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New McBaby Names for Boys

June 7, 2015 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel

Mackenzie, Makayla, and Mckenna have had a long run as go-to names for girls.

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.

MaclaineBruce 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.

What do you think of Mc- and Mac– names? Do you think they feel fresh for boys? Would you use any of them, for a son or a daughter? Are there other names that belong on this list?

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

View all of Abby's articles

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