Celebrity Names: The Mcs and the Macs
Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective star Matthew McConaughey has a mixed heritage that includes both Irish and Scottish roots. His surname actually relates back to the personal name Robert, and has distinguished early royal connections.
- Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective star Matthew McConaughey has a mixed heritage that includes both Irish and Scottish roots. His surname actually relates back to the personal name Robert, and has distinguished early royal connections." >
- Elle Macpherson was born Eleanor Nancy Gow; Macpherson was her stepfather’s surname. The most famous/infamous bearer of the name was Aimee Semple McPherson, controversial California evangelist. In Scottish Gaelic the name means ‘son of the parson.’" >
- Ewan McGregor bears a name that was once banned in Scotland due to the unruly behavior of the ancient Clan MacGregor. Kids might associate the name with mean Mr. McGregor in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, who was most likely named for her landlord at the time, Atholl McGregor." >
- Andie MacDowell (born Rosalie Anderson MacDowell) is of Scottish descent. MacDowell, a version of McDugall, means ‘son of the dark foreigner’ and is also associated with the actors Malcolm McDowell and Roddy McDowall." >
- Dylan McDermott, née Mark Anthony McDermott, got his big break on the series The Practice. McDermott means—surprise, surprise!—‘son of Dermot’ and another contemporary bearer is actor Dean McD. of Tori & Dean." >
- Rachel McAdams was born in London, Ontario, Canada. This Scottish surname was more often the singular McAdam. As a first name, Adam was introduced to England and Scotland by returning Crusaders, who began giving their children biblical names." >
- Eric McCormack is best known for his leading role as Will Truman in Will & Grace. A patronymic with an obvious ‘son of’ meaning and several different spellings, eminent McCormack and McCormicks have included the inventor of the McCormick reaper, a great Irish-American opera singer, a prominent publishing family, and contemporary actress Mary." >
- Ian McKellen is of Scots-Irish descent. The meaning of the name McKellen is the not-so-obvious ‘son of Allen.’" >
- Mike & Molly star Melissa McCarthy is part of a “big Irish-Catholic family,” which includes cousin Jenny McCarthy of The View. McCarthy is the most common of the ancient Irish names, as evidenced by its legion of noted bearers, including writers Cormac and Mary and Senator Eugene, though it was somewhat tainted during the era of “McCarthyism,” via witch-hunting Senator Joseph." >
- Paul and his fashion designer daughter Stella bear the Scottish form of the name McCarthy, which is less common and thereby more distinctive than its Irish version." >
- Elizabeth McGovern has had a striking career renaissance via her mother role as Cora, Duchess of Grantham on Downton Abbey. Her very old Gaelic surname derives from the Irish word meaning ‘summer.’ Most notable McGovern is liberal Senator George, who ran for president in 1972." >
- Seth MacFarlane, the creator of TV animated show Family Guy and the movie Ted, was the 2013 Oscar host. Macfarlane is an ancient Scottish surname, also recorded in Ireland. It’s related to the name Bartholomew." >
- Oscar-winning Shirley MacLaine—born Shirley McLean Beaty—has gone from singing and dancing with Sinatra to, yes, a mother role on Downton Abbey. MacLaine/McLean are Angicized forms of a patronymic meaning “son of a servant of St. John.”" >
- Tim McGraw—born Samuel Timothy—is a bestselling country singer-songwriter, and son of pro pitcher ‘Tug’ McGraw. McGraw is a common Irish surname whose high-profile bearers include Dr. Phil and actress Ali. It means ‘son of good fortune.’" >
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
on February 21st, 2014 at 11:42 am
My personal favourites are MacDhui, MacNabb, McHugh, and McKean, but I don’t think I’d ever give them as first names. As someone whose first name is a Scottish surname, I would have preferred having a “normal” first name as a name.
on February 21st, 2014 at 1:20 pm
I like Mc Adams
on February 21st, 2014 at 3:17 pm
My grandmothers maiden name was McKenna. I would love to use that as a first name for a boy, but since it’s been used so much for girls, I am a little apprehensive.
on February 21st, 2014 at 3:32 pm
I like McElwain. I imagine it’s pronounced MACKlwin. I think Ian McElwain has a nice ring. I also like Macalistair or spelling variants.
February 21st, 2014 at 3:17 pm
“My grandmothers maiden name was McKenna. I would love to use that as a first name for a boy, but since it’s been used so much for girls, I am a little apprehensive.”
I have an aunt with the last name McKenna, and I, too, can only see it as a girl’s name.
on February 21st, 2014 at 3:39 pm
I know a guy whose first name is McDonald. He goes by Mac. It works really well.
on February 21st, 2014 at 5:03 pm
These name all seem better without the prefix. What’s wrong with just Gregor or Kellen or Dermot? I also like the names Mac and Mick all by themselves. I guess I just don’t want my child’s name sounding like a law firm.
on February 22nd, 2014 at 1:52 am
I was in a buffet line once where I was served by a tall young man whose name tag showed his first name to be McHugh. I was intrigued, especially as his last name was Pierre (!), but I didn’t scrape up the nerve to ask him about it.
The way Mackenzie caught fire, I could see some of these catching on. I think my favorite Mac-contender for a first name is McKay (for a boy), but with all the McKaylas, etc., out there, I probably wouldn’t use it.
on February 22nd, 2014 at 12:18 pm
My surname is a Mc- name, if I get married I would definitely consider using my maiden name as a son’s middle name. For a first name, I just think they are “too” surname-y, even more so than Carson or Carter sometimes (though both are on my list) however I do have a love for MacKenzie / McKenzie on both genders; Max, Mack or Keni for a boy, and Kenzie for a girl.
on February 23rd, 2014 at 5:27 pm
@Aurora I don’t think think McKay is pronounced in the same way as McKayla its Mc kai not Kay
on May 5th, 2016 at 9:12 am
I love this list, there are so many interesting monikers here I never would have thought of. McKellan is such a cool name, and so is McGregor.
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.