Argyll where the chiefs were known as “Mac Laomain Mor Chomhail Uile” or “The Great MacLamont of all Cowal”.  The name originates from Scotland and Northern Ireland and is derived from Old Norse – Lagman. Lag meaning law.
LENNOX – From a district in Scotland, called Leamhnachd in Gaelic, possibly meaning “place of elms”.LENOX – Variant of LENNOX.
LESLEY – Variant of LESLIE.
LESLIE – From a Scottish place name, probably derived from Gaelic leas celyn meaning “garden of holly”.
LESTER – Variant of LISTER.
LINDSAY – From the region of Lindsey in Lincolnshire, which means “LINCOLN island” in Old English.
LINDSEY – Variant of LINDSAY.
LISTER – Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac an Fleisdeir meaning “son of the arrow maker”.
LITHGOW – Habitation name meaning “pool, damp, hollow”.
LOGAN – From a Scottish place name meaning “little hollow”.
LOW – Variant of LAW.
LOWE– Variant of LOW.
LOWRY – From a diminutive of LAURENCE.
LUSK – Possibly means “cave” in Gaelic.
LYNE – Place name in Ayrshire, Peeblesshire, and Wigtownshire.
MACALASTAIR – Gaelic form of MCALISTER.
MAC AN TSAGAIRT – Gaelic form of TAGGART.
MAC AN TSAOIR – Gaelic form of MCINTYRE.
MACBAY – Variant of MACBETH.
MACBETH – Derived from the Gaelic given name Mac Beatha meaning “son of life”.
MACCALLION – Anglicized form of MACCAILÍN.
MACCALLUM – From Gaelic Mac Coluim meaning “son of COLUMBA”.
MACCANCE – Variant form of MACANGUS.
MACCHRUIM – Means “son of Crum”, where Crum is a Gaelic byname meaning “bent”.
MACCLELLAN – Variant of MCCLELLAND.
MACCLELLAND – Variant of MCCLELLAND.
MACCONNELL – Variant of MCCONNELL.
MACDHUBHGHAILL – Gaelic form of MACDOUGALL.
MACDOMHNAILL – Gaelic form of MACDONALD.
MACDONALD – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Domhnaill meaning “son of DONALD”.
MACDOUGALL – Means “son of DOUGAL” in Scottish.
MACEALAIR – Gaelic form of MCKELLAR
MACEANRAIG – Gaelic form of MCKENDRICK
MACENTIRE – Variant of MACINTYRE
MACFARLAND – Variant of MCFARLANE
MACFARLANE – Variant of MCFARLANE
MACGREGOR – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Griogair meaning “son of GREGOR”… [more] MACGRIOGAIR – Gaelic form of MACGREGOR
MACGRORY – Variant of MCCRORY
MACINTYRE – Variant of MCINTYRE
MACIOMHAIR – Gaelic form of MCIVER
MACIVER – Variant of MCIVER
MACKAY – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
MACKENNA – Variant of MCKENNA
MACKENNY – Variant of MCKENNA
MACKENZIE – Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Coinnich meaning “son of COINNEACH”.
MACLEAN – Variant of MCLAIN
MACLEOD – Variant of MCLEOD
MACLEÒID – Gaelic form of MCLEOD
MACMHUIRICH – The name Muireach means “mariner”. The surname has been borne by a noted Hebridean family of bards.
MACNEIL – Variant of MCNEIL
MACPHARLAIN -Gaelic form of MCFARLANE
MACQUEEN – Anglicized form of MACSHUIBHNE.
MACRAE – Variant of MCCRAE
MACTHAIDHG – Gaelic form of MCCAIG
MAC WILLIAM – Means “son of WILLIAM” in Gaelic.
MAGEE – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA. “Aodh” meaning “Fire”, originally the name of a pagan god.
MAGRAITH – Gaelic form of MCCRAE
MASSON – Variant of MASON
MASTERS – Means “son of the master” from Middle English maister.
MATHESON – Means “son of MATTHEW”.
MATHIESON – Variant of MATHESON
MAXWELL – From a place name meaning “Mack’s stream”, from the name Mack, a short form of the Scandinavian name MAGNUS, combined with Old English wella “stream”.
MCADAMS – Means “son of ADAM” in Gaelic.
MCAFEE – Anglicized form of MAC DUIBHSHÍTHE
MCALISTER – From Gaelic Mac Alastair meaning “son of ALISTAIR”.
MCARTHUR – Means “son of ARTHUR” in Gaelic.
MCCABE – Means “son of Cába”, where Cába is a given name meaning “cape”.
MCCAIG – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Thaidhg meaning “son of TADHG”.
MCCALLUM – Variant form of MACANGUS
MCCLELLAN – Variant of MCCLELLAND
MCCLELLAND – From Gaelic Mac Giolla Fhaoláin meaning “son of the servant of FAOLÁN”.
MCCONNELL – Derived from Gaelic Mac Domhnaill (see MACDONALD).
MCCORMICK – From Gaelic Mac Cormaic meaning “son of CORMAC”.
MCCOY – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
MCCRACKEN – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Reachtain, Ulster variant of MAC NEACHTAIN.
MCCRAE – From the Gaelic Mag Raith meaning “son of Rath”, a given name meaning “prosperity” or “grace”.
MCCREERY – Variant of MCCRORY
MCCRORY – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Ruaidhrí meaning “son of RUAIDHRÍ”.
MCDANIEL – Variant of MACDONALD
MCDONALD – Variant of MACDONALD
MCDOUGALL – Variant of MACDOUGALL
MCEACHERN – Anglicized form of MACEACHTHIGHEARNA
MCEWAN – Anglicized form of MAC EOGHAIN
MCFARLAND – Variant of MCFARLANE
MCFARLANE – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Pharlain meaning “son of PARTHALÁN”.
MCFEE – Anglicized form of MAC DUIBHSHÍTHE
MCGEE – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
MCGILL – Means “son of the foreigner” in Gaelic, derived from gall “foreigner”.
MCGREGOR – Variant of MACGREGOR
MCINTYRE – From Scottish Gaelic Mac an tSaoir meaning “son of the carpenter”.
MCIVER – Means “son of IVOR” in Irish.
MCKAY – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
MCKELLAR – From Gaelic Mac Ealair meaning “son of EALAIR”.
MCKENDRICK – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Eanraig meaning “son of HENRY”.
MCKENNA – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cionaodha meaning “son of CIONAODH”.
MCKENZIE – Variant of MACKENZIE
MCKINLEY – Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Fhionnlaigh meaning “son of FIONNLAGH”.
MCKINNEY – Variant of MCKENNA
MCLAIN – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Giolla Eoin meaning “son of the servant of EOIN”.
MCLEAN – Variant of MCLAIN
MCLEOD – From Gaelic Mac Leòid meaning “son of Leod”, a given name derived from Old Norse ljótr “ugly”.
MCNAB – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Aba meaning “son of the abbot”.
MCNABB – Variant of MCNAB
MCNAUGHTON – Anglicized form of MAC NEACHTAIN
MCNEIL – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Néill meaning “son of NIALL”.
MCNEILL – Variant of MCNEIL
MCNIEL – Variant of MCNEIL
MCPHEE – Anglicized form of MAC DUIBHSHÍTHE
MCQUEEN – Anglicized form of MACSHUIBHNE.
MCRAE – Variant of MCCRAE
MCREYNOLDS – Means “son of REYNOLD” in Gaelic.
MCTAGGART – Variant of TAGGART
MCWILLIAM – Means “son of WILLIAM” in Gaelic.
MELVILLE – From the place name Malleville meaning “bad town” in Norman French.
MELVIN – Variant of MELVILLE
MEYRICK – Variant of MERRICK
MILLIGAN – From the Gaelic given name Maolagán, a derivative of maol meaning “bald” or “tonsured”.


   


MITCHELL – Derived from the given name MICHAEL.
MOFFETT – From a place name in Scotland meaning “long field”.
MONROE – Designated a person who had originally lived near the mouth of the Roe River in Derry, Ireland.
MONTGOMERY – From a place name in Calvados, France meaning “GUMARICH’s mountain”.
MORAY – Variant of MURRAY
MORRIS – Derived from the given name MAURICE.
MUNRO – Variant of MONROE
MUNROE – Variant of MONROE
MURDOCH – Scottish form of MURDOCK.
MURRAY – Derived from the region in Scotland called Moray meaning “seaboard settlement”.
NEIL – Derived from the given name NEIL.
NESS – Means “headland” in Middle English, originally referring to a person who lived there.
NEVIN – Anglicized form of MAC NAOIMHÍN.
NIVEN – Variant of NEVIN.
NORRIS – Means “from the north” from Old French norreis.
OLIVER – Derived from the given name OLIVER.
PATERSON – Means “son of PATRICK”.
PATTERSON – Variant of PATTERSON.
PATTON – Diminutive of the medieval name Pate, a short form of PATRICK.
PAYNE – Means “villager, rustic” and later “heathen” from Middle English Payn, Old French Paien which was often given to children whose baptism had been postponed or adults whose religious zeal was lacking.
POTTINGER – Occupational name for an apothecary.
RALSTON – Originally denoted a person from Ralston, Scotland.
RAMSAY – Variant of RAMSEY.
RAMSEY – Means “garlic island”, derived from Old English hramsa “garlic” and eg “island”… [more] RATTRAY – From a place name meaning “fortress town”, from Gaelic rath “fortress” and Welsh tref “town”.
READY – Originally denoted a person from Reedie, Scotland.
REID – Scots variant of READ.
ROSE –  Means “rose” from the Middle English, Old French and Middle High German.
ROSS  – From various place names (such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland) which are derived from Scottish Gaelic ros meaning “promontory, headland”.
ROWE – Means “dweller by a row of hedges or houses” from Middle English row… [more] ROY – Means “red haired” from the Gaelic ruadh.
RUSKIN – Means “tanner” from the Gaelic rusg(aire)an.
RUTHERFORD – Originally taken by families who lived near the town of Rutherford in Scotland.
RUTHERFURD – Variant of RUTHERFORD
SANGSTER – Occupational surname meaning “song-maker or singer” from Old English.
SAUNDERS – Variant of SANDERS
SCHOOL – Derived from either the Old Norse given name Skúli, the Old Danish Skuli or the Old Swedish Skule which probably all mean “to protect”.
SCOTT – Originally given to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic. Derives from the Old English pre 7th Century word “scotti”.
SKEATES – First found in Ayrshire, taken from the village of Skeoch, near Mauchline.
STARRETT – Originally indicated a person from Stairaird, a town in Scotland.
STERLING – Derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning.
STEWART – Occupational name for an administrative official of an estate or steward, from Old English stig “house” and weard “guard”.
STIRLING – Variant of STERLING
STROUD – Locational name meaning “thicket, marsh, marshy ground overgrown with brushwood”.
STRUDWICK – Originally a name for a person from Strudwick, England.STUART – Variant of STEWART
STUDWICK – Variant of STRUDWICK
SUTHERLAND – County name that described a person who came from the former county by this name.
TAGGART – Meaning “priest”.
THORBURN – Derived from the Old Norse given name ÞÓRBJÖRN.
UNDERWOOD – From a Scottish and English place name for a man who lived at the edge of the woods.
URQUHART – Derived from Welsh ar “by” and cardden “thicket”.
WALDROUP – Variant of WARDROBE
WALLACE – Means “foreigner, stranger” from the Norman French waleis.
WALLIS – Variant of WALLACE
WATERS – Patronymic form of WALTER.
WATSON – Patronymic form of the English and Scottish name Watt.
WOOD – Originally denoted one who lived in or worked in a wood or forest.
WOODS – Variant of WOOD

Featured image: Rob Mahan

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