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Scottish Names

Scottish baby names may be familiar outside their native land, but many retain their distinctly Scottish style. While Scottish names may relate to both Ireland via their individual versions of the Gaelic language and to England via their shared heritage in the United Kingdom.

The most popular Scottish names today evidence that blend, with English names such as Emily and Jack sharing the stage with distinctly Scottish names such as Isla and Finlay. If you have Scottish heritage or simply love that beautiful land, you may be interested in finding a Scottish name for your baby.

The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.

Here, our full list of Scottish boys' names and Scottish girls' names.

LoganHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "small hollow"
  • Description:

    Logan originated as a Scottish surname which was derived from a place of that name in Ayrshire. The place name came from lagan, a Scottish Gaelic diminutive of lag, meaning “hollow.” Alternate spellings include Logon, Logen, and Logyn, which is more common among girls.

IslaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish place-name or Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "island"
  • Description:

    Isla, the Spanish word for island, is also the name of a Scottish river, an island (spelled Islay), and the red-haired actress Isla Fisher, married to Sacha Baron Cohen. A top girls' name in the US, Isla is also popular overseas, especially in England, Wales, and her native Scotland.

PaisleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "church, cemetery"
  • Description:

    For a name related to a Scottish town, a richly patterned Indian fabric, and a country singer named Brad, Paisley has been a remarkable success story. She entered the Top 1000 in 2006, and broke into the Top 50 for the first time in 2015, and is now one of the most popular girl names that start with P.

CameronHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "crooked nose"
  • Description:

    Cameron is a popular Scottish name, for both boys and now girls (thanks to Cameron Diaz). With its good-looking, sensitive aura, Cameron has also generated a deluge of variant spellings.

AllisonHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish, diminutive of Alice
  • Meaning:

    "noble"
  • Description:

    Widely used here since the fifties, Allison -- a derivative of Alice -- has far surpassed the original in popularity, though now it's eclipsed by Addison. Alice itself is also rising again. Ellison -- another Allison-inspired variant -- is another fresh spin. For more, see Alison.

IanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish version of John
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is gracious"
  • Description:

    Ian is Scottish form of John, derived from the Hebrew name Yohanan. It is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic Iain, which is also a viable spelling. Ian was introduced to Americans by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

CarsonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the marsh-dwellers"
  • Description:

    Carson is one of the most long-running popular androgynous baby names, with a dash of the Wild West via the legendary Missouri frontiersman Kit Carson. Dating back to when it was the name of Nancy Drew's Dad, Carson is still steadily in the Top 100 baby names.

    Current Carsons include TV personalities Carson Daly and Carson Kressley, and Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer. Carson Wells was the bounty hunter character played by Woody Harrelson in No Country for Old Men, and Carson is the name chosen by actress Kathryn Erbe for her son.

RowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rowan tree; little redhead"
  • Description:

    Rowan – a strong surname and nature name (it's a tree with red berries) – is deservedly growing in popularity. Some scholars identify Rowan as originally a girls’ name, related to Rowena and Rhonwen, while others say Rowan's always been used for both genders. Sharon Stone chose the Roan spelling, which also relates to the reddish color, for her son, while Brooke Shields used Rowan for her daughter. Yet another increasingly popular spelling is Rowen.

MackenzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of Kenneth"
  • Description:

    Originally inspired as a a girls’ name by eighties TV actress Mackenzie Phillips, parents have flocked to Mackenzie – once only a male name – for their daughters. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is one of the thousands who've chosen Mackenzie. Other Mac names, such as Makayla and McKenna, are also newly popular for girls.

MaxwellHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "great stream"
  • Description:

    A happy medium between the weighty Maximilian and the laid-back Max, Maxwell is one of the most classic and attractive Scottish names. Early influences on the name's revival include Maxwell Smart of the television show, and then movie, Get Smart, and the Beatles song about Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

CamdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "winding valley"
  • Description:

    Camden is a surprise hit, probably as a result of some star baby cred: it has been chosen by no less than four celebrity parents since 2012. Camden is a Jersey Boy name, along with equally popular Trenton -- these are two cases where the names are more attractive than the places that inspired them.

BrodyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, English, and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "broad eye or broad island"
  • Description:

    The energetic Brody is a name that claims different meanings and origins depending on whether you're looking at its Irish, Scottish, or English history -- and Eastern Europeans claim a version too. An alternate spelling is Brodie.

GrahamHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "gravelly homestead"
  • Description:

    Well used in England and Scotland since the fifties, the smooth and sophisticated Graham is catching on here.

FinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired hero"
  • Description:

    This was a 100 percent boys’ name until celebs Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon bestowed it on their daughter, recently followed by Lisa Marie Presley, who used it for one of her (female) twins. Finlay is also now among the most popular unisex names.

GrantHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish from French
  • Meaning:

    "large"
  • Description:

    One-time beach-boy compadre of Glenn, Greg, and Gary that originated as a nickname for a tall person, Grant has become a no-nonsense, career-oriented grown-up and one that is seeing new appreciation. It was chosen for his son by actor Morris Chestnut. It has cultural cred via artist Grant Wood, whose best known painting is 'American Gothic.'

ElsieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth via its Scottish variation, Elspeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Not so long ago, Elsie might have been on a list of Names Least Likely to Succeed—but look at her now! She is currently ranked very highly in the U.K., and in the US, she's widely used as well, having returned to the popular names list in 2005 after a thirty-year hiatus. Elsie is now one of the fastest-rising girl names starting with E.

BryceHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Brice, Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "speckled, freckled"
  • Description:

    This spelling of Brice relates the name to Utah's spectacular Bryce Canyon -- and is much more popular for both genders than the original Brice. Basketball's LeBron James named his son Bryce Maximus James, and in one of his early movies, John Cusack played a Bryce in Sixteen Candles.

KnoxHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "round hill"
  • Description:

    Knox is an old Scottish surname that Brad Pitt (whose great-great-grandfather was named Hal Knox Hillhouse) and Angelina Jolie took out of the back cupboard, dusted off, and elevated to coolness--to the point where it entered the popular baby names list in 2009. Knox now ranks among the most influential celebrity baby names.

RowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rowan tree; little redhead"
  • Description:

    Rowan is the name of a tree with red berries that's commonly found in Scotland (and said to ward off witches). Some scholars say this name has been used for girls as well as boys since the Middle Ages, though no Rowans are found outside literature until modern times. It's also a genial Irish surname choice, especially for a redhead – girl or boy.

MckenzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Mackenzie, Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of Kenneth"
  • Description:

    This variation without the A is one of the patronymics – names that mean 'son of – that have been widely adopted for girls.

ColinHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "pup"
  • Description:

    Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image--due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell-- and its c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.

MalcolmHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "devotee of St. Colomba"
  • Description:

    Malcolm is a warm and welcoming Scottish appellation (originally Mael-Colium) that fits into that golden circle of names that are distinctive but not at all odd. A royal name in Scotland, Malcolm is also a hero name for many via radical civil rights activist Malcolm X.

LennoxHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "elm grove"
  • Description:

    Lennox is an aristocratic and powerful Scottish surname name made truly special by that final x. The worldwide fame of British boxer--World and Olympic champion--Lennox Claudius Lewis brought the name into the spotlight as a first name, while as a last it's tied to Eurythmics singer Annie L.

FionaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "white, fair"
  • Description:

    Fiona entered the American consciousness with the opening of the 1954 Broadway musical Brigadoon, but didn't come onto the U.S. popularity list until 1990.

FinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired hero"
  • Description:

    Finley is a Scottish royal name (it belonged to Macbeth's father) riding the wave of Finn names. Chris O'Donnell used it for one of his sons, and Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn did a gender switch when they named their daughter Finley.

KyleHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "narrow spit of land"
  • Description:

    Kyle is still appreciated by thousands of parents each year for its combination of simplicity, strength, and style; it was in the Top 20 for most of the nineties. As a Scottish surname, it dates back to the fifteenth century.

LoganHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "little hollow"
  • Description:

    Logan, with its appealing Scottish burr, is a very hot boys' name—it's in the national Top 10 and heading for Number 1 in some states—and can also make a rich and resonant choice for a girl. Jason and Jordan Mewes have a daughter named Logan Lee.

BlairHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "dweller on the plain"
  • Description:

    In the USA, Blair is gaining momentum. In England and Wales, Blair is incredibly unpopular for girls, sitting well outside the Top 2000.

CallumHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish form of Columba, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dove"
  • Description:

    Callum was derived from Latin Columba, a unisex given name meaning "dove." Callum was popular among early Christians because the dove was a symbol of purity, peace and the Holy Spirit. St. Columba was one of the most influential of the early Celtic saints.

AinsleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "one's own meadow"
  • Description:

    While theoretically unisex, this surname name has been edging up the girls’ names list, perhaps originally as an Ashley substitute.

CollinsHeart

  • Origin:

    Surname derived from Nicholas or Colin
  • Description:

    Collins is a surname name that has made the girls' Top 1000 thanks to its use for the daughter of the real-life Blind Side heroine. This derivation of the Greek Nicholas—which means "people of victory"—or the Irish and Scottish Colin—which may itself be a Nicholas derivation or an Anglicization of the word for pup—has a stylish feel made more so by that final s.

KenzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of Mackenzie
  • Description:

    Kenzie freshens up Mackenzie.

MaisieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
  • Meaning:

    "pearl or bitter"
  • Description:

    Maisie, a hundred-year-old favorite, is in perfect tune with today, rising in tandem with cousin Daisy. Spelled Maisy, it's a popular children's book series.

KendrickHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "royal ruler, champion"
  • Description:

    Harsh name that found some favor in the last couple of decades—potentially due to rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was one of the quickest rising baby names in 2013 when it reached its high point at Number 318.

AlisonHeart

  • Origin:

    Norman French, diminutive of Alice
  • Description:

    Alison has been long popular in Scotland and widely used here since the fifties; this more feminine medieval derivative of Alice had long surpassed the original in popularity. But now sounds a tad dated in the U.S., with Alice having leapfrogged back over Alison, Alicia and other variations. Allison is the only variant still ahead of the stylish Alice.

RoryHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "red king"
  • Description:

    Rory is a buoyant, spirited name for a redhead with Celtic roots. The name Rory is getting more popular overall, but for the past few years has been trending decidedly toward the boys' side -- however, it's been rising to new heights for girls in recent years.

CollinHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Colin and Collins
  • Description:

    Thanks to its dashing British image and c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin/Collin has enjoyed a long run of popularity.

SkyeHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish place-name
  • Description:

    The e-addition takes the name from slightly hippie-ish nature name to the place name of a picturesque island off the coast of Scotland, and for baby namers it's by far the more popular spelling.

CameronHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "crooked nose"
  • Description:

    Cameron Diaz almost single-handedly transported this sophisticated Scottish male surname into the girls' camp, where it has had a rapid rise to popularity -- though it's never caught up with the boys. Another actress, Camryn Manheim (born Debra), did the same thing for the phonetic spelling.

BruceHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and English from French
  • Meaning:

    "from the brushwood thicket"
  • Description:

    Bruce is a Norman place name made famous by the Scottish king Robert the Bruce, who won Scotland's independence from England in the fourteenth century. It's perennially popular in Scotland, but has been rarely used here for a generation -- though the impact of Bruces Lee, Springsteen, Dern and Willis, as well as Batman's Bruce Wayne -- still lingers. At one time Bruce was so widespread in Australia, it became a nickname for any Ozzie man. An interesting alternative is Brix, the Normandy place name where the Bruce family originated.

MackHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

    Mack, when "formalized" with the final k, makes an engagingly amiable choice, a far more

ElaineHeart

  • Origin:

    French and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining light"
  • Description:

    This old Scottish form of Helen has had quite a history, going from appearing as one of the shining heroines of the Arthurian legends, the princess who fell in love with Sir Lancelot and became the mother of Sir Galahad, referred to as 'Elaine the fair' and 'Elaine the lovable', to being the name of the most famous of New York's celebrity restaurants, to being the archetypal New York neurotic on Seinfeld.

MckinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the fair hero"
  • Description:

    Presidential name that makes a fresh substitute for MacKenzie or McKenna. Possible spelling variations include MacKinley, MacKinlee, Makinleigh ad almost infinitum. McKinley is one of the Scottish names for girls that can work equally well for boys.

LennoxHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "elm grove"
  • Description:

    Lennox is one of the new breed of surname names on the rise as a Scottish name for girls as well as boys. The final x makes the name a bit masculine a la Max and Felix, but female inspirations include Eurythmics' Annie Lennox, Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden, and Lennox Scanlon in sitcom Melissa & Joey.

KeithHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "wood"
  • Description:

    Strong but gentle, Keith is one of the Scottish surnames that, along with Douglas, Craig and Bruce, were considered the epitome of cool in the 1960s and early 1970s, when it was a Top 40 choice.

LeslieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "garden of holly"
  • Description:

    A Scottish place and surname that was once adrogynous but now leans about 20 to 1 toward the girls' side, Leslie has a pleasant, heathery feel that kept it in or near the Top 100 for several decades; the Lesly and Lesley spellings are also frequently used, especially in Britain. While Leslie may not be the freshest name in the bunch, it's become a modern classic and is one of the surprising names always to have ranked among the US Top 1000 for girls.

BonnieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful, cheerful"
  • Description:

    Bonnie is a word the Scots really do use for pretty, thus the root of this name, from the French bonne. Bonnie is teetering on the edge of a comeback right now, along with Betty and Bea one of the girls' names starting with Bthat are so far out they're heading back in, especially in the UK.

DonaldHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "proud chief"
  • Description:

    Donald has been used for centuries in Scotland, where the Macdonald clan is one of the most ancient and where there have been six early Scottish kings by that name. Donald was a Top 20 name throughout most of the early twentieth century. But first there was the quacking Donald Duck, introduced in 1934, to affect its image, and then there was The Donald Trump, leaving it drained of much baby appeal. Trump's surprising run to the presidency didn't save Donald's decline on the baby name charts; it fell 47 spots between 2015 and 2016, from 441 to 488, and is now a less popular name than it's been since records have been kept.

MinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish diminutive, also Hindu equivalent of Pisces
  • Description:

    Most famous as a Dracula victim (where Mina is short for Wilhelmina), Mina is an all-purpose name.

EileenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Evelyn
  • Meaning:

    "desired; or water, island"
  • Description:

    Irish Aileen continues to be more popular than Scottish Eileen, though both names have seen an unexpected resurgence since 2012. Nicknames for Eileen include Isla, Lee and Lina. Eileen is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Eibhlin or Aibhilin, which is technically a form of to Evelyn/Aveline, but is also sometimes considered part of the Helen family of names. It was quite popular in the early part of the twentieth century.
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