145 Traditional Scottish Last Names: From Rare to Popular

These traditional Scottish last names hold all the beauty and majesty of the Scottish highlands.

We have journeyed through the vast and beautiful highlands and lowlands to bring you this spectacular list of Scottish last names, perfect for inspiring any new clan.

With names ranging from modern to traditional, these Scottish surnames are rich in history, culture, and geography, with inspirations from royalty, foreign influences, and the sheer beauty of the dramatic Scottish landscape.

So, travel north with us, and let’s uncover the perfect Scottish family names for you and your clan, along with all their meanings, origins, and fascinating histories…

145 Noble Scottish Last Names With Meanings

Your clan will carry all the history and majesty of Scotland by bearing one of these spectacular Scottish last names.

  1. Abercrombie – a fashionable entry named after the Scottish town.
  2. Adair – a Galloway surname for a family “from the oak grove.”
  3. Ainsley – meaning “solitary clearing,” this Scottish surname is also a cool unisex given name.
  4. Aitken – meaning “man” or “earth,” this cool name is a form of Adam.
  5. Alpin – an old pick among typically Scottish family names, meaning “fair, blonde one.”
  6. Anderson – meaning “son of Andrew,” this common surname is a “manly” pick.
  7. Armstrong – fit for any lifter, Armstrong literally began as a nickname for someone with “strong arms!”
  8. Baird – an occupational name for a romantic little dreamer, meaning “poet.”
  9. Balfour – an ancient Scottish surname meaning “village, pasture.”
  10. Barr – a Gaelic surname meaning “hilltop.”
  11. Begbie – most common in Edinburgh, this Norse-rooted Scottish surname means “farm, settlement.”
  12. Black – this color surname is commonly heard around Scotland.
  13. Blain – a great Celtic surname derived from a traditional given name meaning “yellow.”
  14. Blair – a name belonging to a UK Prime Minister, meaning “plain, meadow.”
  15. Bowie – great for music lovers, this sunshine-filled Gaelic surname means “yellow.”
  16. Brodie – an Old Scottish clan name meaning “ditch.”
  17. Brown – the second most common surname in Scotland, after the woody, earthy color.
  18. Bruce – brought to Scotland by the Normans, this classic Scottish clan comes from the French town Brix.
  19. Bryden – a rare name from the Scottish lowlands, possibly meaning “headland.”
  20. Brydie – a traditional family name in Scotland, now a cute girl’s name, meaning “strength, exalted.”
  21. Buchanan – meaning “house of the canon,” a banger of a name after a Scottish region.
  22. Burns – after the famous Scottish poet, this fiery name has the sweet meaning of “stream.”
  23. Caird – rhyming with Baird, another occupational surname, meaning “craftsman.”
  24. Cameron – a familiar Scottish clan name with the unbelievable meaning of “crooked nose.”
  25. Campbell – this very common Scottish surname means “crooked mouth.”
  26. Clacher – a unique Gaelic occupational surname for someone who works as a “stonemason.”
  27. Clark – rooted in Latin, this common surname means “secretary, clerk.”
  28. Clyde – reliable and homely for a family who resides on the banks of the Scottish river.
  29. Corrie – with the magical meaning of “cauldron,” Corrie comes from a place in Arran.
  30. Coutts – or Couts, both cozy Gaelic surnames meaning “nook.”
  31. Craig – a common Scottish surname and given name meaning “crag,” great for a little “rock” star!
  32. Crawford – a place name with the lofty meaning of “crow crossing, crow ford.”
  33. Cruickshank – a funny Scots nickname-surname, meaning “one with crooked legs.”
  34. Cummins – or Cummings, an old Breton name with the unusual meaning of “bent.”
  35. Cunningham – a place name and Old Scottish clan name rooted in the lowlands.
  36. Currie – an unusual form of Muireach, meaning “mariner.”
  37. Donaldson – for a “son of Donald,” with Donald being a tough male name for a “world ruler.”
  38. Douglas – meaning “dark stream, ” this Scottish surname is full of intrigue.
  39. Duff – meaning “black,” from the Gaelic word “dubh.”
  40. Duncan – fit for a family of brunettes, this Gaelic name means “dark warrior.”
  41. Dunn – from the Gaelic “donn,” this short, tense-sounding name means “brown.”
  42. Fairbairn – a sweet Scots name for a “beautiful child.”
  43. Faulkner – an occupational name for a “falcon-keeper.”
  44. Fergus – a classic Scots given name and surname meaning “strong, masculine.”
  45. Ferguson – a common patronymic surname for a “son of Fergus.”
  46. Findlay – is suited only for the most “fair-haired” and “courageous” of families.
  47. Fleming – given to a “Flemish” person from Flanders in the Netherlands.
  48. Forbes – a successful Scottish clan name meaning “field.”
  49. Fraser – although its meaning is unknown, this Scottish surname and first name is full of charm.
  50. Friseal – like Fraser, Friseal is also of unknown meaning but cool in style.
  51. Galbraith – this unique Gaelic surname is composed of elements meaning “British foreigner.”
  52. Gibson – an Old English name for a “son of Gilbert.”
  53. Glenn – meaning “valley,” this short, purely Gaelic surname is full of adventure.
  54. Gow – meaning “smith,” a short, sweet, and unusual occupational surname.
  55. Graeme – a unique, typically Scottish variation of Graham.
  56. Graham – meaning “gravelly homestead,” Graham is a typically Scottish last name and male given name.
  57. Greer – a Scottish surname and unisex given name, with the careful meaning of “guardian.”
  58. Guthrie – after a Scottish location, with the cute meaning of “windy place.”
  59. Hamilton – a badass English and Scottish surname meaning “crooked hill.”
  60. Hendry – a lesser-heard form of Henry, meaning “home-ruler.”
  61. Irving – this romantic surname relates to the Scottish river Irvine.
  62. Johnstone – a Middle English name meaning “John’s town,” also found in Scotland.
  63. Keith – a name rooted in Scottish nobility, meaning “wood” or “battleground.”
  64. Kemp – a battle-ready surname meaning “soldier,” with Middle English and Germanic roots.
  65. Kerr – meaning “marsh dweller,” this common Scottish surname derives from Old Norse.
  66. Kinnaird – meaning “high headland,” Kinnaird is best for those with high-reaching aspirations.
  67. Kirk – a Scottish word name meaning “church.”
  68. Knox – derived from the Scottish Gaelic word “cnoc,” this spicy name refers to a “rounded hill.”
  69. Kyle – a short yet cool surname and given name for a “narrow, straight” kind of chap.
  70. Laird – joining Baird and Caird in the rhyming occupational names, this means “landowner.”
  71. Lawrie – a cute surname meaning “crafty,” also spelled Lawry, Lowrie, or Lorrie.
  72. Lennox – meaning “elm grove,” there’s a magical aura about this Scottish surname.
  73. Leslie – meaning “garden of holly,” this festive surname also comes from a Scottish location.
  74. Lister – for a sharp-shooting “son of the arrow maker.”
  75. Lithgow – a romantic name with the magical meaning of “pool hollow.”
  76. Logan – means “little hollow,” another Scottish surname with a rustic, fairylike charm.
  77. Mac – meaning “son,” this common surname prefix also works nicely on its own.
  78. MacBeth – an iconic name for Shakespeare fans, meaning “son of life.”
  79. MacDonald – or McDonald, both common Scottish family names derived from the Gaelic name Domhnall.
  80. MacKay – meaning “son of Aodh,” a Gaelic name meaning ” fire.”
  81. MacKenzie – meaning “son of Kenneth,” a classic and typically Scottish surname.
  82. Mackintosh – or McIntosh, meaning “son of the chief,” fit for fierce and noble clan rulers.
  83. MacLachlan – means “son of Lachlan,” referring to the “land of the lochs.”
  84. MacLeod – a Scottish clan name with Isle of Skye roots, meaning “son of Leod,” itself meaning “ugly.”
  85. Macpherson – meaning “son of the parson,” this name is noble and Christian.
  86. MacWilliam – like a Scottish equivalent of Williamson, meaning “son of William.”
  87. Marshall – an adventurous Old Scottish surname for a “lover of horses.”
  88. Maxwell – a friendly-sounding surname and given name, meaning “Mack’s stream” or “great stream.”
  89. McAdams – for a “manly” little “son of Adam.”
  90. McArthur – meaning “son of Arthur,” a legendary male name meaning “bear.”
  91. McCrae – means “son of Rath,” with links to the given name meaning “prosperity.”
  92. McCrory – a fun-to-say surname meaning “son of Ruaidhri,” a Gaelic form of Rory.
  93. McGill – meaning “son of the foreigner,” this name oozes suspicion.
  94. McGregor – for a “son of Griogar,” a Scottish Gaelic variant of Gregor.
  95. McIntosh – another version of Mackintosh, great for little royal babies.
  96. McIntyre – a crafty patronymic name for a “son of the carpenter.”
  97. McKendrick – another “son of” name, this one interestingly from the same stem as “Henry.”
  98. McLean – for a “son of Gillean,” a biblical name meaning “servant of Saint John.”
  99. McNeilly – meaning “son of Niall,” this name uses a “champion” namesake.
  100. Meikle – a unique, sweet surname from Middle Scottish, meaning “large, big.”
  101. Melville – inspired by the Normans, Melville comes from the “bad town” French place name Malleville.
  102. Millar – a Scottish variant of Miller, meaning “mill-worker.”
  103. Milne – or Milnes, refers to a family living or working near a “mill.”
  104. Mitchell – from the same stem as the given name Michael, meaning “who is like God?”
  105. Moffett – meaning “long field,” a locational name after a Scottish town.
  106. Moore – from Middle English, Moore refers to an area of open, boggy land.
  107. Morris – derived from the Latin male name Maurice, meaning ” dark.”
  108. Morrison – a common entry among Scottish family names, meaning “son of Morris.”
  109. Muir – an old Scots clan name for dwellers “by a moor.”
  110. Munro – refers to an Irish “man from the River Roe,” which runs through Northern Ireland.
  111. Murdoch – means “sea warrior,” this mythical Gaelic name is unbelievably cool.
  112. Murphy – a very popular Celtic pick, with the fiery meaning of “sea warrior.”
  113. Murray – a warm name from the “Moray” region of the Highlands.
  114. Neely – is a variant of McNeily or derived from a different Scottish root meaning “hound.”
  115. Ness – meaning “headland,” Ness reminds us of a certain Scottish mythical monster!
  116. Norris – meaning “northerner,” this Anglo-Norman name may have referred to those from Scotland or Norway.
  117. Paisley – an ornamental fabric pattern and a stylish surname meaning “church.”
  118. Paterson – a very common surname meaning “son of Patrick,” also spelled Patterson.
  119. Patton – another familiar pick among Scottish last names meaning “son of Patrick.”
  120. Pollock – after a Scottish region, derived from the Gaelic word “poll,” meaning “pool.”
  121. Ramsay – a picturesque pick for a baby “from the island of wild garlic.”
  122. Reid – a typically Scottish clan name with the hot meaning of “red.”
  123. Ritchie – a medieval name with the same “strong, hardy” roots as Richard.
  124. Robertson – another top-5 pick among popular Scottish surnames, meaning “son of Robert.”
  125. Ross – a Gaelic surname of various meanings, including “horse-keeper,” “redhead,” or “from the headland.”
  126. Roy – derived from the Gaelic word “ruadh,” this short name would suit any “redhead” family.
  127. Ruskin – an occupational name for a person who works as a “tanner.”
  128. Russell – meaning “red, reddish,” this name makes us think of autumnal leaves.
  129. Rutherford – elements meaning “cattle” and “river crossing” make this confident name from the Scottish borders.
  130. Sangster – meaning “to chant, to sing,” this name works for the loudest of happy clans!
  131. Scott – a perfectly Scottish name for a little “Scotsman.”
  132. Shaw – this fairy-like name fits a clan who “dwells by the wood.”
  133. Smith – the most common surname in Scotland and Great Britain, meaning “blacksmith.”
  134. Sterling – a slick surname referring to the British currency, grade of silver, or Scottish city.
  135. Stewart – a typically Scottish surname meaning “guard, steward.”
  136. Sutherland – this Old Scottish clan and county name means “land to the south.”
  137. Taylor – a timelessly popular name meaning “tailor,” used as first name, middle, and surname worldwide.
  138. Thomson – or Thompson, both British surnames meaning “son of Thomas.”
  139. Walker – another very common surname in Scotland, used for the cloth-cleaning occupation of “walking.”
  140. Wallace – meaning “foreigner,” this surname may be used to denote a “Welshman.”
  141. Watson – a patronymic surname for a “son of Walter” and a Germanic-rooted name meaning “army ruler.”
  142. Webster – meaning “weaver,” this is a cool, spidery sort of surname.
  143. Wilson – the third most common surname in Scotland, meaning “son of Will.”
  144. Wood – a common surname, traditionally denoting a “woody,” tree-filled territory.
  145. Young – a commonly-heard choice, traditionally used to distinguish a “young” son from his father.

Scottish Last Names FAQs

What are the Most Common Surnames in Scotland?

The top five most common surnames in Scotland today are Smith, Brown, Wilson, Thomson, and Robertson. Campbell, Stewart, Anderson, MacDonald, and Scott make up the rest of the top ten.

Where do Scottish Last Names Come From?

Scottish clan names have various origins. The most common “Mac-” form is known as patronymic, which means the name comes from the father, as “Mac” means “son of.” Some names derive from locations (such as Abercrombie) or occupations (like Smith), while others are nicknames (like Armstrong.) Although English plays a big part in modern Scottish surnames, many come from Scots and Scottish Gaelic languages, with Norse and Norman influences.

What is a Unique Scottish Surname?

Meikle, Clacher, and Gow are unique Scottish last names, but Cruickshank has the coolest, most unusual sound! “Cam-” names, such as Campbell and Cameron, are also unique thanks to their “crooked” meanings.

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About the Author

Madeleine Lily Webb

Madeleine is a writer from somewhere near Manchester, England. Madeleine's background in languages and linguistics has led to baby names becoming one of her favorite topics to write about. When she's not fallen down a rabbit hole of stories behind unique names, Madeleine can be found hanging out with her cat, taking photos of flowers, or dancing.