"MacDonald "and "McDonal"

Sophie   Friday, August 27, 2004, 01:17 GMT
Are "MacDonald "and "McDonal" the same? If they are, then they are the first names or last names?I am quite confused.
Thank you very much.
Random Chappie   Friday, August 27, 2004, 02:59 GMT
Much ado about nothing. Maybe Damian, our resident Scotsman, could provide some insight.
mjd   Friday, August 27, 2004, 05:38 GMT
I've seen the last name "McDonnell," but never "McDonal."
Damian   Friday, August 27, 2004, 07:57 GMT
Ok......McDonald / MacDonald are common Scottish surnames. McDonnell and MacDonnell are less common, and there are only a few entries of this name in the Edinburgh/Lothian are telephone directory.

McDonal is much rarer, and is more common in Ireland I think.

These are all last names, Sophie. However, Donal is a fairly common Irish first name. On the other hand, Donald is basically Scottish.

Confused? Sorry, Sophie! :-)

<<Much ado about nothing>> ...have you been reading Shakespeare again, Random? We put this play on at uni.....I was Claudio.
Jordi   Friday, August 27, 2004, 08:41 GMT
I think our Random meant that a simple "d" difference gave far too much to do about nothing although our Chappie might have been reading Shakespeare in some forsaken California beach during this hot summer.
Random, please let us know.
Pat   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 06:22 GMT
Also it seems like the same damn name is just pronouced a little more comfortably and then the spelling changes a hair. Example: "MacGuire evolves into "McGuire" and then simply "Maguire" ? I have definatly seen that name without the Mac or Mc. In the southern US is where you will find more people with such "Mc" or "Mac" names than anywhere in the world including Scotland or Ireland.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 08:13 GMT
Ol' Macdonnell tolds some yarns, ee-i-ee-i-o and in those yarns there were some splits ee-i-ee-i-o...
Bayou Rover   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 09:02 GMT
What about "McAnthony", it is my surname.
You know the weird thing that I am half of a Cajun and half of a French Canadian. I wonder where this name came from.
Paul   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 09:05 GMT
By the way,
When I always see names with "Mc" or "Mac" in them, I wonder how we're supposed to write them.

1-Macdonald / Mcdonal?

2-MacDonald / McDonal?

Ailian   Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 23:25 GMT
Have Cajun *and* half French Canadian with a non-French name? My family (LA Creoles) would hate your combination to no end. Let's get married! ;)

I have an Irish cousin named Donal who was consistently annoyed that people would spell his name "Donald" in school. Poor kid. Out of curiosity, I looked up information on "Donal" and "MacDonald" and came up with this:

Galic equilivent: Dónal ('world mighty'). Sometimes used for Daniel. Surnames include O'Donnell and MacDonnells, MacDonalds

As for "Mac" versus "Mc":

Taken from "Kinship: Scottish naming patterns": http://www.ednet.co.uk/~jeanmoore/names.html

In Scotland - as in the rest of Western Europe - there were four main ways of acquiring a surname:

- Patronymic - taking the father's Christian name e.g. Robertson

- Occupation - e.g. Smith (the most common surname of all)

- Locality - e.g. Wood

- Nickname - e.g. White, Little.

Patronymics - Lowland names such as Wilson, Robertson, Thomson and Johnson are among the most common surnames in Scotland. 'Mac' names are also patronymic. MacManus - son of Magnus. 'Mc' is just a printer's contraction and has no significance as to etymology.

Occupation - Names which are derived from trades and occupations - mostly found in towns. The most common of these is Smith (the most common surname in Scotland, England and the USA) but other examples would be Taylor (tailor) Baxter (baker) and Cooper (barrel maker).

Locality - In Scotland the tendency is for people to be named after places (in England the tendency is the opposite). Examples of such names are Morton, Lauder, Menzies and Galloway.

Nickname - Names which could refer to colour or size, e.g. White, Black, Small, Little. Scottish names in this category include Campbell (meaning 'crooked mouth'). Another example of nickname - this time referring to the bearers origins - is Scott.