40 Scottish Last Names, Their Gaelic Meanings, And Pronounciations

40 Popular Scottish Last Names That’ll Make You Want To Get A Kilt

December 9, 2019 Updated October 6, 2020

scottish last names
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Scottish last names are a great insight into the country’s rich history. Similar to Irish last names, their origins began with the Gaelic clan system that reigned the land. There’s therefore an overlapping between each country’s traditional surnames, but you can usually tell the differences by slight spelling variations. If you’ve ever wondered whether your last name has Scottish or Irish roots, we’ve got you covered!

Take a look at our list of Scottish last names with their Scots Gaelic spellings and meanings.

  1. MacGavin/MacGowan/Smith
    Scottish spelling: Mac a’ Ghobhainn
    Meaning: Son of the blacksmith.
  2. Brown
    Scottish spelling: Brùn
    Meaning: The color brown, traditionally in reference to someone of dark hair or complexion.
  3. MacNally/MacInally
    Scottish spelling: Mac an Ollaimh
    Meaning: Son of the learned man/son of the master poet.
  4. Clark/MacClery/MacLerie
    Scottish spelling: Mac a’ Chléirich
    Meaning: Son of the clerk.
  5. MacMillan
    Scottish spelling: Maoileanach/Maolanach
    Meaning: Son of the tonsure.
  6. Buchanan
    Scottish spelling: Buchanan/Buchannon/Buchanon
    Meaning: House of the canon.
  7. Walsh/Welsh
    Scottish spelling: Breathnach
    Meaning: Welshman.
  8. Vass
    Scottish spelling: Bhàsa
    Meaning: Generally referring to a servant or serf, though bàs literally translates to ‘death’.
  9. King/MacNee
    Scottish spelling: Mac an Rìgh
    Meaning: Son of the king.
  10. Gordon
    Scottish spelling: Gòrdan/Gòrdanach
    Meaning: Large fortress.
  11. Lennox
    Scottish spelling: Leamhanach/Leamhnach
    Meaning: Elm tree.
  12. Blair
    Scottish spelling: Blàr
    Meaning: Plain or field.
  13. Lees
    Scottish spelling: Lìos
    Meaning: Fields or pasture.
  14. MacGill
    Scottish spelling: Mac a’ Ghoill
    Meaning: Son of the stranger.
  15. Roy/Macanroy/Macinroy
    Scottish spelling: Mac an Ruaidh
    Meaning: Son of the red-haired.

    Scottish surnames, animated princess wakes up
  16. MacCabe
    Scottish spelling: MacCàba/Mac Aba
    Meaning: Son of the helmeted warrior or son of the abbot.
  17. Stewart
    Scottish spelling: Stiùbhart
    Meaning: Warden of the hall.
  18. Wallace
    Scottish spelling: Ualas
    Meaning: Foreigner or Welshman.
  19. Monroe/Munro
    Scottish spelling: Rothach
    Meaning: Man from the River Roe.
  20. Cowan/MacCowan
    Scottish spelling: MacCòmhain/MacEoghain
    Meaning: Son of the yew tree.
  21. Hunter
    Scottish spelling: Mac an t-Sealgair
    Meaning: Son of the hunter.
  22. Fletcher
    Scottish spelling: Mac an Fhleisteir
    Meaning: Arrow smith.
  23. MacMaster
    Scottish spelling: Mac a’ Mhaighstir
    Meaning: Son of the cleric/master.
  24. Gillies
    Scottish spelling: Gilios/Gill’Iosa
    Meaning: Servant of Jesus.
  25. Brodie
    Scottish spelling: Brothaigh
    Meaning: Muddy place or steep place.
  26. Cunningham
    Scottish spelling: Coineagan
    Meaning: Rabbit’s home.
  27. Forbes
    Scottish spelling: Foirbeis
    Meaning: Field or district.
  28. MacDuff
    Scottish spelling: Mac Dhuibh/Dubhach
    Meaning: Son of the black-haired.
  29. Currie
    Scottish spelling: Curraigh/Mac’Uirigh
    Meaning: Marshland.
  30. Bowie
    Scottish spelling: Buidheach
    Meaning: Yellow or fair-haired.

    Scottish last names, man dancing with goblins
  31. Abercrombie
    Scottish spelling: Abarcrumbach
    Meaning: Confluence of rivers at a bend, or mouth of the bendy river.
  32. Alexandar/Alexander
    Scottish spelling: MacAlasdair
    Meaning: Protector of mankind.
  33. Cameron
    Scottish spelling: Cambeul
    Meaning: Crooked mouth.
  34. Findlay
    Scottish spelling: Fionnlagh
    Meaning: Fair hero.
  35. MacAdam
    Scottish spelling: MacAdam
    Meaning: Son of Adam.
  36. MacAlpine
    Scottish spelling: MacAilpein
    Meaning: Son of Alpin, or son of the blonde one.
  37. MacDougall
    Scottish spelling: MacDhugaill, Mac Dubhghaill
    Meaning: Son of Dougal, dark stranger.
  38. McLeish
    Scottish spelling: Mac Gille Iosa, Gillies
    Meaning: Son of the servant of Jesus.
  39. Ferguson
    Scottish spelling: Macfhearghus
    Meaning: Son of the angry one.
  40. Docherty
    Scottish spelling: O’Dochartaigh
    Meaning: Hurtful or obstructive.

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