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
From a Scottish place name, itself derived from alla
"wild" and mhagh
From the name of a town in East Lothian, Scotland. It is derived from the Old Norse given name Baggi
From any one of several places of this name in Scotland, which derive from Gaelic blár
meaning "plain, field, battlefield".
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
Originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It is probably from Gaelic broth
meaning "ditch, mire".
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.
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).
Means "crooked nose"
from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and sròn
From a Gaelic nickname cam béul
meaning "wry or crooked mouth"
. The surname was later represented in Latin documents as de bello campo
meaning "of the fair field".
Meaning uncertain, possibly from the town of Courson in Normandy.
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
From a place name meaning "narrow corner"
or "narrow wood" in Gaelic.
From the name of the town of Cults in Aberdeenshire, derived from a Gaelic word meaning "woods".
Derived from Gaelic creag
meaning "crag, rocks"
, originally belonging to a person who lived near a crag.
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"
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
, a nickname for a person with brown hair.
Anglicized form of Gaelic Dubhghlas
, which meant "dark river"
"dark" and glais
"water, river" (an archaic word related to glas
"grey, green"). This is the name of various places in Scotland, such as a tributary of the River Clyde.
From various Scottish place names that are derived from Gaelic drumainn
, a derivative of druim
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.
Dunn English, Scottish, Irish
Derived from Old English dunn "dark"
or Gaelic donn "brown"
, referring to hair colour or complexion.
Faulkner English, Scottish
Occupational name meaning "keeper of falcons"
, from Middle English and Scots faulcon
, from Late Latin falco
, of Germanic origin.
Meaning unknown, originally Norman French Fresel
, possibly from a lost place name in France.
Derived from Gaelic gleann "valley"
. A famous bearer was American astronaut John Glenn (1921-2016).
From the name of a place in Berwickshire, Scotland, derived from Brythonic words meaning "spacious fort"
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.
Occupational name meaning "steward, farm manager"
in Middle English, related to the German title Graf
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).
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.
From a place name meaning "Hugh
's town". The original Houston is in Scotland near Glasgow.
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
Irving Scottish, English
Originally derived from a Scottish place name (in North Ayrshire) meaning "green water".
From a place name that is probably derived from the Brythonic element cet
. This was the surname of a long line of Scottish nobles.
Kelly 2 Scottish
From a Scottish place name derived from coille
From Scots kerr
meaning "rough wet ground"
, ultimately from Old Norse kjarr
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.
Derived from Gaelic caol
meaning "narrows, channel, strait"
, originally given to a person who lived by a strait.
From the name of a district in Scotland, called Leamhnachd
in Gaelic, possibly meaning "place of elms".
From a Scottish clan name, earlier Lesselyn
, derived from a place name in Aberdeenshire, itself probably from Gaelic leas celyn
meaning "garden of holly".
Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac an Fleisdeir
meaning "son of the arrow maker"
Habitation name meaning derived from Celtic roots meaning "pool hollow". A famous bearer of this name is actor John Lithgow (1945-).
From a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow"
, derived from Gaelic lag
Habitational name for someone who lived in places of this name in Scotland.
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.
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Domhnaill
meaning "son of Donald"
. It originates from the Highland clan Donald.
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Griogair
meaning "son of Gregor"
. It originates from the Highland clan Gregor. A famous bearer was the Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734).
Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Coinnich
meaning "son of Coinneach"
. It originates from the Kintail area of Scotland on the northwest coast.
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". A famous bearer was James Maxwell (1831-1879), a Scottish physicist who studied gases and electromagnetism.
McCauley Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Amhalghaidh
meaning "son of Amhalghadh"
. The given name Amhalghadh
is of uncertain meaning.
McGill Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Ghoill
meaning "son of the foreigner"
, derived from gall
From Scottish Gaelic Mac an tSaoir
meaning "son of the carpenter"
Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Fhionnlaigh
meaning "son of Fionnlagh"
. This name was borne by the American president William McKinley (1843-1901), who was assassinated.
From Gaelic Mac Leòid
meaning "son of Leod"
, a given name derived from Old Norse ljótr
From the Gaelic Mag Raith
meaning "son of Rath"
, a given name meaning "prosperity" or "grace".
From the place name Malleville
meaning "bad town" in Norman French.
From Scots and Middle English milne
(a variant of mille
) meaning "mill"
From a the town of Moffat in Scotland meaning "long field" in Gaelic.
Designated a person who had originally lived near the mouth of the Roe River in Derry, Ireland.
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.
Murray 1 Scottish
Derived from the region in Scotland called Moray
meaning "seaboard settlement". A notable bearer of this surname was General James Murray (1721-1794), who was the first British Governor-General of Canada.
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.
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.
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).
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 Scottish, English
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.
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.
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".
From the name of places in southern Scotland and northern England, derived from Old English hryðer
meaning "cattle, ox" and ford
meaning "ford, river crossing".
Scott English, Scottish
Originally given to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic.
Shaw 2 Scottish
From a given name or byname that was derived from Gaelic sithech
Originally indicated a person from Stairaird, an estate in Scotland.
Derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning.
Occupational name for an administrative official of an estate or steward, from Old English stig
"house" and weard
"guard". The Stewart family (sometimes spelled Stuart
) held the Scottish crown for several centuries. One of the most famous members of the Stewart family was Mary, Queen of Scots.
Regional name for a person who came from the former county by this name in Scotland. It is derived from Old Norse suðr
"south" and land
"land", because it was south of the Norse colony of Orkney.
Taggart Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Irish Mac an tSagairt
meaning "son of the priest"
. This name comes from a time when the rules of priestly celibacy were not strictly enforced.
Derived from Brythonic ar
"by" and cardden
"thicket". This is the name of several places, the most famous being north of Loch Ness.
Wallace Scottish, English, Irish
Means "foreigner, stranger, Celt"
from Norman French waleis
(of Germanic origin). It was often used to denote native Welsh and Bretons. A famous bearer was the 13th-century Sir William Wallace of Scotland.
Wood English, Scottish
Originally denoted one who lived in or worked in a forest, derived from Old English wudu "wood"