AILSA f Scottish
From Ailsa Craig
, the name of an island off the west coast of Scotland, which is of uncertain derivation.
AINSLEY f & m Scottish, English (Modern)
From a surname that was 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
ALAN m English, Scottish, Breton, French
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. It was used in Brittany at least as early as the 6th century, and it possibly means either "little rock"
in Breton. Alternatively, it may derive from the tribal name of the Alans, an Iranian people who migrated into Europe in the 4th and 5th centuries.... [more]
ALLAN m English, Scottish, Danish
Variant of ALAN
. The American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) got his middle name from the surname of the parents who adopted him.
ALLEN m English, Scottish
Variant of ALAN
. A famous bearer of this name was Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), an American beat poet. Another is the American film director and actor Woody Allen (1935-), who took the stage name Allen from his real first name.
ALPIN m Scottish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ailpein
, possibly derived from a Pictish word meaning "white"
. This was the name of two kings of Dál Riata and two kings of the Picts in the 8th and 9th centuries.
AODH m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áed
, which meant "fire"
. This was a very popular name in early Ireland, being borne by numerous figures in Irish mythology and several high kings. It has been traditionally Anglicized as Hugh
AODHÁN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán
meaning "little fire"
, a diminutive of Áed
). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
AONGHUS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly meaning "one strength"
derived from Irish óen
"one" and gus
"force, strength, energy". Aonghus (sometimes surnamed Mac Og
meaning "young son") was the Irish god of love and youth. The name was also borne by an 8th-century Pictish king and several Irish kings.
ARCHIBALD m Scottish, English
Derived from the Germanic elements ercan
"genuine" and bald
"bold". The first element was altered due to the influence of Greek names beginning with the element ἀρχός (archos)
meaning "master". The Normans brought this name to England. It first became common in Scotland in the Middle Ages.
ARRAN m Scottish
From the name of an island off the west coast of Scotland in the Firth of Clyde.
ATHOL m & f Scottish
From the name of a district in Scotland that was derived from Gaelic ath Fodhla "new Ireland"
BARCLAY m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that was likely derived from the English place name Berkeley
, meaning "birch wood"
in Old English.
BLAIR m & f Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that is derived from Gaelic blár
meaning "plain, field, battlefield"
BOYD m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was possibly derived from the name of the island of Bute.
BRUCE m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname, of Norman origin, which probably originally referred to the town of Brix in France. The surname was borne by Robert the Bruce, a Scottish hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland. It has been in use as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. A notable bearer is the American musician Bruce Springsteen (1949-).
CINÁED m Scottish, Irish
Means "born of fire"
in Gaelic. This was the name of the first king of the Scots and Picts (9th century). It is often Anglicized as Kenneth
CONALL m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Means "strong wolf"
in Irish. This is the name of several characters in Irish legend including the hero Conall Cernach ("Conall of the victories"), a member of the Red Branch of Ulster, who avenged Cúchulainn
's death by killing Lugaid.
CRAIG m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic creag
, originally indicating a person who lived near a crag.
DAVID m English, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid)
, which was derived from Hebrew דּוֹד (dod)
. David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC. Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath
, a giant Philistine. According to the New Testament, Jesus
was descended from him.... [more]
DONALD m Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Domhnall
meaning "ruler of the world"
, composed of the old Celtic elements dumno
"world" and val
"rule". This was the name of two 9th-century kings of the Scots and Picts. It has traditionally been very popular in Scotland, and during the 20th century it became common in the rest of the English-speaking world. This is the name of one of Walt Disney's most popular cartoon characters, Donald Duck. It was also borne by Australian cricket player Donald Bradman (1908-2001).
DOUGAL m Scottish, Irish
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Dubhghall
, which meant "dark stranger"
"dark" and gall
DOUGLAS m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of the Scottish surname Dubhghlas
, meaning "dark river"
from Gaelic dubh
"dark" and glais
"water, river" (an archaic word related to glas
"grey, green"). Douglas was originally a place name (for example, a tributary of the River Clyde), which then became a Scottish clan name borne by a powerful line of earls. It has been used as a given name since the 16th century.
DUNCAN m Scottish, English
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Donnchadh
, derived from Gaelic donn
"brown" and cath
"battle". This was the name of two kings of Scotland, including the one who was featured in Shakespeare's play Macbeth
EOGHAN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "born from the yew tree"
in Irish, though it is possibly derived from EUGENE
. It was borne by several legendary or semi-legendary Irish figures, including a son of Niall
of the Nine Hostages.
ERSKINE m Scottish, Irish, English (Rare)
From a surname that was originally derived from the name of a Scottish town meaning "projecting height"
in Gaelic. A famous bearer of the name was the Irish novelist and nationalist Erskine Childers (1870-1922).
FEARGHAS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Means "man of vigour"
, derived from the Irish elements fear
"man" and gus
"vigour". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including the Ulster hero Fearghas mac Róich.
FIFE m Scottish
From a Scottish place name that was formerly the name of a kingdom in Scotland. It is said to be named for the legendary Pictish hero Fib.
FINGAL m Scottish
From Scottish Gaelic Fionnghall
meaning "white stranger"
, derived from fionn
"white, fair" and gall
"stranger". This was the name of the hero in James Macpherson's 1762 epic poem Fingal
, which he claimed to have based on early Gaelic legends about Fionn
FIONA f Scottish, English
Feminine form of FIONN
. This name was (first?) used by the Scottish poet James Macpherson in his poem Fingal
(1762), in which it is spelled as Fióna
FORBES m Scottish
From a surname that was originally taken from a Scottish place name meaning "field"
FRASER m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that is of unknown meaning. A famous bearer of the surname was Simon Fraser (1776-1862), a Canadian explorer.
GAVIN m English, Scottish
Medieval form of GAWAIN
. Though it died out in England, it was reintroduced from Scotland in the 20th century.
GILCHRIST m Scottish
Derived from the Gaelic phrase giolla Chríost
meaning "servant of Christ"
GILLESPIE m Scottish
Anglicized form of Scottish Gille Easbaig
or Irish Giolla Easpuig
both meaning "servant of the bishop"
GILROY m Irish, Scottish
From an Irish surname, either Mac Giolla Ruaidh
, which means "son of the red-haired servant"
, or Mac Giolla Rí
, which means "son of the king's servant"
GLENN m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic gleann "valley"
. A famous bearer of the surname was American astronaut John Glenn (1921-2016).
GORDON m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was originally derived from a place name in Berwickshire meaning "spacious fort"
. It was originally used in honour of Charles George Gordon (1833-1885), a British general who died defending the city of Khartoum in Sudan.
GORMLAITH f Irish, Scottish
Derived from Irish gorm
"blue" or "illustrious" and flaith
"princess, lady". This was the name of a wife of the 11th-century Irish ruler Brian
GRAHAM m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname, originally 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 the Norman baron William de Graham. A famous bearer was Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-Canadian-American inventor who devised the telephone.
GRANT m English, Scottish
From an English and Scottish surname that was derived from Norman French grand
meaning "great, large"
. A famous bearer of the surname was Ulysses Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War who later served as president. In America the name has often been given in his honour.
GREGOR m German, Scottish, Slovak, Slovene
German, Scottish, Slovak and Slovene form of Gregorius
). A famous bearer was Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), a Czech monk and scientist who did experiments in genetics.
IONA (1) f English, Scottish
From the name of the island off Scotland where Saint Columba founded a monastery. The name of the island is Old Norse in origin, and apparently derives simply from ey
IRVING m English, Scottish, Jewish
From a Scottish surname that was in turn derived from a Scottish place name meaning "green water"
. Historically this name has been relatively common among Jews, who have used it as an American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I
such as Isaac
. A famous bearer was the Russian-American songwriter and lyricist Irving Berlin (1888-1989), whose birth name was Israel Beilin.
ISLA f Scottish, English
Variant of ISLAY
, typically used as a feminine name. It also coincides with the Spanish word isla
ISLAY m & f Scottish
From the name of the island of Islay, which lies off of the west coast of Scotland.
IVOR m Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English (British)
From the Old Norse name Ívarr
, which was derived from the elements yr
"yew, bow" and arr
"warrior". During the Middle Ages it was brought to Britain by Scandinavian settlers and invaders, and it was adopted in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
JAMIE m & f Scottish, English
Originally a Lowland Scots diminutive of JAMES
. Since the late 19th century it has also been used as a feminine form.
JEAN (2) f English, Scottish
Medieval English variant of Jehanne
). It was common in England and Scotland during the Middle Ages, but eventually became rare in England. It was reintroduced to the English-speaking world from Scotland in the 19th century.
KEITH m English, Scottish
From a Scottish surname that was originally derived from a place name, itself probably derived from the Brythonic element cet
. This was the surname of a long line of Scottish nobles. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century.
KENNETH m Scottish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Anglicized form of both COINNEACH
. This name was borne by the Scottish king Kenneth (Cináed) mac Alpin, who united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century. It was popularized outside of Scotland by Sir Walter Scott, who used it for the hero in his 1825 novel The Talisman
. A famous bearer was the British novelist Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932), who wrote The Wind in the Willows
KENTIGERN m Scottish
Possibly means "chief lord"
in Gaelic. This was the name of a 6th-century saint from Glasgow.
KERR m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that was derived from a place name meaning "rough wet ground"
in Old Norse.
LACHLAN m Scottish, English (Australian)
Originally a Scottish nickname for a person who was from Norway. In Scotland, Norway was known as the "land of the lochs"
, or Lochlann
LENNOX m & f Scottish, English (Modern)
From a Scottish surname that was derived from the name of a district in Scotland. The district, called Leamhnachd
in Gaelic, possibly means "place of elms".
LINDSAY f & m English, Scottish
From an English and Scottish surname that was originally derived from the name of the region Lindsey
, which means "LINCOLN
island" in Old English. As a given name it was typically masculine until the 1960s (in Britain) and 1970s (in America) when it became popular for girls, probably due to its similarity to Linda
and because of American actress Lindsay Wagner (1949-).
LOGAN m & f Scottish, English
From a surname that was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow"
in Scottish Gaelic.
MALCOLM m Scottish, English
From Scottish Gaelic Máel Coluim
, which means "disciple of Saint COLUMBA"
. This was the name of four kings of Scotland starting in the 10th century, including Malcolm III, who became king after killing Macbeth, the usurper who had murdered his father. The character Malcolm in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth
(1606) is based on him. Another famous bearer was Malcolm X (1925-1965), an American civil rights leader.
MALVINA f Scottish, English, Literature
Created by the poet James MacPherson in the 18th century for a character in his Ossian poems. He probably intended it to mean "smooth brow"
MAURA (2) f Irish, Scottish, English
Anglicized form of MÁIRE
. It has also been associated with Gaelic mór
meaning "great". This was the name of an obscure 5th-century Irish or Scottish martyr.
MOIRA f Irish, Scottish, English
Anglicized form of MÁIRE
. It also coincides with Greek Μοῖρα (Moira)
meaning "fate, destiny", the singular of Μοῖραι
, the Greek name for the Fates. They were the three female personifications of destiny in Greek mythology.
MONROE m & f Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname meaning "from the mouth of the Roe"
. The Roe is a river in Ireland. Two famous bearers of the surname were American president James Monroe (1758-1831) and American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962).
MÒR f Scottish
in Scottish Gaelic. It is sometimes translated into English as Sarah
MORVEN f Scottish
From a Scottish place name meaning "big gap"
. This was the name of Fingal's kingdom in James Macpherson's poems.
MUIR m Scottish
From a surname that was originally taken from a Scottish place name meaning "moor, fen"
. It also means "sea"
in Scottish Gaelic.
MUNGO m Scottish
Possibly derived from Welsh mwyn "gentle, kind"
. This was a nickname of the 6th-century Saint Kentigern.
NAOISE m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown, presumably of Gaelic origin. In Irish legend he was the young man who eloped with Deirdre
, the beloved of Conchobhar
the king of Ulster. Conchobhar eventually succeeded in having Naoise murdered, which caused Deirdre to die of grief.
NAOMHÁN m Irish, Scottish
Means "little saint"
, derived from Irish naomh
"saint" combined with a diminutive suffix.
NEIL m Irish, Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Niall
, which is of disputed origin, possibly meaning "champion"
. This was the name of a semi-legendary 4th-century Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages.... [more]
NINIAN m Scottish, Irish, Ancient Celtic
Meaning unknown. It appears in a Latinized form Niniavus
, which could be from the Welsh name NYNNIAW
. This was the name of a 5th-century British saint who was apparently responsible for many miracles and cures. He is known as the Apostle to the Picts.
RANULF m Scottish
Scottish form of the Old Norse name Randúlfr
, a cognate of RANDOLF
. Scandinavian settlers and invaders introduced this name to Scotland in the Middle Ages.
RHONA f Scottish
Possibly derived from the name of the Hebridean island Rona
, which means "rough island"
RODERICK m English, Scottish, Welsh
Means "famous ruler"
from the Germanic elements hrod
"fame" and ric
"ruler, mighty". This name was in use among the Visigoths; it was borne by their last king (also known as Rodrigo), who died fighting the Muslim invaders of Spain in the 8th century. It also had cognates in Old Norse and West Germanic, and Scandinavian settlers and Normans introduced it to England, though it died out after the Middle Ages. It was revived in the English-speaking world by Sir Walter Scott's 1811 poem The Vision of Don Roderick
RONALD m Scottish, English, Dutch, German
Scottish form of RAGNVALDR
, a name introduced to Scotland by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. It became popular outside Scotland during the 20th century. A famous bearer was American actor and president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).
ROSS m Scottish, English
From a Scottish and English surname that originally indicated a person from a place called Ross
(such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland), derived from Gaelic ros
meaning "promontory, headland". A famous bearer of the surname was Sir James Clark Ross (1800-1862), an Antarctic explorer.
ROY m Scottish, English, Dutch
Anglicized form of RUADH
. A notable bearer was the Scottish outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy (1671-1734). It is often associated with French roi
RUADH m Irish, Scottish
Gaelic byname meaning "red"
, often a nickname for one with red hair. This was the nickname of the Scottish outlaw Raibeart Ruadh MacGregor (1671-1734), known as Rob Roy in English.
SCOTT m English, Scottish
From an English and Scottish surname that referred to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic. It is derived from Latin Scoti
meaning "Gaelic speaker", with the ultimate origin uncertain.
SENGA f Scottish
Sometimes explained as an anagram of AGNES
, but more likely derived from Gaelic seang "slender"
SHAW (2) m Scottish
From a Scottish surname that was itself derived from the Gaelic byname Sithech