Scottish Surnames

Scottish names are used in the country of Scotland as well as elsewhere in the Western World as a result of the Scottish diaspora. See also about Scottish names.
usage
Acheson Scottish
Scots form of Atkinson.
Ainsley Scottish
From a place name: either Annesley in Nottinghamshire or Ansley in Warwickshire. The place names themselves derive from Old English anne "alone, solitary" or ansetl "hermitage" and leah "woodland, clearing".
Aitken Scottish, English
Derived from the medieval given name Atkin, a diminutive of Adam.
Alan English, Scottish
Derived from the given name Alan.
Allan English, Scottish
Derived from the given name Alan.
Allaway Scottish
From a Scottish place name, itself derived from alla "wild" and mhagh "field".
Allen English, Scottish
Derived from the given name Alan.
Angus Irish, Scottish
From the given name Aonghus.
Atchison Scottish
Scots form of Atkinson.
Baird Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac an Baird.
Balfour Scottish
From various place names that were derived from Gaelic baile "village" and pòr "pasture, crop, cropland".
Barber English, Scottish
Indicated a barber, one who cut hair for a living.
Barclay English, Scottish
From the English place name Berkeley, derived from Old English beorc "birch" and leah "woodland, clearing". The surname was imported to Scotland in the 12th century.
Beattie Scottish
From the medieval name Battie, a diminutive of Bartholomew.
Begbie Scottish
From the name of a town in East Lothian, Scotland. It is derived from the Old Norse given name Baggi and býr "farm, settlement".
Blackwood English, Scottish
From an English place name meaning "black wood".
Blain Scottish
From the given name Bláán.
Blaine Scottish
From the given name Bláán.
Blair Scottish
From any one of several places of this name in Scotland, which derive from Gaelic blàr meaning "plain, field, battlefield".
Bowie Scottish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic Buidheach, derived from buidhe meaning "yellow". A famous bearer was the American pioneer James Bowie (1796-1836), for whom the bowie knife is named. The British musician David Bowie (1947-2016), born David Robert Jones, took his stage name from the American pioneer (and the knife).
Boyd Scottish
From the name of the Scottish island of Bute (Bód in Gaelic), which is of unknown meaning.
Breckenridge Scottish, English
Originally indicated someone from Brackenrig in Lanarkshire, derived from northern Middle English braken meaning "bracken" (via Old Norse brækni) and rigg meaning "ridge" (via Old Norse hryggr).
Brodie Scottish
Originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It is probably from Gaelic broth meaning "ditch, mire".
Brody Scottish
Variant of Brodie.
Bruce Scottish
Possibly from the name of the town of Brix in Normandy, which is of unknown meaning. It was brought to Scotland in the 12th century by the Anglo-Norman baron Robert de Brus. It was later borne by his descendant Robert the Bruce, a hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland.
Buchanan Scottish
From the name of a region in Stirlingshire, Scotland, which means "house of the canon" in Gaelic.
Burns 1 English, Scottish
Derived from Old English burna "stream, spring". A famous bearer was the Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796).
Cameron Scottish
Means "crooked nose" from Gaelic cam "crooked" and sròn "nose".
Campbell Scottish
From a Gaelic nickname cam beul meaning "wry or crooked mouth". The surname was later represented in Latin documents as de bello campo meaning "of the fair field".
Carr Scottish
Variant of Kerr.
Carson Scottish
Meaning uncertain, possibly from the town of Courson in Normandy.
Clacher Scottish
From Scottish Gaelic clachair meaning "stonemason".
Cockburn Scottish, English
Originally indicated someone who came from Cockburn, a place in Berwickshire. The place name is derived from Old English cocc "rooster" and burna "stream".
Colquhoun Scottish
From a place name meaning "narrow corner" or "narrow wood" in Gaelic.
Coutts Scottish
From the name of the town of Cults in Aberdeenshire, derived from a Gaelic word meaning "woods".
Craig Scottish
Derived from Gaelic creag meaning "crag, rocks, outcrop", originally belonging to a person who lived near a crag.
Cruickshank Scottish
From a nickname meaning "bent leg" in Scots.
Cummins English, Scottish, Irish
From the Old Breton given name Cunmin, a cognate of Cuimín, introduced to Britain at the time of the Norman Conquest.
Cunningham 1 Scottish
From the name of place in the Ayrshire district of Scotland. It possibly comes from Gaelic cuinneag meaning "milk pail".
Dallas 2 Scottish
From the name of a place in Moray, Scotland possibly meaning "meadow dwelling" in Gaelic.
Darrow Scottish
Habitational name from Darroch near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, said to be named from Gaelic darach meaning "oak tree".
Davis English, Scottish
Means "son of David". This was the surname of the revolutionary jazz trumpet player Miles Davis (1926-1991).
Donne Scottish, Irish
From Gaelic donn meaning "brown", a nickname for a person with brown hair.
Douglas Scottish
From the name of a town in Lanarkshire, itself named after a tributary of the River Clyde called the Douglas Water, derived from Gaelic dubh "dark" and glais "water, river" (an archaic word related to glas "grey, green"). This was a Scottish Lowland clan, the leaders of which were powerful earls in the medieval period.
Drummond Scottish
From various Scottish place names that are derived from Gaelic drumainn, a derivative of druim meaning "ridge".
Duff Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of Mac Dhuibh or Ó Duibh.
Dunbar Scottish
From the name of a town in East Lothian, Scotland, derived from Gaelic dùn meaning "fort" and barr meaning "summit", so called from its situation on a rock that projects into the sea.
Duncan Scottish
From the given name Duncan.
Duncanson Scottish
Means "son of Duncan".
Dunn English, Scottish, Irish
Derived from Old English dunn "dark" or Gaelic donn "brown", referring to hair colour or complexion.
Fairbairn Scottish, English
Means "beautiful child" in Middle English and Scots.
Faulkner English, Scottish
Occupational name meaning "keeper of falcons", from Middle English and Scots faulcon, from Late Latin falco, of Germanic origin.
Ferguson Irish, Scottish
Means "son of Fergus".
Findlay Scottish
Anglicized form of MacFhionnlaigh.
Finlay Scottish
Anglicized form of MacFhionnlaigh.
Finley Scottish
Anglicized (typically American) form of MacFhionnlaigh.
Fraser Scottish
Meaning unknown, originally Norman French de Fresel, possibly from a lost place name in France.
Gibbs English, Scottish
Means "son of Gib".
Gibson English, Scottish
Means "son of Gib".
Gilchrist Scottish
From Gaelic MacGilleChrìosd meaning "son of Gille Críst".
Glen Scottish
Variant of Glenn.
Glenn Scottish
Derived from Gaelic gleann "valley". A famous bearer was American astronaut John Glenn (1921-2016).
Gordon Scottish
From the name of a place in Berwickshire, Scotland, derived from Brythonic words meaning "spacious fort".
Graham Scottish
Derived from the English place name Grantham, which probably meant "gravelly homestead" in Old English. The surname was first taken to Scotland in the 12th century by William de Graham.
Grant English, Scottish
Derived from Norman French meaning "grand, tall, large, great".
Greer Scottish
Derived from the given name Gregor.
Grier Scottish
Derived from the given name Gregor.
Grieve Scottish
Occupational name meaning "steward, farm manager" in Middle English, related to the German title Graf.
Haig English, Scottish
From Old English haga or Old Norse hagi meaning "enclosure, pasture".
Hamilton English, Scottish
From an English place name, derived from Old English hamel "crooked, mutilated" and dun "hill". This was the name of a town in Leicestershire, England (which no longer exists).
Hardie Scottish
Scots variant of Hardy.
Hendry Scottish, English
Derived from the given name Henry.
Hepburn English, Scottish
From northern English place names meaning "high burial mound" in Old English. It was borne by Mary Queen of Scot's infamous third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwall. Other famous bearers include the actresses Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) and Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
Holme English, Scottish
Referred either to someone living by a small island (northern Middle English holm, from Old Norse holmr) or near a holly tree (Middle English holm, from Old English holegn).
Holmes English, Scottish
Variant of Holme. A famous fictional bearer was Sherlock Holmes, a detective in Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery stories beginning in 1887.
Houston Scottish
From a place name meaning "Hugh's town". The original Houston is in Scotland near Glasgow.
Hughes 2 Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Aodha.
Hume Scottish, English
Variant of Holme. A famous bearer was the philosopher David Hume (1711-1776).
Hunter English, Scottish
Occupational name that referred to someone who hunted for a living, from Old English hunta.
Innes 1 Scottish
From a place name derived from Gaelic inis meaning "island".
Innes 2 Scottish
From the given name Aonghus.
Irvine 1 Scottish
Originally derived from the name of a Scottish (North Ayrshire) town, which was named for the River Irvine, derived from Brythonic elements meaning "green water".
Jack English, Scottish
From the given name Jack.
Jardine English, Scottish
Means "garden", denoting someone who worked as a gardener.
Johnston Scottish
From the name of a Scottish town, which meant "John's town".
Keir Scottish
Variant of Kerr.
Keith Scottish
From a place name that is probably derived from the Brythonic element cet meaning "wood". This was the surname of a long line of Scottish nobles.
Kelly 2 Scottish
From a Scottish place name derived from coille meaning "grove".
Kerr Scottish, English
From Scots and northern Middle English kerr meaning "thicket, marsh", ultimately from Old Norse kjarr.
Kinley Scottish
Anglicized form of MacFhionnlaigh.
Kinnaird Scottish
From the name of a place in Scotland, in Gaelic An Ceann Ard, meaning "high headland". In the 12th century a Norman nobleman received a charter of land here from King William the Lion (King of Scots), and was thereafter known by this name.
Knox Scottish
From the name of various places in Scotland and northern England, derived from Scottish Gaelic cnoc "round hill".
Kyle Scottish
Derived from Scottish Gaelic caol meaning "narrows, channel, strait", originally given to a person who lived by a strait.
Kyles Scottish
Variant of Kyle.
Laird Scottish
Means "landowner" in Scots, derived from northern Middle English laverd "lord", from Old English hlafweard.
Lamont Scottish
From the medieval Gaelic given name Lagmann, derived from Old Norse lǫgmaðr meaning "law man".
Lennox Scottish
From the name of a district in Scotland, called Leamhnachd in Gaelic, possibly meaning "place of elms".
Lenox Scottish
Variant of Lennox.
Leslie Scottish
From a Scottish clan name, earlier Lesselyn, derived from a place name in Aberdeenshire, itself probably from Gaelic leas celyn meaning "garden of holly".
Lindsay English, Scottish
From the region of Lindsey in Lincolnshire, which means "Lincoln island" in Old English.
Lister Scottish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac an Fleisdeir meaning "son of the arrow maker".
Lithgow Scottish
Habitation name meaning derived from Brythonic roots meaning "pool hollow". A famous bearer of this name is actor John Lithgow (1945-).
Logan Scottish
From a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow", derived from Gaelic lag "hollow, pit".
Lowry English, Scottish
From a diminutive of the given name Laurence 1.
Lusk Scottish
Possibly from the place name Leask in Aberdeenshire, of unknown meaning.
Lyall Scottish
From the Old Norse given name Liulfr, which was derived in part from úlfr "wolf".
Lyne Scottish
Habitational name for someone who lived in places of this name in Scotland.
MacAlastair Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McAlister.
MacAmhalghaidh Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McCauley.
Mac an Baird Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of Mac an Bhaird (see Ward 2).
Mac an Fhilidh Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McNeilly.
Mac an Fleisdeir Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of Lister.
MacAoidh Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of Mac Aodha.
MacAonghais Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of MacInnes.
MacBeth Scottish
Derived from the Gaelic given name Mac Beatha meaning "son of life", which denoted a man of religious devotion. This was the name of an 11th-century Scottish king, and the name of a play based on his life by William Shakespeare.
MacCàba Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McCabe.
MacCailein Scottish Gaelic
Means "son of Cailean" in Gaelic.
MacCallion Scottish
Anglicized form of MacCailein.
MacCallum Scottish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic MacColuim meaning "son of Columba".
MacChruim Scottish Gaelic
Means "son of Crum", where Crum is a Gaelic byname meaning "bent".
MacCionaodha Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McKenna.
MacCoinnich Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of MacKenzie.
MacColuim Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of MacCallum.
MacCormaic Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McCormick.
MacCrum Scottish
Anglicized form of MacChruim.
MacCrumb Scottish
Anglicized form of MacChruim.
MacDhòmhnaill Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of MacDonald.
MacDhubhghaill Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of MacDougall.
Mac Dhuibh Scottish Gaelic
Means "son of Dubh", where the byname Dubh means "dark".
MacDonald Scottish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic MacDhòmhnaill meaning "son of Donald". It originates from the Highland clan Donald.
MacDougall Scottish
Means "son of Dougal" in Gaelic.
MacDuff Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Dhuibh.
Mac Eachairn Scottish Gaelic
Means "son of Eacharn", where the given name Eacharn is from the Old Irish name Echthigern.
MacEachern Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Eachairn.
MacEalair Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McKellar.
MacEanruig Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McKendrick.
MacEòghainn Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of Mac Eoghain.
MacFhionnlaigh Scottish Gaelic
Means "son of Fionnlagh" in Scottish Gaelic.
MacGillEain Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McLean.
MacGregor Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic MacGriogair meaning "son of Gregor". It originates from the Highland clan Gregor. A famous bearer was the Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734).
MacGriogair Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of MacGregor.
MacInnes Scottish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic Mac Aonghais meaning "son of Aonghas".
MacIomhair Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McIver.
MacKay Scottish
Anglicized form of MacAoidh.
MacKenzie Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic MacCoinnich meaning "son of Coinneach". It originates from the Kintail area of Scotland on the northwest coast.
MacLeòid Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McLeod.
MacNèill Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McNeil.
MacNiven Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Naoimhín.
MacPhàrlain Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McFarlane.
MacQueen Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Shuibhne.
MacRae Scottish
Variant of McRae.
MacRuaraidh Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McCrory.
MacTàmhais Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McTavish.
MacThaoig Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of McCaig.
MacWilliam Scottish
Means "son of William" in Gaelic.
Magee Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Aodha.
Matheson Scottish
Means "son of Matthew".
Maxwell Scottish
From a place name meaning "Mack's stream", from the name Mack, a short form of the Scandinavian name Magnus, combined with Old English wille "well, stream". A famous bearer was James Maxwell (1831-1879), a Scottish physicist who studied gases and electromagnetism.
McAdams Scottish, Irish
Means "son of Adam" in Gaelic.
McAfee Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of MacDhubhshìth.
McAlister Scottish, Irish
From Scottish Gaelic MacAlastair or Irish Gaelic Mac Alastair meaning "son of Alistair".
McArthur Scottish
Means "son of Arthur" in Gaelic.
McCabe Irish, Scottish
Means "son of Cába", where Cába is a byname meaning "cape, cloak" (from Latin cappa).
McCaig Scottish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic MacThaoig meaning "son of Tadhg".
McCallum Scottish
Variant form of MacAngus.
McCauley Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Amhalghaidh or Mac Amhalghadha meaning "son of Amhalghaidh". The given name Amhalghaidh, from Old Irish Amalgaid, is of uncertain meaning.
McClelland Irish, Scottish
From Gaelic Mac Giolla Fhaoláin meaning "son of the servant of Faolán".
McConnell Scottish, Irish
Derived from Gaelic MacDhòmhnaill (see MacDonald).
McCormick Irish, Scottish
From Gaelic Mac Cormaic meaning "son of Cormac".
McCoy Scottish
Anglicized form of MacAoidh.
McCracken Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Reachtain, Ulster Irish variant of Mac Neachtain.
McCrae Scottish
Variant of McRae.
McCrory Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Ruaidhrí meaning "son of Ruaidhrí".
McCrum Scottish
Anglicized form of MacChruim.
McEachern Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Eachairn.
McEwan Scottish
Anglicized form of MacEòghainn.
McFarlane Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic MacPhàrlain or Irish Gaelic Mac Pharlain meaning "son of Parthalán".
McFee Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of MacDhubhshìth.
McGee Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Aodha.
McGill Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Ghoill meaning "son of the foreigner", derived from gall "foreigner".
McIntyre Scottish
From Scottish Gaelic Mac an tSaoir meaning "son of the carpenter".
McIver Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of Gaelic MacIomhair meaning "son of Íomhar".
McKay Scottish
Anglicized form of MacAoidh.
McKee Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of Mac Aodha.
McKellar Scottish
From Gaelic MacEalair meaning "son of Ealar".
McKendrick Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic MacEanruig meaning "son of Eanraig".
McKenna Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cionaodha meaning "son of Cionaodh".
McKinley Scottish
Anglicized form of MacFhionnlaigh. This name was borne by the American president William McKinley (1843-1901), who was assassinated.
McLean Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic MacGillEathain or MacGillEain meaning "son of the servant of Eòin".
McLeod Scottish
From Gaelic MacLeòid meaning "son of Leod", a given name derived from Old Norse ljótr "ugly".
McNab Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Aba meaning "son of the abbot".
McNeil Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic MacNèill meaning "son of Niall".
McNeilly Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Fhilidh meaning "son of the poet".
McPhee Scottish
Anglicized form of MacDhubhshìth.
McQueen Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Shuibhne.
McRae Scottish
From Gaelic Mag Raith meaning "son of Rath", a given name meaning "prosperity" or "grace".
McReynolds Scottish, Irish
Means "son of Reynold" in Gaelic.
McTavish Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic MacTàmhais meaning "son of Tàmhas".
McWilliam Scottish
Means "son of William" in Gaelic.
Melville Scottish
From the place name Malleville meaning "bad town" in Norman French.
Milne Scottish
From Scots and Middle English milne (a variant of mille) meaning "mill".
Mitchell 1 English, Scottish
Derived from the given name Michael.
Moffett Scottish
From the town of Moffat in Scotland, meaning "long field" in Gaelic.
Monroe Scottish
Anglicized (typically American) form of Munro.
Montgomery English, Scottish
From a place name in Calvados, France meaning "Gumarich's mountain". A notable bearer was Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976), a British army commander during World War II.
Morris English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Derived from the given name Maurice.
Muir Scottish
Scots form of Moore 1. This name was borne by the Scottish-American naturalist John Muir (1838-1914).
Munro Scottish
Designated a person who had originally lived near the mouth of the Roe River in Derry, Ireland. It is derived from Gaelic bun meaning "root, base" combined with the river's name.
Munroe Scottish
Anglicized (typically Canadian and American) form of Munro.
Murdoch Scottish
Scottish form of Murdock.
Murray 1 Scottish
Derived from the region in Scotland called Moray (Gaelic Moireabh), possibly of Pictish origin, meaning "seashore, coast". A notable bearer of this surname was General James Murray (1721-1794), who was the first British Governor-General of Canada.
Neil Scottish, English, Irish
Derived from the given name Neil.
Ness English, Scottish, Norwegian
From English ness and Norwegian nes meaning "headland, promontory", of Old Norse origin, originally referring to a person who lived there.
Niven Scottish
Anglicized form of Mac Naoimhín.
Norris 1 English, Scottish
Means "from the north" from Old French norreis. It either denoted someone who originated in the north or someone who lived in the northern part of a settlement.
Paisley Scottish
From the name of a town near Glasgow, which may ultimately be derived from Latin basilica "church".
Patton English, Scottish
Diminutive of the medieval name Pate, a short form of Patrick.
Pollock Scottish
From the name of a place in Renfrewshire, Scotland, derived from a diminutive of Gaelic poll meaning "pool, pond, bog". A famous bearer was the American artist Jackson Pollock (1912-1956).
Rae Scottish
Variant of McRae.
Ralston Scottish
Originally denoted a person from Ralston, Scotland, which was derived from the given name Ralph combined with Old English tun meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
Ramsey English, Scottish
Means "garlic island", derived from Old English hramsa "garlic" and eg "island". The surname was brought to Scotland by the Norman baron Simundus de Ramsay.
Rattray Scottish
From a Scottish place name meaning "fortress town", from Gaelic ráth meaning "fortress" and a Pictish word meaning "town".
Ready 2 Scottish
Originally denoted a person from Reedie farm in Angus, Scotland.
Reid Scottish
Scots variant of Read 1.
Ross English, Scottish
From various place names (such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland), which are derived from Scottish Gaelic ros meaning "promontory, headland".
Roy 2 Scottish
From Gaelic ruadh meaning "red-haired".