New McBaby Names for Boys
By Abby Sandel
Is there any energy left in this trend?
The answer seems to be yes. And among the more interesting of the Mc- and Mac– names are some great options for boys, as parents reclaim the sound for their sons.
Of course, the prefix means “son of” in Gaelic, so maybe that’s not such a surprise after all. Plus, Scottish names are on the upswing, and some of these names fit that trend perfectly.
Actors Scott Porter and Kelsey Mayfield gave their new son a Mc- name a few weeks ago, one with ties to football, superheroes, and the original Star Trek. Google alum turned Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer chose a Mac– name for her son back in 2012.
Let’s take a look at nine of the Mc- and Mac– names, both those in the news, and a few under-the-radar options.
McKinley – The girls have owned the Mc/Mac trend for decades, and while Mackenzie and company are fading, the sound still appeals to plenty of parents. A new rising star on the girls’ side is McKinley, currently ranked Number 380. It’s a presidential choice, like favorites Reagan and Kennedy, and also a nature name, thanks to Alaska’s Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. The mountain was named for the 25th president of the United States, but that’s a controversial designation. Many would prefer it be known by its indigenous name, Denali.
McCartney – We’ve heard Lennon, Hendrix, Marley, Bowie. No surprise that some babies are sharing their name with the equally legendary musician Paul McCartney (show). Like McKinley, this name is more popular for girls. But unlike McKinley, it’s pretty rare. As of 2014, McCartney has yet to enter the US Top 1000.
Macallister – Google alum turned Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer asked the world for baby name suggestions, but ultimately stuck with family tradition. Her mother is Margaret, she’s Marissa, and the next generation also has an M name. Word is that Marissa and husband Zachary Bogue also liked it because of the name’s Scottish vibe. Macallister means “son of Alasdair” – the Gaelic form of Alexander.
MacGregor – I have a soft spot for this Mac– name. Sure, Farmer McGregor had Peter Rabbit’s father baked into a pie. But now that Greg is a dad name, doesn’t MacGregor feel like a possible update for 2015? Unlike McKinley or even McCartney, it’s difficult to imagine a girl with this Mac– name. Other possibilities along these lines include MacArthur, McNichol, and McWilliams.
McCoy – Now for the real McCoy! In a recent interview, actor Scott Porter explained that he and wife Kelsey Mayfield considered Colt for their new son before deciding it was too popular. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy put the name McCoy on their radar, and Scott also loves the X-Men character known as the Beast – Hank McCoy. This name also brings to mind a character from the original Star Trek , Dr. McCoy, better known as Bones. Over 150 boys received the name McCoy in 2014, along with two dozen named Macoy.
Maclaine – Bruce Willis has been playing action hero John McClane since 1988, but you might also think of celebrated actress Shirley MacLaine. The name has multiple possible spellings – Shirley was born Shirley MacLean Beatty. Macklin is also a form of the name. None of the spellings is especially common, but most have seem some use. It’s a contracted form of a longer name that translates to “son of the servant of St. John.”
McKay – A cousin to McCoy, McKay could feel like a shortened form of McKayla, or any of the McK- names in favor for girl. But usage gives McKay to the boys. As of 2014, McKay was given to 55 boys. Many of the shorter possibilities, like McCall and Macrae, also seem to lean masculine.
Macsen – This is a Mac– name that isn’t quite like the other Mac names. It’s the name of a historical figure, better known as Magnus Maximus, a military leader who became Western Roman Emperor in the late fourth century. The medieval Welsh story collection, the Mabinogion, includes a highly fictionalized account of his life. In Welsh, Maximus becomes Macsen. It’s also spelled Maxen, which feels like a modern elaboration of Max. Macsen, of course, shortens not to Max, but to Mac.
Mack – Speaking of Mac or Mack, if we name boys just Jack and Gus, why not just Mack? 283 boys were named Mack in 2014, as well as 163 newborn Macs. Some credit might go to Gary Sinise’s character on long-running television series CSI:NY. Sinise’s character was actually named McKenna, but was always known as Mac Taylor. Mack fits in with other nickname names, like Sonny and Buddy, that have seen some high-profile use in recent years.
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on June 7th, 2015 at 11:00 pm
I’m crazy about Mack; I might use it as an alternative to Jack, which is my favorite name but alas, far too popular. I’m also intrigued by McCartney.
on June 8th, 2015 at 1:34 am
My favorite Mac- name for boys is still Mackenzie. I’ve not thought about MacGregor before, but I like that too! Of course, I’m still a fan of Gregory, personally– I don’t consider it a full-on “dad’s name” like I do some others.
on June 8th, 2015 at 2:21 am
Aside from Mackenzie and Mckenna – I don’t really like any of the names that this post has suggested. They sound forced, a little contrived and not at all as flowing and elegant as a first name should be. Plus, wasn’t Mcgregor the farmer who killed, put into a pie and ate Peter Rabbit’s father?!
So, yeah, even though Mackenzie and McKinley are popular for boys here in the UK (and potentially Mckenna will be too), I think I would prefer to use them for a son as opposed to the other, more awkward options listed.
on June 8th, 2015 at 3:39 am
I know a boy named MacIsaac.
on June 8th, 2015 at 3:44 am
I go to school with a boy named MacIsaac. I’ve always really liked his name, but a lot of substitute teachers actually have trouble with it, and I’ve heard his friends call him Mac-‘n’-Cheese-Isaac before.
on June 8th, 2015 at 8:33 am
My sons middle name is McAlister and we get compliments on it all the time. We decided we liked that spelling more than the Mac spelling. My name is McKenzie so we thought the Mc made more sense for him too
on June 8th, 2015 at 8:56 am
A girl I know is naming her little boy MacIvan. Never heard it before thought it was cute and different, even though I’m not crazy about Mc/Mac names.
on June 8th, 2015 at 9:04 am
I want to name a daughter Macallan. It’s not popular but I think it’s strong and beautiful at the same time! I’m surprised it hasn’t made any lists I’ve seen yet.
I want to name her Macallan Laine, after my mom’s name Elaine.
on June 8th, 2015 at 9:13 am
I love all things Scottish, including names! My favorite from this list is McCoy. This name has serious geek cred with it’s connection to two sci-fi franchises- Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy from Star Trek and of course Hank McCoy aka Beast from X-Men who is a wonderful character to name your child after (he is a true intellectual that usually promotes discussion/compromise instead of fighting, truly a voice of reason in the series)
I also see this as a great frontier/cowboy style name because of it’s connection to the infamous old west feud of the Hatfields and McCoys
on June 8th, 2015 at 9:44 am
Not wild about those listed, but I love Mac/Mc names for boys. McKayla for a girl is one name I never want to see again so long as I live.
My favorites are MacLean, McLean, McGregor, MacDonald, MacArthur. I also love MacAlpine, MacBain, MacDougall, Macduff, MacGillivray, MacInnes, MacIntyre, Mackintosh, Mackinnon, MacLeod, Macmillan, Macnab, Macpherson, Macquarrie, MacTavish, and MacAllum.
Other great Scots clan names: Brodie, Bruce, Buchanan, Campbell, Chisholm, Colquhoun, Davidson, Douglas, Drummond, Dundas, Elliott, Erskine, Farquharson, Ferguson, Forbes, Fraser, Gordon, Graham, Grant, Hamilton, Hay, Innes, Kerr, Lamont, Leslie, Matheson, Menzies, Morrison, Munro, Murray, Ogilvy, Ramsay, Robertson, Ross, Scott, Sinclair, Skene, Stewart, Sutherland, and Urquhart.
Good solid historical substantial names. Love’em.
on June 8th, 2015 at 10:54 am
I like Mc and Mac names for boys and girls. I think they definitely are still fresh in that there are so many of them. Plus any genre of name seems “to go” these days, and certainly surname names have not died out. I’ve been noticing some that were used in other centuries lately such as Rutherford (Hayes), and more recently, Norman and Howard of the 20th century.
I like McElwain for boys, and always liked MacAlistair (and spelling variations) for boys, as well. McGowan is another good one for boys.
A former White Sox player has a daughter named McKay.
I prefer a formal name for Mack like Mackson or Cormac. Both good Celtic choices.
on June 8th, 2015 at 1:21 pm
I didn’t think I liked Mac- names, but I find myself quite drawn to Macallister, McCoy (especially as a diehard Trekkie), and Macsen. @lesliemarion also had some great suggestions — I love Macduff because it combines the names of two dear friends I would love to honor, though the fate of Shakespeare’s Macduff gives me pause…
on June 8th, 2015 at 1:33 pm
I knew a little boy named McJagger. He is probably about 16yrs old now. I always thought it was a fun name.
on June 8th, 2015 at 3:27 pm
Mc and Mac names have always sounded purely like surnames to me. I’m not a big fan of the trend. The Peter Rabbit assocation actually makes Macgregor a sad name for me.
on June 8th, 2015 at 9:08 pm
There was a boy at the library story time this session named Mac. He must have been 3 or 4. He mostly went by Mac, but his Mom also wrote his fullname on his nametag sometimes. I think it was MacCabe. I think Mac is cute.
on June 9th, 2015 at 2:07 am
Almost named my son Mac in 2001, but his dad won out in naming him Daniel. Sometimes we call him Mackie as a joke.
on June 9th, 2015 at 6:19 pm
I have a cousin McEwan. He goes by Mac.
on July 8th, 2015 at 11:40 am
If I ever had a son, I’d like his first or middle name to be Mac. It’s strong and simple, also paying homage to my (then) maiden name.
on August 29th, 2015 at 10:09 pm
My favorite boys’ Mac name is Mackenzie. I love it.
on April 12th, 2016 at 8:05 pm
My son’s name is Cormac Michael Lawrence, with nicknames Mac, Mackie, Corks, Corkie , Cormackity ., Cor- mac’n cheese, Cor- mac-book air Ilast 2 compliments of his buddies) ……wer’e a nicknaming kind of family ;0).
We think it’s a beautiful medieval Irish name which also sounds a bit current and preppy without being contrived.
so a ‘Mac’ name but at the other end!
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