Which names are the most Scottish?


Several years ago, UK marketing firm CACI came up with a way to quantify the “Scottishness” of a name.

They looked at tens of millions of forenames and surnames across the UK and asked: are these names more common in Scotland, or in England and Wales? Based on the answers, they calculated “Scottishness” scores for full names.

They set the average at 100. Names like Ewen McGregor (270) and David Cameron (153) scored higher (i.e. were more Scottish) than average. Names like Gordon Brown (95) and Sean Connery (34) scored lower.

Which full names were the most Scottish overall?

  1. Angusina MacEachen (284)
  2. Murdo MacRitchie (283)
  3. Murdina MacCorquodale (283)
  4. Williamina Killoh (283)
  5. Angusina MacIver (283)
  6. Mhairi Kimmet (283)
  7. Williamina Marnie (283)
  8. Williamina McCallie (283)
  9. Alexina Killoh (283)
  10. Eilidh McCorquodale (281)

I was surprised about Williamina and Alexina. I guess didn’t realize these two names were so distinctly Scottish. Both are rare here in the U.S.

Update, 3/22/16: Some incredibly Scottish names — Caledonia, Corryvreckan, Highlande — popped up on on birth certificates in Scotland in 2015.


Image: Adapted from Isle of Skye – Old Man of Storr by Sanshiro Kubota under CC BY 2.0.

2 thoughts on “Which names are the most Scottish?

  1. Alexina and Williamina are very Scottish! In the 18th and 19th C, the Scots fell in love with the ending -ina and added it to almost every male name going. Many of these ended up contracted, such as Davina fom Davidina, Dolina from Donaldina and Alexina from Alexandrina.

    Alexandrina itself, of course, wasn’t exclusively Scottish, but it was in Scotland you found it most, just as Alexander was most popular in Scotland in the period.

    And though there would have been many a none Scottish Williamina, most were in Scotland, with Wilhelmina the more popular feminine form of William elsewhere. :)

  2. I’ve seen the name Dugald (e.g., Dugald Stewart, Dugald Christie) a few times recently. I wonder where all the Dugald combos fell on the “Scottishness” list.

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