Scottish Christian Names
Scottish Christian Names, by Dunkling, Leslie, 1978
Roger Bacon and Geo Orwell both said 'people always grow up like their names'.
The Old Gaelic System of Personal Names, by A MacBain p.279
Only about 10% of 1st names were non-celtic until the great
influx of Teutonic influence in the 12th century. Now foreign
Christian names (i.e. Alex, John , Wm) make up 40% of the
total. John is the most common name; then Don, Alex, Wm.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Adam: might = Ewan
Agnes: latin form of Greek 'chaste'
Alan, Allan, Allen: Gaelic= Ailean: early Celtic
Alexander, Alec, Alex, Sandy: Gaelic= Alasdair, Alistair, Alastair
Greek 'defender of men; a Scottish Royal name.
Amelia; see Emily
Andrew, Andy: Greek 'manly'; Scotland's Patron Saint
Angus: Gaelic= Aeneas or Oanis; 'unique choice'
Ann(e): Latin= Anna: Hebrew= Hannah; 'favour, grace'; or Joanna
Archibald, Arch, Archie: Germanic 'excellent, noble, true & bold'
pure or bright bold
Belle; see Isobel
Catherine, Cath, Cathy, Katherine, Kathryn, Kitty, Katey, Katie:
Greek "pure' Catharine, Cathrine; Cassie, Cass. Kate, Kath
Charles, Chas: German equivalent of Andrew; 'manly': Gaelic=
Tearlach 'well shaped'
Christina, Christine; fem forms of Christian which is both m & f
in Scotland; also Kirstan, Kristin, Chris, Christy, Tina, Cirsty,
Christopher, Christy, Kit: Gaelic= Gille, Criosd
Colin: Gaelic Cailean = 'a youth' (=Nicholas) (śMalc)
Daniel: Hebrew 'God has judged': early Scots erroneously once
considered it to be the same as Donald
David, Dave: Hebrew 'beloved': Gaelic Dabhaidh; a Scots Royal name
Donald, Don: Gaelic Domhnall = 'world mighty' or world ruler
Dugald: Gaelic Dughall, Dugal = 'black strangers' i.e. Danes.
Duncan: Gaelic Donnchad = 'brown warrier'
Edward: Ed, Iver
Elizabeth, Eliz, Elspeth. Eliza, Lisa, Bessie, Beth, Betty, Betsy
Elsa in German: Gaelic Ealasaid: Hebrew "God is perfection"
In early times Isabel & Isabella were totally
interchangeable with Eliz or Lizzie
Ellen, Elaine: English form of Helen
Euphemia, Effie, Effy, Euphie, Fanny: Greek 'well spoken of'
Gaelic; Oighrig (Ephric ?) or Epha
Evan: see Hugh (but maybe Iver or Ed ??)
Ewan: see Hugh
Farquhar: Gaelic= Fearchar: Celtic 'very dear one'
Fergus: Gaelic= Fearghas: Celtic 'supreme choice'
Finlay, Findlay, Finlay: Gaelic= Fionnlagh; 'fair-hero'
Flora, Florie, Flore: latin 'flowers': Gaelic= Fionnghal, Fionnaghal;
Florence, Flo; modern, from Florence Nightingale - born in
Florence, Italy or Fanny, Penny, Penelope, Flora Ann, Florance
George, Geordie: Greek 'farmer'
Gilbert, Gil, Gib: Germanic= pledge + bright: Gaelic= Gilleabert
Grace, Grizel, Grizzel, Grissel, Girzel
Hannah; see Ann (and possibly Una)
Hector: Greek 'prop or stay': Gaelic= Eachdhonn or Eachann; defender
Helen, Helene, Ellen, Eleanor, Eileen, Nelly: Greek: Gaelic=
Eilidh shining one
Hugh, Hew: Germanic = 'heart, mind' intellect, thought
Join in Gaelic Ewan, Owen: Gaelic= Eoghann (or Eoghan)
or Uisdean or Aodh (altho these 3 are diff names they have
some phonetic similarity in Eng
Isabella, Bell, Tibby: Italian for Eliz; also Bella, Isobel, Isa
Iver: see Ed
James, Jim, Jaime, Jimmy: Hebrew for ?: Latin= Jacobus:
Hemis in Gaelic
Jane, Jean, Janet, Janice, Jessie, Joan: fem for John
Johanna; see Ann (& also see Jane)
John, Jack, Jock: Gaelic= Ian, Sean: Hebrew 'God is gracious'
Ian, Iain or Jon: Gaelic for John
Joseph: Hebrew 'Jehovah increases'
Kenneth, Ken: Gaelic Coinneach = 'fair one'; 1st Scottish King
Lachlan: Gaelic Lachlann = 'fjord-land', i.e. Norway
Leonard: Germanic 'lion bold'
Lorraine: French, from Joan (of Arc), the girl of Lorraine
Malcolm: Gaelic= maol-Caluim (or Chaluim) = 'shaveling or servant
or desciple or devotee of St Columba'. Often confused with
McCallum - 'Mac-Gille-Chaluim' - SO the servant of Columba
Margaret, Maggie, Peggy, Margo, Greta, Rita: Gaelic= mairead
Maria; see Mary
Marion; see Sarah (& also see Mary)
Martin: Gaelic= Martainn or Bhartin: Latin= Mars 'God of War'
Mary, Mamie, Molly, May, Minnie: Gaelic= Mairi, Moire: Greek=
Matthew, Mat: Hebrew= 'Jehovah's gift': Gaelic= Mathamach
Neil, Niel, Niall: Latin= niger 'black'
Nicolas = Colin
Patrick, Peter, Pat, Paddy: Gaelic= Padraig (Padhraig or Padhsaig)
Latin= patricius 'Patrician', i.e. father or senator
Penelope; see Flora
Rachel; see Ranald
Ranald: fem, Rachel
Robert, Rob, Rab, Bob, Bobby, Hob: Gaelic= Raibeart: Old Eng name
Roderick: old Germanic 'fame rule': Gaelic Ruairidh 'red'
Rory: Roiri in Gaelic also Rod'k
Ronald, Reginald, Ranald, Reynold: old Eng Regenweald: Norse
Rognvaldr 'power might'
Roy: Anglicised form of Gaelic ruadh 'red'
Samuel, Sam: Gaelic Somhairle, Somerled, Sorley: Norse= summer
sailor, i.e. Viking
Sarah, Sara, Sally, Sadie, Susan: Hebrew= princess: Gaelic Mor
or Morag or Marion or More
Stephen, Steven, Steve: Greek 'garland'
Thomas, Tommy: Aramaic 'twin', an Apostle
Timothy, Thaddeus: Greek 'honor God' Gaelic Tadhg
Una, Unna, Oonagh, Oona, Ouna, Uny, Winifred, Agnes: Irish 'lamb'
Walter: Gaelic Bhatar: old Germanic 'rule + folk'
William, Wm, Willie: old Germanic 'will, volition, helmet'
helmet of resolution -i.e. energy in war
fair= bhane/bhomy etc
dark= mor or Dubh
young= Oig or og
little= Beag or Beg