60 Scottish Last Names or Surnames

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The families in Scotland originated between the 9th and the 12th century. The last names also came into existence around the 12th century. The Scottish surnames also have great meaning to them. Here is the list of 60 such Scottish family names with their meanings.

60 Scottish Surnames or Family Names With Meanings

The family names in Scotland have really interesting meanings.

1. Abercrombie

This is a habitational surname that refers to a place called Fife in Scotland. The word means ‘the confluence of rivers at a bend’.

2. Aitken

The last name is derived from the Hebrew word Adam, which means ‘man’.

3. Alexandar

It is a very popular surname indeed. The surname means the ‘protector of the mankind’.

4. Allan

This is a surname that has been derived from an old Gaelic word which means ‘rock’. The name means ‘little rock’.

5. Anderson

The name is Greek, and means ‘the son of Andrew’. This surname means somebody who is masculine.

6. Archie

This surname is a short version of Archibald. The name means ‘holy and bold prince’.

7. Arthur

This old Celtic name means ‘a strong king’ or ‘a king/man who is as strong as a bear’.

8. Aikin

This is a common Scottish surname; it means ‘red earth’.

9. Aird

This Scottish surname is a Gaelic habitational surname, which means ‘height’ or ‘lofty’.

10. Armour

This occupational surname has a French origin,  and it means ‘those who make arms’.

11. Barclay

This is a habitational surname in Scotland that originated from Old English. It means ‘birch-wood’.

12. Bell

This is another occupational surname for people who used to make bells or ring bells at the Church. This last name originated from the Middle English word ‘belle’, which has the same meaning.

13. Black

This is a surname derived from the Middle English word ‘blake’. It refers to those who have dark coloured hair or have a dark complexion.

14. Blackwood

Blackwood is a habitational surname and is given to those people who originate from the Blackwood region of Scotland.

15. Boyce

This Scottish last name is derived from the Old French word which means ‘wood’. This surname is mainly bestowed upon a family that used to live near the woods.

16. Bran

This surname is derived from a Gaelic word ‘bran’, which means a ‘raven’.

17. Braid

This is another habitational name which generally demarks people who belong to the place called Braid in South Edinburgh.

18. Brown

This surname is frequently available among the English and Scottish. The name refers to people who have brown hair or near dark complexion.

19. Burns

Burns is the last name that is mostly borne by people who originate from a place near the stream. The name is derived from the Old English word ‘burne’ which means ‘stream’.

20. Bagby

This habitational last name is most popular among people from North Yorkshire.

21. Bannerman

It is an occupational surname which has been derived from an Anglo-Norman French word ‘banere’, which means ‘flag bearer’.

22. Butchart

This surname originates from an Anglo Saxon personal name ‘Burgheard’. In Old English, the name means ‘brave’.

23. Cameron

This is one of the famous Scottish last names that derived from a Gaelic phrase ‘ cam beul’. It means ‘crooked mouth’.

24. Cairns

This surname originates from another Gaelic word ‘carn’, and it means a ‘heap of rough stones’.

25. Cunningham

There was a region called Cunningham in Scotland and this surname was given to the people who belonged to that place.

26. Crawford

This surname is originated in the Old English, and it means ‘river crossing’. This last name is mostly borne by people belonging to the Crawford region.

27. Craig

This is another Scottish surname that means ‘rock’ or ‘stone’. Mostly people belonging to a rocky mountain are given this last name.

28. Christie

Christie is a patronymic name that means ‘someone who bears Christ himself’ or ‘son of Christopher’.

29. Dunsmore

This is an Old last name which was bestowed upon people who used to belong to the old Scottish place called Dundemore.

30. Davidson

The name literally means ‘son of David’. In Hebrew, the word ‘David’ means ‘beloved’. So, the meaning of the name is ‘beloved son’.

31. Duncan

This last name comes from an old Gaelic name ‘Donnchadh’; it means ‘a dark-haired warrior’.

32. Dickson

Dickson means ‘the son of Dick’ and ‘Dick’ is the other name of Richard. The word means ‘brave ruler’. So, the name means ‘son of a brave ruler’.

33. Donaldson

This is another patronymic last name, and it means ‘son of Donald’. The Old Gaelic, Donald means ‘ruler of the world’.

34. Docherty

This name is common among the Irish and Scottish people. The last name has a Gaelic origin and means ‘stern’.

35. Elgin

Elgin is a place that is situated in the Moray region of Scotland. The people who belong to this place are given this last name.

36. Forbes

This surname was given to people belonging to a place called Forbes that is situated close to Aberdeen in Scotland. The meaning of the name is ‘field’.

37. Faulkner

This surname is derived from a Middle English name which means ‘falcon keeper’. Mostly those who used to own and train falcons were given this name.

38. Fowler

This name is another occupational surname that was given to the ‘bird catchers’.

39. Falla

This is a toponymic last name. It was given to the people who belonged to Fala, a region in Scotland.

40. Findlay

Findlay has its origin in an Old Gaelic word ‘fionn’ which means a ‘light-skinned warrior’.

41. Ferguson

Soccer fans will be familiar with this name. Ferguson means ‘son of Fergus’. The Gaelic name means a ‘man of vigour’.

42. Gibson

Another last name that made Scotland proud in the field of Cinema is Gibson. This patronymic last name means’ son of Gib’. Gib, a word derived from the Old German word Gilbert, means ‘bright pledge’.

43. Grant

The origin of this last name belongs somewhere in the Norman-French words, and it means ‘tall’.

44. Gilchrist

Another last name that is very famous around the world thanks to the Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist, who actually belongs to Scotland. The name comes from an Old Gaelic phrase ‘giolla Chriost’, which means ‘servant of Christ.’

45. Graham

This last name finds its origin in the Old English, and it means ‘gravelly homestead.’ This name was mostly given to people who belonged to the Grantham region in England.

46. Gilmore

Gilmore is a famous last name; it means ‘servant of Mary’.

47. Gray

The surname denotes people having grey hair or beard or clothes.

48. Gordon

This welsh name means ‘a spacious fort’.

49. Hamilton

This is a toponymic surname as it suggests and denotes people who belonged to the Hamilton region. The name means ‘crooked hill’.

50. Hughes

This name has an Old Anglo-Norman origin. It means ‘someone with a great heart or spirit’.

51. Hill

This surname already is clearly topographic. It refers to people who belonged to the hillside.

52. Henderson

Another known surname amongst soccer lovers, Henderson is a patronymic surname that means ‘son of Hendry’. Originating from old German, the name means ‘ruler of the home’.

53. Innes

This topographic surname has an Old Gaelic origin. The name means ‘island’ and was given to the clan of Innes, in the Moray County in Scotland.

54. Jones

One of the most famous last names Jones has its origin in Scotland. The word is derived from Hebrew and means ‘God is gracious’.

55. Jack

This is another Scottish surname with the same meaning as Jones. The medieval name also means ‘God is gracious’.

56. Kendrick

This is an Anglicised form of a Gaelic name ‘Mac Eanraig’ and means ‘Son of Henry’. The last name actually means ‘ruler of the home.’

57. Kelly

Kelly is another topographic surname denoting people belonging to the Kelly regions in Scotland. The name in Cornish literally means the ‘grove’.

58. Lawson

This is also a patronymic surname. It means ‘son of Laurence’.

59. McDonald

Made popular all over the world by the famous food chain, McDonald is a Scottish surname that means ‘son of the ruler of the world’.

60. Owen

The origin of this surname lies in Old Gaelic, and it means ‘well-born’.

These were some of the popular as well as rare Scottish surnames with their meanings. Now you know when we suggest a surname, it is just not a name, but a treasure trove of hidden facts of generations gone by and a rich heritage passed down!


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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.